Hurricane Lane further strengthened Charlie Appleby’s potential Classic hand with a gutsy success at Newbury on Friday.
Appleby has enjoyed a fruitful week with his three-year-old colts, with Highland Avenue and Secret Protector filling the first two places in Tuesday’s Feilden Stakes at Newmarket, before Master Of The Seas and La Barrosa fought out the finish of Thursday’s Craven Stakes at Headquarters.
Hurricane Lane was a winner over a mile on heavy ground on his only juvenile outing and William Buick clearly had no concerns about his stamina ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup British EBF Conditions Stakes.
Sent off at 11-4, the son of Frankel was smartly away and Buick was happy to set the gallop, with favourite Maximal tracking his early move along with outsider Tasman Bay as the other four runners never really got competitive.
Maximal looked likely to forge on at one stage, but the winner found plenty without Buick having to be overly serious on him, edging a length in front at the line, with the Sir Mark Todd-trained Tasman Bay staying on well enough to be beaten two and a quarter lengths in third.
Hurricane Lane is now a general 25-1 chance for the Cazoo Derby at Epsom in June, and Appleby’s assistant, Alex Merriam, said: “Charlie was happy with the colt. He seemed to outstay them and it was only his second run. He’s a big physical specimen and we hope he will keep improving.
“We will take it steady away and see how our mile-and-a-quarter and mile-and-a-half horses run over the next few weeks. But he’s in the Derby.”
Mithras (16-5 favourite) was also shortened up for a possible Classic bid after winning the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Handicap to initiate a double for John and Thady Gosden, plus Frankie Dettori.
He is now a 20-1 shot for the Qipco 2000 Guineas on May 1 after prevailing by a neck over Saint Lawrence.
The Gosden-Dettori brace was completed by Gloria Mundi (4-1) who finished with a flourish to lift the second division of the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing Maiden Fillies’ Stakes in a three-way photo with Hollywood Lady and Sea Karats.
The same team had been denied in the first division when Darlectable You (5-6 favourite) was beaten a neck by Aristia (20-1) for Richard Hannon and Sean Levey.
Elysian Flame forwarded his claims for the Chester Cup with a surprise 25-1 victory in the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap.
The Gosdens’ Almighwar was sent off the 6-4 favourite, but Elysian Flame was incredibly game for trainer Mick Easterby and jockey Nathan Evans, clinging on to victory by a neck.
The winner is a best-priced 14-1 shot for the Roodee feature, while Almighwar is the 10-1 favourite.