GIVEN he looked so effective over six furlongs as a juvenile, there were obvious concerns as to how Perfect Power (Christophe Soumillon) would cope with the longer trip of the Group 3 Greenham Stakes.
However, he gave Richard Fahey hope that he would cope with the demands of the Rowley Mile when staying on well to repel the challenge of Lusail (Richard Hannon/Pat Dobbs) and Angel Bleu (Ralph Beckett/Frankie Dettori) in a race which provided no hiding place for potential short runners.
The winner usurped Angel Bleu as favourite before the off, being sent off at 6/4, against the proven miler.
Dettori on Angel Bleu set out to make it a test of stamina, leading until challenged by the winner at the furlong pole, with the Middle Park winner showing the more decisive turn of foot before staying on well.
Angel Bleu stuck to his task as expected, and was just deprived of second on the line, a length and a half and a nose separating the principals.
Richard Fahey later confirmed that Perfect Power had come out of the race in good order, and that the Guineas at Newmarket was the definite plan, with the manner in which the son of Ardad hit the line giving hope that he will stay the mile, for all his pedigree says different.
Speaking to the Sporting Life’s Dave Ord on Tuesday, Fahey said: “He’s come out of Newbury remarkably well. He had a light canter this morning and just in himself he’s bouncing. He’s tightened up. I did feel there was improvement in him going into the Greenham.
“The last thing I wanted to do was have him 100%. It was a trial and I used it as a trial to see if there was a possibility of having a crack at the Guineas.
“It put him spot on for the Guineas. We can keep him ticking over and one blow-out and we’re there. I’ve spoken to
“He wasn’t stopping in the Greenham; he galloped all the way through the line and took some pulling up. I think he’ll be a better horse on Guineas day.
ONLY four of the runners in Saturday’s Fred Darling Stakes are entered at Newmarket for the 1000 Guineas, and the form looks potentially muddling, with the first five home separated by less than two lengths.
However, the right fillies came to the fore in the Group 3 contest. Grade 1 Natalma Stakes winner Wild Beauty (Charlie Appleby/Will Buick) belatedly showed herself a pattern performer on home soil too. She got the better of market rival Jumbly (Harry & Roger Charlton/Kieran Shoemark), finding more than the runner-up to prevail by half a length.
Wild Beauty, a 3/1 chance, had comfortably beaten subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner Pizza Bianca in the Natalma at Woodbine last term, but three tries in blacktype company in Europe saw three defeats.
She didn’t need to match her Canadian form to win this contest, but it was a case of mission accomplished, and while she doesn’t appeal especially as a Guineas winner on this form, her ability to show her best form when travelling means she should pick up good prizes this year.
Jumbly may just have needed the run. She was looking to be the likeliest winner inside the final furlong having raced with enthusiasm. Despite having been bred to stay a mile and beyond, she was unable to sustain her run late in the race. She lacks physical scope, but has clearly trained on.
The winner is entered in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, as well as the French and Irish versions, and Buick believes that a return to a mile will see her progress again, and the suggestion was that the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches might be connections’ preferred option for her at this stage.
“She did it really nicely,” Buick said in his post-race interview, “she wanted a mile last year and she went through the gears nicely from just over three out. A mile next time out will suit her down to the ground.
“She will have to go for one of the Guineas, but I honestly don’t know which one. The French Guineas was touted beforehand, but we’ll leave that up to Charlie and the team.”