Fanny Logan came from last to first to claim a decisive victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
John Gosden’s filly won a hat-trick of Listed races and a Group Three last season, before rounding off her campaign with a fourth-placed finish at the Breeders’ Cup.
After being beaten at cramped odds on her reappearance at Haydock earlier in the month, the four-year-old appeared to have plenty on her plate against the boys in this Group Two event, but proved more than up to the task in the hands of Frankie Dettori.
Ridden patiently, the 17-2 chance was at the very rear of the field rounding the home turn before throwing down her challenge widest of all.
Fanny Logan ate up the ground quickly once finding top gear and came home two and a half lengths ahead of 40-1 shot Alounak, with Defoe a clear third.
Last year’s Investec Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck (9-4 favourite) failed to get a run at a crucial stage in the home straight and was unable to reach a challenging position, while his chief market rival Elarqam was a shade disappointing after having every chance.
Gosden said: “It wasn’t a fluke. At Haydock I asked Rab (Havlin) to drop her out and she ran a lovely race to finish second and after it she had a good blow so we knew she’d come on for it.
“She’s been very bright since. Frankie had a plan to make the running today, but I told him I didn’t think that was a good idea so he sat out the back, rode her coolly, swept down the outside and she’s clearly the best on the day.
“He’s riding as well as ever, belying his years and it’s a pleasure to be around him for his knowledge and feel. He’s a great race-reader.”
He added: “She’s grown up know which was why I took the hood off.
“We’ll see where we go, she’s a Group Two winner now which is fantastic. If there’s a Group One, even against colts, we’ll look at it otherwise there’s the Lancashire Oaks.
“I wouldn’t be afraid of running her in the King George, she has different owners (to Enable)”
Dettori – riding the 70th Royal Ascot winner of his glittering career – said: “John gave me a lot of confidence as he said she came out of Haydock really well.
“I was further back than I wanted, but they started racing really early and by the time I got to the furlong marker they were all dead. She showed a good turn of foot.
“It’s great to get 70 winner – now I want 71!”
A delighted Andrew Balding said of the runner-up: “He was second in the Canadian International last year, he just needed his first run in the Coronation Cup. It was important to get a run into him before Ascot and that wasn’t a huge surprise as he is a talented horse. There are some good Group-race efforts in his old form.
“I would think an international campaign if we are allowed to is what we would like to do. I’d love to take him to Australia in the autumn. That would be our primary aim and we will work back from that if it is possible.”
Roger Varian said of Defoe: “He ran a good race. They got racing quite a long way out, but he stayed on all the way to the line. I thought he bounced back today. He had quite a hard race behind Ghaiyyath not long ago. There are no complaints or excuses today. It was a solid line-up and he ran a good race.
“I’m not sure if we will come back for the King George as he is probably a bit shy of a King George. We will have to see what is running in it. We will keep all options open.”