Full Authority put himself in the picture for an appearance at Royal Ascot with an impressive debut in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes at Chester.
Showing plenty of speed from the gates, the David O’Meara-trained Kingman colt made full use of his early advantage, pouring the pressure on from the front to run out a six-length winner from It’s Been Noted.
In the process Danny Tudhope’s mount earned a 20-1 quote for the Coventry Stakes from Paddy Power.
O’Meara said of his 11-4 winner: “His work at home has been good – if we had any concern it was the soft ground first time out, but it was the same for them all and we had a good draw so we were happy to take our chance.
“We always thought he might stay a bit further, but it took a bit of getting out there today. I’ve no doubt he will stay six.
“The owner loves Royal Ascot and if the horse is fit and well we will take our chance in one of the races.”
Ralph Beckett and Harry Bentley proved a winning combination at the track for the second day in succession after Sam Cooke (9-4) made light work of the conditions in the TMT Group Handicap.
The pair, triumphant with Future Investment 24 hours earlier, enjoyed more success through the gelded son of Pour Moi, who showed stamina to be his forte with a two-and-a-half-length success in the extended mile-and-a-half prize.
Beckett is another with his eyes on the Royal meeting.
He said: “He surprised us last year with the speed he showed with that pedigree.
“A Pour Moi out of a Peintre Celebre mare, you don’t expect them to show the boot that he did. Being by Pour Moi, we were fairly confident he would handle conditions.
“The syndicate (Chelsea Thoroughbreds) had a tough year last year, but they look like they have a good bunch of three-year-olds.
“He will go up enough now I would assume to get in (King George V Stakes). If the handicapper indicates that he is qualified for it he will run.”
Merhoob made his first visit to the Roodee a winning one when springing a surprise in the Gateley PLC Handicap.
Kept busy on the all-weather over the winter, the John Ryan-trained seven-year-old gained his first win on turf since June last year on his return to five furlongs.
Travelling well in the middle of the pack, the 22-1 shot burst past favourite and eventual runner-up Copper Knight inside the final furlong, before scoring by a length.
Winning jockey Liam Keniry said: “He was a good third on Good Friday and he had a chance on his all-weather form. That is the first time he has probably done it on turf off that higher mark.
“The ground was very soft and he handled it fine. He travelled round beautifully and in the straight he got a bit of a gap and saw it out well.”
Silvestre de Sousa maintained his unbeaten record aboard Lincoln Park, steering the three-year-old to glory in the Deepbridge Capital Handicap.
After partnering him to victory on his stable debut for Mick Appleby at Pontefract in October, the reigning champion jockey rekindled their successful partnership when making virtual all to take the extended seven-furlong contest by a length.
Joint-owner Craig Buckingham said of the 7-2 scorer: “The brief was simple, to jump and go. He likes going forward and a bit of juice in the ground is perfect for him.
“The only concern was would he handle the track, as although he is not the biggest he is quite strong. Just coming up the straight he got a little tired and a little lonely up the rail.
“The ground was far too quick at Musselburgh and the mile is probably on the limit, but that put him spot on for here.”