Glorious day for Godolphin
Glorious Journey was introduced into the market for next year's Qipco 2000 Guineas after making a winning introduction in division one of the Margaret Giffen Memorial EBF Novice Stakes at Newmarket.
While plenty more bridges need to be crossed between now and next May, the son of Dubawi made an encouraging first step when getting up by a neck to pay back a small slice of the 2,600,000 guineas laid out for him by John Ferguson, as Godolphin dominated at Headquarters.
The Charlie Appleby-trained two-year-old was given a 33-1 quote by Paddy Power for the opening colts' Classic.
Appleby said of the even-money winner: "He showed good signs early on, but then about eight weeks ago he went backwards. We backed off him and over the last four weeks he came back to himself and he put in a good piece of work last week.
"William (Buick) said he did everything right. We have not set any targets. We will let him tell us when he is ready, whether that is for the July Meeting or we wait a bit longer.
"He has got a couple of options there, as there is the July Stakes or the Superlative."
Folk Tale (13-8) put his previous experience to good use to gift Appleby and Buick more success in division two of the six-furlong event when pulling out enough to build on his debut fourth at Goodwood and get home by a neck.
Appleby said: "This horse has come forward from his last run. He has done work with the other fellow (Glorious Journey) so it all stacked up.
"He was still a bit free and he is learning on the job. He needs to learn to settle better if he is going to step up in class."
Appleby and Buick struck again when Culturati defied a 610-day absence to book his Royal Ascot ticket in obliging by a length and a half in the Porsche Centre Cambridge Handicap.
The four-year-old, who had been sidelined with a tendon injury, was trimmed into 14-1 from 25-1 with Paddy Power for the Wokingham.
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Appleby added: "I was pleased with him as a two-year-old and we felt we had a nice horse on our hands as a three-year-old, but unfortunately he met with a setback.
"The vets and the team at home have done a great job. I was confident coming into the race as his work had been good.
"I knew we had him fit as I took him to Chelmsford two weeks ago and he came out of that gallop well. He is a horse that we can hopefully head towards the Wokingham with."
It was a case of 'catch me if you can' in the Animal Health Trust Celebrating 75 Years Handicap, which went the way of the front-running John Gosden-trained Parfait (11-1) by seven lengths in the Godolphin blue.
Stable representative Robert Havlin said: "When he won at Newbury he made all. He likes a bit of space. He has got lots of ability and hopefully that will do his confidence a bit of good."
Mark Johnston could return Jaameh (9-2) back to the all-weather for a tilt at the Northumberland Plate after showing stamina is his forte in the John Sunley Memorial Handicap.
The Middleham handler said: "He has been gelded as he was a bit of a thinker, but I think he is fairly straightforward now.
"It has got to be a possibility. He is in the race so we will look for sure. Jim (Crowley) got off and said he stays forever and that is only two furlongs furlongs further."
Having teamed up to take a Listed contest at the Rowley Mile last month, trainer John Ryan and jockey Gerald Mosse proved a winning combination again as Lady Freyja (6-1) kept alive her slim Royal Ascot hopes with a seven-length success in the Price Bailey Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
Ryan said: "When she ran at Yarmouth I thought this filly improved a lot from last year and I made no secret of it.
"I would love to get her in the Sandringham but I don't think the handicapper will let us go there."
Amlad (4-1) gave weight and a beating to his rivals after benefiting from an enterprising ride from the front by Silvestre de Sousa to take the Animal Health Trust Handicap.
Winning trainer Ed Dunlop said: "He liked the step up to a mile and a half, but he got a great ride from Silvestre.
"There is the King George V at Ascot, but he is probably not high enough in the weights to get in that. He is a big, scopey horse that will improve again."
The Anchor Men syndicate gained compensation for the narrow defeat of Byron Flyer by Jaameh when useful dual-purpose performer Kapstadt ended a run of seconds in the concluding Bet Solutions International PLC Handicap.
Trainer Ian Williams said of his 6-1 winner: "I think the boys deserved that after Byron Flyer. He was a little bit unlucky at Chester. He is so versatile ground- and trip-wise. He was schooling over fences earlier in the week.
"Not many win at Newmarket and have the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen as their target."
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