Permian lands King Edward VII
Permian bounced back from his disappointing run in the Investec Derby to claim the King Edward VII Stakes.
Mark Johnston's colt was supplemented for the premier Classic at Epsom following victory in the Dante Stakes at York, but finished a well-beaten 10th.
Returning to action less than three weeks later, the son of Teofilo raced on the front end throughout under William Buick and kicked for home rounding the final bend.
Crystal Ocean, the 9-4 favourite, threw down a strong-looking challenge, but Permian (6-1) fought him off.
Khalidi came from further back to mount a late bid, but Johnston's charge was not for catching and held on by half a length. Khalidi was a clear second ahead of Crystal Ocean in third.
Buick said: "Mark gave me a lot of confidence in the sense that he just wanted his horse to go forward and get across without asking him too much.
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"I know Mark and the team were surprised how badly he ran in the Derby, but I couldn't help as I had no explanation really, he certainly felt like a much better horse today. It was a good performance."
Johnston, registering his 40th Royal Ascot winner, said: "It's a bit of a relief to get on the scoresheet after a blank last year, our first since 1994, and I was dreading the idea of another blank so it's great.
"It's great for the horse after the disappointment in the Derby, a lot of people said it was too soon to come back so I had a lot of agonising and it was only a last-minute decision.
"William said he felt like a horse who didn't handle the track (at Epsom) which was strange as he'd run well there before, but he just felt today he felt a different horse so I think he had an off-day in the Derby – it happens.
"I'll have a think about where next, he's won two Group Twos so we need a Group One, it won't be the Irish Derby though, I can tell you that, that is too soon."
John Gosden said of the runner-up: "There was no pace and he was a little keen, he just had to wait to get where he wanted to go and the winner just got first run.
"He's run a blinder and I'm thrilled with him. He's had a lot of racing, as had the winner, and they've both run exceptional races. We'll just see where we are for a little bit, he's not the biggest but he's a tough cookie."
Sir Michael Stoute said of Crystal Ocean: "That was a good run and he is consistent. He will progress as he's a horse with a lot of scope. A mile and a half is fine for him. He's had three races behind him now so there's no excuses at all. The Dante is looking like good form."
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