Queen Power kept up her progress march for Sir Michael Stoute to clinch a big-race treble for the trainer in the Haras de Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial at Newbury.
Her success in this Listed race put the icing on a cake created for Stoute by Mustashry in the Lockinge and Crystal Ocean in the Al Rayyan Stakes, and saw her odds for the Investec Oaks cut to 14-1 from 25-1 by Paddy Power.
The daughter of Shamardal produced a smart turn of foot to mow down Lavender’s Blue and score by a neck under a power-packed Silvestre de Sousa drive for King Power Racing.
Stoute said: “She’s well engaged, so let’s stop and think. She was left with quite a lot to do. She’s a classy filly, we were not sure about the trip, but it was a good performance.
“I want to go home and think about it, not make any decisions before leaving Newbury.”
Sheikh Hamdan has been blessed with top sprinters Muhaarar and Battaash in recent seasons and in Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes winner Khaadem the owner looks to have another budding top-notcher bound for Royal Ascot.
The Dark Angel colt was sporting Sheikh Hamdan’s second colours – but James Doyle’s mount proved much better than Moyassar and in a tight finish held outsider Oxted and Space Traveller at bay by half a length and two.
Charlie Hills will target the Commonwealth Cup with his 11-2 winner.
He said: “He has his quirks and wears a hood in the preliminaries and is a hard horse to settle, but he’s hugely talented and exciting.
“The lads at home have done a great job with him and the plan all through the winter was to go for this race on the way to Royal Ascot.”
Hills added that Khaadem would not be averse to a bit of cut in the ground in the course of time.
Headman (12-1) looked a horse with Group potential when successfully giving weight all round in the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup.
The Roger Charlton-trained colt was shown plenty of daylight by Jason Watson in the home straight and in a trouble-free passage led over a furlong out, before holding the persistent challenge of 3-1 favourite Sinjaari by a short head.
Charlton said: “He’s still a work in progress, a huge horse by Kingman who looks as though he’s going on to great things (as a stallion).
“But he’s still a work in progress. Last time here he pulled too hard and it was a funny race. Today he was relaxed.”
On the question of the Hampton Court Stakes over this trip of a mile and a quarter, Charlton added: “I would quite like not to rush him, but we all love having runners at Royal Ascot. Today he showed he was right up to it, so let’s wait and see.”
Betfair introduced Headman into the Hampton Court market at 8-1.
Richard Hannon is looking towards a possible tilt at the Coventry Stakes with Olympic Glory Conditions Stakes winner Temple Of Heaven (3-1).
In what was the best two-year-old race in Britain this season, the son of Iffraaj got home in a thriller as he went over the line with Fort Myers and Well Of Wisdom almost in unison.
Hannon said: “It was a very good race and you needed a good horse to win it. He has done it over six furlongs and the likes of the Coventry, the Norfolk over five or the Railway Stakes are possibilities.”