James Doyle made the most of his last Saturday in action before having to miss the next two weekends through suspension with a big-race double on Ballet Concerto and Rare Rhythm at York.
Doyle, who is sidelined from July 22-31 under the totting-up procedure and also has five days deferred, put the thought of his enforced holiday to the back of his mind.
“It’s tough, but I’ll probably go away, not quite sure where,” he said.
His win on Ballet Concerto (8-1) in the 58th John Smith’s Cup was particularly pleasing as it was one of the few occasions he has teamed up with Sir Michael Stoute since parting ways with owner Khalid Abdullah.
Doyle had Ballet Concerto perfectly placed to make his bid and the four-year-old, tackling a mile and a quarter for only the second time, hit the front 50 yards out to beat Big Country by three-quarters of a length.
Rare Rhythm (9-4) followed up his Royal Ascot success that came after being off the track for a year with a resounding performance in the John Smith’s Silver Cup.
Godolphin’s five-year-old took the step up from the mile and a half of his win there up to a mile and a five in his stride as he saw off Barsanti by two and three-quarter lengths.
Mark Johnston, meanwhile, will explore all options for Permian after he suffered the narrowest of defeats in the Grand Prix de Paris on Friday night.
Only third in a Bath handicap on his seasonal debut in April, Permian was having his seventh start of the year and was bidding to open his account at the top level after chalking up Group Two wins in the Dante Stakes and the King Edward VII Stakes. William Buick’s mount disputed matters through the early strides with Falcon Wings, but soon went on and was still answering every call deep inside the final furlong as Christophe Soumillon and Shakeel threw everything at him.
As they flashed past the post, it looked like Johnston’s charge might just have held on, but the verdict of the photo-finish told another story.
Johnston said: “I looked at the photo many times and it was clear-cut that the other horse won, but his ears are in front of the other one and William Buick’s chest and head is in front of Soumillon’s.
“William Buick has said he has never been so confident he has won a race, then got it wrong. He was convinced that he had got it. Our horse had his head flat and the other one has just stuck his neck out in front.
“He has been left in the King George, the Juddmonte and he is in the Secretariat Stakes (Arlington Park, America, August 12). We will look at them all and make a decision near the time.
“The Secretariat was pointed out to me and it does look a very interesting race.”
Harry Angel reversed Royal Ascot form with the previously-unbeaten Caravaggio to claim top honours in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
Aidan O’Brien’s Caravaggio secured his sixth victory from as many starts in last month’s Commonwealth Cup, consigning the Clive Cox-trained Harry Angel to the runner-up spot.
However, Cox and jockey Adam Kirby seemed quietly confident it could be a different story on the July Course and their faith was justified as 9-2 chance Harry Angel scorched clear for a one-and-a-quarter-length success over last year’s winner Limato.
Cox said: “He’s always been a special horse. It’s just taken kid gloves to get him going, but we always hoped he’d be Group One material and he is. Coming here today I was very confident in his whole demeanour. This is what it’s all about.”