Mohaather emerged as a genuine Qipco 2000 Guineas contender with a clear-cut success in the Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
Successful in the Horris Hill Stakes on his final start at two, he was sent off a 9-2 chance in the absence of Classic favourite Too Darn Hot, who had been expected to make his reappearance.
The result was never in much doubt as Jim Crowley sat motionless on the outside of the field on the Sheikh Hamdan-owned colt before taking up the running from Boitron.
Briefly, Urban Icon looked like he might be able to get on terms – but Mohaather pulled out more, and it was Great Scot who ran on into second for Tom Dascombe.
For winning trainer Marcus Tregoning, the Derby success of Sir Percy in 2006 will seem an awful long time ago – but he will head to the first Classic of the season this year with a viable contender.
Tregoning said: “That’s job done. I’m very pleased and he has been working great – you never know at this time of year when the weather is so changeable, but he looked brilliant. He is very fit and has done plenty of work.
“I think he did his first bit of work on January 29, so we have kept him going. I did that in case we had to have a stop of some sort and we’ve had no stops really, we’ve had a nice, clear run.
“Hopefully he can progress and I’m sure he will, as he has got a good temperament. We could have a bit more cover if we wanted to, but he wasn’t free or anything and that’s what I like about him, he settles so well.
“I’m not saying he won’t go on fast ground, as he has got a beautiful action. Jim said he will probably go on any ground, but he has got speed and Showcasing (sire) has had a wonderful start.
“He has got plenty of pace, personally I think he will get the mile on faster ground, but they go a different pace and there are many more runners in the Guineas and it is a different test.
“It will be entirely up to the management where he goes, but I’m thrilled we have got this far.”
Andrew Balding hinted at an outing in next month’s Dante at York for Raise You, after he completed a double for the Kingsclere handler with an impressive six-length victory under Oisin Murphy in division one of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes.
Balding said of the 10-11 winner: “The form of his maiden got franked when King Ottokar won on Friday.
“He does quite a lot of work on his own as he can be a little bit keen.
“Oisin liked him. We made an entry in the Dante not so long ago. I don’t see why we wouldn’t go.”
Fox Chairman (15-8) got the ball rolling for Balding when making a big impression on his debut, quickening clear late on to take division one of the mile prize by four lengths.
Balding added: “He was just quite backward last year. I could not be more happier with the way he has done it. We have not got any really fancy entries. He might stay a bit further.”
Takingrisks caused a 25-1 surprise in the Coral Scottish Grand National for trainer Nicky Richards and jockey Sean Quinlan at Ayr.
Richards, whose father Gordon won the race twice, way back in 1969 with Playlord and again in 1990 with Four Trix, has enjoyed a resurgent couple of seasons.
Having struggled to replace stable star Monet’s Garden, the likes of Simply Ned, Guitar Pete and Baywing have all won big prizes recently for the Greystoke handler.
Richards in fact ran two, with Grimthorpe winner Chidswell going off a shorter price, but with half a mile to run Takingrisks could be spotted going noticeably well.
When the favourite Vintage Clouds dropped away, it was Takingrisks and Eider Chase winner Crosspark fighting it out, with Quinlan’s mount coming four lengths clear.
Crosspark just held off Cloth Cap and Blue Flight, who took minor honours.
A jubilant Richards, referencing his father, said: “He won it twice, and I’ve followed up so it’s great.
“You need a good-ground horse who stays – and luck, he nearly came off him at the first.
“He’s been a grand one, very consistent, and I think the improvement is down to the cheekpieces.
“This was always going to be his race if he had a big one in him.
“I just need to find another now to match father.”