Ryan Moore secured his second big prize in five days for Michael Stoute as he guided Papal Bull to victory in the Princess Of Wales’s WBX.COM Stakes at Newmarket.
The 23-year-old is enjoying an ever-increasing successful partnership with the master of Freemason Lodge and in the wake of Notnowcato’s Coral-Eclipse triumph, they bagged another big prize.
Papal Bull disappointed at Sandown most recently and looked to be going nowhere fast at the July meeting when losing his position over six furlongs out.
Moore spurred his mount on though, and the 11-1 chance responded in his wayward manner, surging forward while holding his head to one side and swerving left inside the distance.
The four-year-old kept on well despite wandering once in the lead to collect by two and a half lengths from Laverock and the front-running Shahin, who dead-heated for second place.
Moore said: “They went pretty quick and I was never travelling that well but once I started passing horses, he started to pick up.
“From halfway he started enjoying it; he started to take me beautifully into the race and I got there a bit sooner than I wanted really. He thought he’d done enough and started to hang.
“He’s a very high-class horse and when things fall his way, he is up there with the best of them.
“Things haven’t really dropped right for him recently but the mile and a half on fast ground suited him.
“He is quirky but he does have ability and he is up to Group One level if everything goes his way.”
Stoute added: “He is a very consistent horse and we were satisfied with his initial race at Newmarket but at Sandown at didn’t jump well and he was sore behind when he came back.
“He has been working very well and had form as good as any three-year-old. Sandown had us a bit baffled but we were pleased to see he wasn’t quite right afterwards.
“We wanted to see what happened here and then make a plan as Coolmore have a lot of older middle-distance horses such as Scorpion, Dylan Thomas and we have Mountain High, so I’ll have to have a chat with the owners.”
Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford was pleased to see Laverock back on form after a couple of disappointing efforts earlier in the year.
He said: “It’s taken a while to get him back since the Dubai Carnival but he has run a really honest race. We have no plans for the future.”
Tregoning was similarly satisfied, adding: “The visor helped a lot. He’s run much better but the winner stayed on really well.”
Vodafone Derby fourth Lucarno filled the same position again with disappointment of the race undoubtedly last year’s Ladbrokes St Leger winner Sixties Icon.
The 7-4 favourite failed to fire for the second consecutive time, and trainer Jeremy Noseda said: “He was disappointing again and I can’t work out the reason why.”