Lady Bowthorpe came out on top in a thrilling three-way finish to the Betfair Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday.
The William Jarvis-trained five-year-old edged out Queen Power and Lavender’s Blue to claim the Group 2 prize.
Freyja set a steady pace in the early stages – with Lady Bowthorpe, who got warm in the preliminaries, towards the rear under a patient ride from Kieran Shoemark.
He brought the daughter of Nathaniel to challenge on the far side of the course, and the 6/1 shot got the verdict by a head from 2/1 favourite Queen Power in a exciting conclusion to the nine-furlong contest.
Lavender’s Blue, who held every chance, was just behind in third.
Jarvis said: “She was fantastic when she won her Group 3 at Ascot last summer, and maybe things didn’t go quite right when she ran at Sandown next time with a penalty.
“She then ran in the Sun Chariot, which was maybe a step too far for her on very heavy ground.
“Literally in the last week she has really come to hand, and I was desperate to run her today. We were concerned about the ground, and I walked the course a couple of times. I felt it was safe racing ground and let her take her chance.
“She’s a very special filly, and I think she will hopefully continue to improve as the year goes on.
“She does take a bit of managing, but these tricky women sometimes give you the most pleasure!”
On future plans, he added: “She’s in the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot. I didn’t put her in the Queen Anne, because if we can keep her to her own sex it’s to her favour.
“We’ll have a talk about the Lockinge. I think we’ll probably give it a swerve – but if Palace Pier was to miss out, we might let her take her chance.
“It’s a big thrill to win today. We don’t have a lot of horses in our stable – so when you’ve got a good one, you’ve got to make the most of them.
“Any winner is great, but I was born and bred in Newmarket and have lived here all my life, so it’s great.”
Shoemark, riding his first two Group 2 winner, said: “She’s a very talented filly, and I’m sure she’ll come on for today.
“She’s got away with the ground today, but will be a better filly on easier ground.
“She was a little bit delicate mentally as a three-year-old, but she’s maturing with each run – I believe there’s a Group 1 in her.
“This is my first Group 2 winner, and I couldn’t have ridden it for a nicer guy than William Jarvis, who is so passionate about his racing. It’s just as good for him as it is for me to have a winner on a big stage.”
Mystery Angel made her race fitness count as she took the Listed spoils in the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes.
The daughter of Kodi Bear, having her fourth race of the year, defeated several highly-regarded rivals to enhance her own reputation.
Owned by the Nick Bradley Racing syndicate – who afforded her the loudest cheer of the weekend – she also put her rookie trainer George Boughey in the spotlight, giving the Newmarket-based handler the biggest success of his career to date.
Ridden by Ben Curtis, who was completing a double after winning the previous race with Zabeel Champion, Mystery Angel was always in the front rank.
Forever Grateful led in the early stages until Mystery Angel (13/2) set sail for home some way out.
Sea Karats was the only threat, but she was always playing second fiddle and went down by a length and three quarters.
The first two pulled three and a quarter lengths clear of Taslima in third, while A’Shaari, the 6/4 favourite, was the disappointing horse in the race, finishing fifth.
Bradley said: “I’m a bit lost for words, to be honest.
“When she ran here at the backend of last year she did that (won well) and then we kind of got it wrong.
“Today was on better ground and it was great to see her do that in front of all the owners here on such a big day as we’ve always felt she was a top-class filly.
“You’re only allowed six owners here, but there’s 20-odd owners in this horse.
“I bought her at the breeze-ups here for 22,000gns and drove the horsebox home with her in it. By the time I got home, I only owned 4% of her!
“She’ll probably go for the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, or perhaps the Musidora at York. We’ll have a think.
“She isn’t in the Oaks. We thought 10 furlongs would be her maximum trip as she’s by a sprinter, but we might be wrong.”
Boughey said: “It was a shame not to win in France six weeks ago, but she’s a very tough filly who obviously loves it here at Newmarket.
“I actually worked her on the Summer Gallop about a week ago on what was very fast ground and she worked very well.
“She’s an improving filly who handled the soft and heavy ground last year, but her work had suggested she was actually going to be better on faster ground.
“She’s a filly with a pretty upward profile now. She’s in the Prix Saint-Alary, which she could go for, but the Musidora is another option.
“She’s not in the Oaks, but she’s putting a bit of prize-money in the pot now and it might be something we consider (supplementing). There’s a few nice decisions to make.
“She’s not bred to stay a mile, let alone a mile and a quarter. But the way she won there – galloping through the line – I certainly wouldn’t be against trying her over a mile and a half.”