Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)
IT was worth trying a horse of his ability in the 2000 Guineas, but Richard Fahey’s Perfect Power was a five-furong winner at this meeting last year, and showed he is a sprinter through and through with a controlled performance to win the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup under a cool Christophe Soumillon.
A non-staying seventh at Newmarket, 7/2 joint-favourite Perfect Power was returned to his ideal trip and drew stall 1 in a big field. That saw him racing away from the pace set up the centre by Flotus (Simon and Ed Crisford/Silvestre de Sousa) and Flaming Rib (Hugo Palmer/James Doyle).
When Soumillon asked him to pick up, he did so instantly, drifting a bit to his left towards the main pack, but in the clear throughout, and hitting the line one and a quarter lengths ahead of Flaming Rib, himself shading Flotus by half a length.
Aidan O’Brien’s Cadamosto was a similar distance back in fourth, an improved effort in first-time blinkers.
Soumillon, riding his third Royal Ascot winner, was of the opinion that Perfect Power won despite the ground, and expects him to be better still on a softer surface, and suggested Deauville’s Prix Maurice du Gheest would be the ideal race for him.
That race also featured in Richard Fahey’s thinking, along with the July Cup, although it was interesting that both thought a return to seven furlongs would be an option, no doubt with the Prix de la Foret on Arc weekend the race which prompted such a thought.
Connections of Flaming Rib thought their colt was unlucky in that he beat what he raced with and did not see the winner until too late, but Perfect Power was not so well positioned as the placed horses, and it’s hard to imagine he isn’t the best of these.
For all that, the runner-up battled well, while Flotus was clearly back to the form which saw her finish a good second in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in the autumn.