Maamora made a triumphant start to her British campaign with a front-running success in the Betway Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.
The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained daughter of Dubawi showed no signs of rustiness against race-fit rivals on her first start in 192 days to claim the biggest victory of her career in the one mile Group Three.
Settled straight into the lead by William Buick, the 14-1 shot, who was last sighted finishing third in a Group Two at Meydan in February, displayed a tenacious attitude by pulling out plenty to defeat the 1000 Guineas heroine of 2018 Billesdon Brook by half a length.
Ed Crisford, joint trainer, said: “We kept her in training to try to win a Group race this year. She ran well in Dubai and finished third in the Balanchine over a mile-one and we thought this would be a perfect target for her and she did it nicely. I’m glad we got that Group win with her.
“She had to do quarantine after Meydan and the flight was delayed a little bit, so it just a took a little bit of time to get her back with all the travel restrictions, but she has been training nicely at home.
“It was a beautiful ride by William as he jumped her out and got his fractions right. There was some seriously good kit in behind, so she really toughed it out. She does love it from the front. This is a good front-runners track and it suited her well.”
Crisford hinted that a step up to Group One company is likely to be next on the agenda.
He added: “I think the Sun Chariot will be her big end-of-season target. Whether there is something before, a Group Two, I don’t know, but the Sun Chariot will be her race.”
A rematch between the winner and runner-up could be on the cards, with trainer Richard Hannon also earmarking the Sun Chariot, which Billesdon Brook claimed last year.
He said: “She ran a very good race, but they gifted the race to the one in front. She looked like she was going to go past and she looked like she was travelling best, but they didn’t go much of a gallop in front.
“All roads will lead back to Newmarket and there is not long to go now.”
Roger Charlton believes there is still more to come from last year’s Fillies’ Mile winner Quadrilateral, who finished back in fourth on her first start outside of Group One company this season.
He added: “Ryan (Moore) was very happy with her. He said they went slowly and sprinted and she got tired. I said ‘any other problems’ and he said no. She is blowing very hard.
“She is 20 kilos heavier than last year and she has only been back in work four weeks. She should improve.”