Khalidi claimes Cocked Hat glory
John Gosden had more than one good reason to be satisfied with the victory of Khalidi after he stayed on strongly to take the EBF Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood.
While the win enhanced Khalidi's chances of an outing at Royal Ascot, it also bolstered the form of his Derby-bound stablemate Cracksman, having finished well behind subsequent Dante winner Permian – who was beaten by Cracksman in the Derby Trial at Epsom – at Newmarket.
Striding on past his front-running stablemate Monarchs Glen over a furlong out, the 100-30 shot galloped on resolutely under Frankie Dettori to take the Listed contest by five lengths in a new course-record time of two minutes, 22.77 seconds.
Dettori said: "We don't have many races over the one-mile-three, so with fast ground, the wind behind and a decent pace, I'm not surprised it's a course record.
"It is good it all ties up with the Dante winner and the form was solid. I think he had a day off last time and maybe the winner is quite talented. I was never travelling that day, but today he came good and he finished strong.
"The obvious plan would be the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot."
Plans for Queen Of Time could be revised to include a trip to the Royal meeting after the three-year-old formed the middle leg of a treble for trainer Henry Candy in the Brenda Hamilton Fillies' Handicap.
Candy said of the 11-2 winner: "She improved a hell of a lot from last time and I think she will improve again, as she was very heavily in season today. She put up a very game performance and could even get a little bit further, she stayed on well.
"I would probably be persuaded by the owners to go to Ascot and if they want to do that I wouldn't object."
Glorious Goodwood may be more than two months away but connections of the Noble Peace (6-1) have got their sights set on an outing at the meeting after the four-year-old got the better of a head-bobbing finish to take the Cala Homes Handicap and initiate Candy's haul.
Syndicate manager Alex Frost said: "He settled today and that made a huge difference, they didn't go much of a pace but it was just enough to give him a lead.
"He is really suited to these turning tracks and he he just dug in and was so brave. We are thinking about one of the good handicaps at Glorious Goodwood, as this has been a very lucky track for us."
Rebecca Rocks (3-1) completed Candy's haul when securing the first win of her career with a front-running success in the concluding Veolia Handicap over the minimum trip.
Candy said: "It's been a wonderful day, especially after we struggled all last season for winners. She is very fast and always had it under control.
"She was very quick away and Pat (Cosgrave) gave her a breather at halfway. When he got serious she found a bit. Looking at Pat's body language I thought he had plenty in reserve."
Ralph Beckett will continue to take small steps with Melodic Motion (11-8) after she justified strong support when appearing to relish the step up to a mile and a half for the first time with a neck success in the EBF "Breeders Series" Fillies' Handicap
He said: "She did well and I will map out a programme for her. There is nothing for her at Ascot. I might take her to Salisbury the week after Ascot for the Bibury Cup.
"She will like it coming down the track there as she looked liked she handled that well so we might think about that.
"She has come a long way. I was on the back foot at the back-end with her last year, but so were a lot of people with Nathaniel's."
The Ian Williams-trained Boy In The Bar (6-1) landed the Southern Cranes Handicap, while the opening Matchbook Betting Exchange Novice Auction Stakes went the way of May Remain (2-1) from the yard of Paul Cole.
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