Jack Hobbs looked superb in going one better in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.
Second to his John Gosden-trained stablemate Golden Horn in the Investec Derby at Epsom, he faced the third and fourth from there along with the winner of the Oaks, Qualify, and the French Derby runner-up in Highland Reel.
His rider William Buick looked ultra confident throughout and Jack Hobbs stormed clear to beat Storm The Stars by five lengths, confirming Epsom form in style.
Gosden, winning the race for the first time, said: “He did it in good style. He got a nice split at the head of the straight and then William waited with him, which was right. You don’t want to start pushing too soon. This old track takes some getting, but I love the way he finished his race out.
“We’ll put him away now and go for the Prix Niel and then on to the Arc. We’ll just try to have two more runs this year, he needs a holiday now, this boy. He’s big, rangy and quite light-framed and he just needs to fill out.”
While it was a break in tradition for Aidan O’Brien not to win the feature, he did cause a minor upset in the Railway Stakes with Painted Cliffs under Ryan Moore.
“Ryan said he’s a very nice horse. He likes him. Maybe we could leave the blinkers off him in future,” said O’Brien after the 7-1 strike.
RaceBets and Paddy Power make Painted Cliffs a 25-1 shot for next year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
For some it was an emotional day at Newcastle as the Northumberland Plate was run on turf for the final time before it is replaced during an £11million all-weather investment, but the win of Quest For More (15-2) had trainer Roger Charlton scratching his head.
Heading into this season he felt the five-year-old was thoroughly exposed, and when he went up a stone for two good runs earlier in the campaign he reckoned the handicapper had been grossly unfair – but his days in these races are now over.
It will be Pattern company next for Quest For More, who has taken his form to a whole new level.
George Baker was on board, and despite being an infrequent visitor to Gosforth Park he also landed the other feature race of the day, the Group Three Chipchase Stakes on Aeolus.
Aeolus was the highlight of a red-letter day for trainer Ed Walker, who had an across-the-card four-timer.
Tim Easterby’s Mattmu was second with favourite Danzeno third after once again showing wayward tendencies.
Just 35 minutes after winning the Group Three Chipchase, Walker also claimed the Betfred “Six Best Odds Races Daily” Handicap with Bushcraft.
Zarwaan (7-2), a late defector from the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, came from last to first to win the Betfred Membership “Play Your Way” Handicap.
The Barry Hills-trained Markaz won Newmarket’s feature, the Criterion Stakes, with Dane O’Neill on board, while Sir Michael Stoute’s Gospel Choir just held on in the Fred Archer Stakes from Qatar raider Dubday to defy a lengthy absence.
James Doyle was the star at Windsor, riding a 76 four-timer, including Huntsmans Close for Charlton, who is now bound for the Stewards’ Cup.
Worth a special mention, too, is the Stoute-trained Platitude, who looked well above average in winning his maiden at Doncaster.
Yesterday was really all about Treve as she took another giant step forward in her bid to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for an unprecedented third time as she dispensed of old adversary Flintshire in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the Paris track.
In a repeat of last season’s Arc, Criquette Head-Maarek’s brilliant mare had the Andre Fabre-trained entire back in second place as she recorded her fifth Group One success.