Yorkshire big race double at Newmarket boosts Classic dreams

RICHARD Fahey described Perfect Power as a “special horse” after securing back-to-back Group One victories when swooping late to strike gold in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

Perfect Power ridden by Christophe Soumillon (9) on their way to winning the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes during Juddmonte Day of the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse.

RICHARD Fahey described Perfect Power as a “special horse” after securing back-to-back Group One victories when swooping late to strike gold in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

The triumph was the second-leg of a notable Yorkshire double at Newmarket after Mark Johnson’s Royal Patronage put down an early marker for next year’s Epsom Derby by taking the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes in a dramatic finish.

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Yet nothing could disguise Fahey’s pride after Perfect Power, victorious in the Prix Morny at Deauville, took the six furlong Middle Park under an ice-cool Christophe Soumillon.

Perfect Power ridden by Christophe Soumillon (9) on their way to winning the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes during Juddmonte Day of the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse.

Drawn furthest away from the rail in stall one, the Royal Ascot winner was slotted into midfield by Soumillon before being angled out for a run late on.

Despite being forced to come widest of them all, Perfect Power put on the afterburners when showing a decisive turn off foot to blaze down the outside of the field to prevail by half a length for Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

Fahey, who trains at Malton, said: “I’ve been watching the racing all week here and when I saw we were in stall one I thought somebody down here doesn’t like me. I was very negative in my own mind but he is a special horse as you can see by the way he quickened up there today and he can do that very easily at home.

“It took a special ride and special horse to win today and he quickened up very well. He is a ball of a horse and has had a busy enough time. Going to Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, then Deauville then here it is tough on them but he spends most of his time laid down asleep.”

Jason Hart celebrates on top of Royal Patronage after winning the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes during Juddmonte Day of the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse.

While Perfect Power has been seen to best effect over six furlongs this season Fahey has not ruled trying to stretch his stamina out a bit further in next year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas.

Fahey continued: “To be fair he could now on pedigree (get further). We don’t know much about his sire Ardad as he was fast two-year-old and didn’t train on at three but his dam’s side gives him every chance of staying.

“We will have to have another board meeting now and see what happens.”

Earlier Royal Patronage had rallied in spectacular style to win the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes over a mile to frank his unexpected success in last month’s Acomb Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival. Jockey Jason Hart set out to make all aboard Royal Patronage as he had done on the Knavesmire, bowling along nicely until Coroebus was produced to challenge with a startling turn of foot by William Buick.

Royal Patronage (right) ridden by Jason Hart on their way to winning the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes during Juddmonte Day of the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse.

It appeared to be a matter of just how far the Godolphin runner would win by as he stretched clear, with a handful of lengths in hand passing the furlong marker.

However, Hart switched Royal Patronage from the inside rail to the middle of the track and his Highclere Racing-owned partner found a second wind meeting the rising ground.

And he produced another burst as Coroebus seemed to fade, eventually grabbing back the lead in the final stride.

“He over-raced in the first part of the race and really took off with me. But in hindsight it probably helped me,” said Hart after the dramatic finish. “This is a good horse and people keep underestimating him. When he met the rising ground he found an extra gear.”

And, as for the future, the aforementioned Johnson, who trains at Middleham, said of Royal Patronage: “He looks like a Derby horse. It’s great when you’ve got a horse who you’re thinking might stay a mile and a half, but is showing so much speed early on as well. That’s ideal.”