Mostahdaf made the most of having his sights lowered when getting back on the winning trail in the Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes at Sandown.
Having made it three wins from as many starts in the Heron Stakes over the same course and distance in May, the son of Frankel was stepped up to Group One level for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot – where he beat only one rival home.
Dropping back down to Listed class for his latest assignment, John and Thady Gosden’s charge was the 7-4 favourite in the hands of Jim Crowley and ultimately got the job done in good style.
The keen-going Rhoscolyn was in there pitching as things started to hot up inside the final two furlongs, with Mostahdaf travelling strongly and the popular Sir Busker produced with his challenge between the pair.
It was Escobar who emerged as the biggest threat to Mostahdaf, however – and while the market leader carried his rival across the track when coming under maximum pressure, he was well on top as he passed the post half a length in front.
Thady Gosden said: “We were very pleased with him, because he has had a bit of time off. He hit a couple of ridges up the straight, but he handled the track as they had plenty of rain here yesterday. It was soft enough for him, but his class got him through.
“He is a nice horse for next year definitely, but we will see how he comes out of the race and if we do anything with him for the rest of the season.”
Mostahdaf was completing a double on the card for the Gosden team following the earlier success of 2-1 shot Damaar and Robert Havlin in the Blandford Bloodstock Novice Stakes.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Goldspur earned quotes for next year’s Cazoo Derby at Epsom following his impressive debut success in the Time Test EBF Novice Stakes.
Sent off the 2-1 favourite under James Doyle, the Dubawi colt looks destined for bigger better things – judged on the way he stretched six and a half lengths clear.
“I was pleased with that run,” said Appleby.
“He is a horse that has got plenty of stamina in his pedigree, so he will be a mile-and-a-half horse for next year.
“Going forward we will look at stepping him up to a mile and a quarter and point him at something like the Zetland Stakes.
“I’m very pleased that he is a big margin winner, but soft ground has come into play for him there.”