Modern News set up a trip to Royal Ascot when leading home a one-two for trainer Charlie Appleby in the Watch Racing For Free On Betfair EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes at Newmarket.
All eyes before the six-furlong contest were on the winner’s stablemate and last year’s highest-priced yearling in Europe, 3.6million guineas purchase Noble Dynasty.
However, the 5-2 favourite was upstaged by his lesser-fancied stablemate with the son of Sharmadal prevailing by a neck in the hands of Mickael Barzalona.
Appleby said of the 4-1 winner: “I’m pleased with the winner and a step up in trip will see further improvement. Something like the Chesham will hopefully fall into his category and he qualifies being by Shamardal.
“The second horse I was delighted with him. You could see there he was raw and rolling around. Once the penny dropped he put in some nice late headway.
“He is not an Ascot horse. We will not push him too much at this stage. We will step him up to seven for a maiden, then look at some nice summer targets.”
Dashing Willoughby ended a losing run stretching back to last year’s Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot with a front-running success in the Betfair Exchange Buckhounds Stakes.
Having teamed up to land the Qipco 2000 Guineas with Kameko on Saturday, trainer Andrew Balding and jockey Oisin Murphy struck again in the mile-and-a-half Listed prize.
Maintaining a good gallop from the outset, the 17-2 shot continued to find plenty from the front to deny the hat-trick-seeking Secret Advisor by a length.
Balding said: “He was a Group Two winner last year and he ran very well at the July Course in the Princess of Wales’s. He was entitled to go well enough today.
“I thought the ground might be a little bit quick, but they did have a little bit of rain. He is fairly versatile, but I did think it would be too fast for him to win. He did a lovely job, Oisin.
“The only race for him is the Gold Cup, but there is the Hardwicke. I will talk to the owners and see what they want to do. It is nice to start the year like that
The Kingsclere handler issued a positive update on Kameko following his Classic success at the track 24 hours earlier.
He said: “He was reported sound this morning. He lost eight kilos, but he ate up over night and he looked fine and well this morning.”
West End Charmer (7-2) made his first start back from injury a triumphant one with a front-running victory in the Betfair Exchange Bet In-Play Handicap.
Making his first start in over a year, the Mark Johnston-trained four-year-old was not for stopping on his belated return to action.
Quickly settled into the lead by William Buick, he gradually wound matters up from the sharp end before defeating stablemate Sky Defender by four and three-quarter lengths.
Johnston said: “He was supposed to go to Royal Ascot last year, but he stepped on a nail and had a puncture wound in his foot and it infected the joint and foot.
“He spent a lot of last year and part of this year in the Newmarket Equine Hospital so that is why he has been off for so long.
“It was great to see him back and hopefully there is much more to come from him going forward. He will probably be going to Ascot for something like the Wolferton.”
Bell Rock took advantage of a drop in class to make it two wins from as many visits to the course in the Setting Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap.
Campaigned at Listed and Group-race level in three starts last season, the four-year-old son of Kingman got his career back on track when prevailing by a neck in the mile prize to complete a double for Balding and a hat-trick for Murphy.
Balding said of the 4-1 co-favourite “He won here as a two-year-old, but nothing went right last year.
“He ran in some really good races all the way through last season, including the St James’s Palace Stakes.
“He will stay handicapping for the time being and he will go for the Royal Hunt Cup now and take it from there.”
Cieren Fallon maintained his unbeaten record aboard the Appleby-trained Global Storm (8-1) when prevailing by a short head in the Betfair Weighted In Podcast Handicap.
Appleby said: “He is a tough little horse. Cieren Fallon rode him at the back end here when he won so he knows how to get a tune out of him. For a moment I thought he had gone to soon, but he stuck on well to the line.”
Buick doubled up when taking the closing Betfair Each Way Edge Handicap aboard Jabbarockie (7-1) for Eric Alston.