Class Is Class lived up to his name as he turned Haydock’s Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes into a procession under Kieren Fallon.
Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old had looked every inch a Group-race winner in waiting when recording an impressive victory in a Sandown Listed race on his penultimate start, but he then failed to match the likes of multiple Group One winner Twice Over when fourth in the Sky Bet York Stakes.
He was still far from disgraced, only going down by a couple of lengths, and on paper this Merseyside Group Three looked an easier assignment.
Fallon settled the 3-1 joint-favourite just behind early pacesetter Critical Moment before allowing his mount to run to the lead rounding the turn for home and he soon pulled right away from his rivals, scoring by three and a half lengths from Elusive Pimpernel.
Fallon said: “I kicked him on a long way out as I knew they didn’t go very quick and he has done it very well.
“This was really only a confidence booster for him and he was impressive. I knew he would stay and that will have done his confidence a lot of good.
“I think he got upset before the race at York last time but he was calm today and made my job easy.”
Fallon went on to complete a double on 4-1 favourite Kings ’N Dreams in the Duke Of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry Handicap, in which Eddie Ahern was given a two-day suspension (August 21 and 22) for careless riding on the third placed Downhill Skier.
Stoute was widely expected to complete a big-race double in the EBF ’Kayf Tara’ Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes but his Heavenly Dawn had to make do with minor honours behind 11-1 chance Crystal Gal.
The Lucy Wadham-trained winner was settled in the centre of the pack by Dane O’Neill and although she looked to be struggling at the two-furlong marker, she finished off her race really well to score by a head, with Off Chance finishing strongly to pip Heavenly Dawn for second.
Wadham said: “That was very, very pleasing. She has not been a lucky filly this season and I thought everything was going wrong again when she got squeezed out.
“She stayed on really well and the slow ground helped her.
“To win a Listed race was the plan, and I suppose we might have to look and see if there is a Group Three race somewhere.
“She may be covered by Sir Percy (2006 Derby winner) in the spring.”
Heavenly Dawn’s rider William Buick was found guilty of careless riding and handed a three-day suspension (August 20, 21 and 22), meaning he will miss the Betfred Ebor at York.
The application of a visor for the first time seemed to do the trick for the John Gosden-trained Dhaamer (9-1) as he ran away with what looked a competitive Watch Races Live At racinguk.com Handicap by four lengths.
Winning jockey Tadgh O’Shea said: “He’s been running a bit lazily so Mr Gosden but the headgear on him and that made my job a lot easier.
“I hope that has rekindled him and I think he could win again now. This looks his optimum trip.”
O’Shea went on to record a second winner on the Stoute-trained Markazzi (100-30 favourite) in the closing TurfTV.co.uk Handicap.
Nigel Tinkler’s 16-1 chance Rent Free got the better of a couple of smart juveniles when running out a surprising winner of the rewards4racing.com Nursery.
Tinkler said: “The key to this horse is that he appreciates a bit of cut in the ground.
“He’s not a superstar but he’s a lovely little horse to train. I don’t know what we’ll do now, we’ll see how the handicapper treats him.”
Strike Up The Band (10-1) may not be the force of old but he secured his first victory in almost three years in the division one of the Watch Racing UK On Sky432 Handicap.
Delighted winning trainer David Nicholls said: “They keep saying to me why don’t I retire him? If I retire him they might as well retire me as well!
“He’s got so much speed and although they all came at him today, Adrian (Nicholls, jockey) kept a bit of air in the tank and they couldn’t get to him.”
Division two went to the Rae Guest-trained Mirza (9-2).