Dreams Of Dreams sealed a fine victory in the Group One Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock Park.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained six-year-old – sent off the 5-2 favourite – landed the feature on Merseyside, grabbing a well deserved first victory at the top level.
Dream Of Dreams had twice been runner-up in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. And having landed victory in a seven-furlong Group Two at Newbury last time, he scored again in the Sprint Cup.
And having grabbed victory in a seven-furlong Group Two at Newbury last time, he scored again, this time at the top level in the Sprint Cup.
It was Stoute’s third victory in the Haydock showpiece 33 years since his last win.
Under jockey Oisin Murphy the 5-2 favourite travelled well at the head of the nearside group and came through to head Golden Horde on the far side.
Despite drifting across the track Dream Of Dreams stayed on well to land victory by a length and a quarter from Glen Shiel (25-1), ridden by Hollie Doyle who was having her first ride in a British Group.
Clive Cox’s Commonwealth Cup hero Golden Horde (13-2) was a neck further back in third.
Philip Robinson, representing winning owner Saeed Suhail, said: “He’s just all of a sudden improved. The gelding operation has helped, without a shadow of a doubt. His mind is in the job.
“He’s a different horse now and I think Sir Michael’s big trick with him is to keep him fresh and he’s giving him plenty of time between races. He’s thriving. He’s discovering how easy it is, now he’s got his confidence. Onwards and upwards.”
Robinson added: “Champions Day (Qipco British Champions Sprint) is very possible.
“I think that will probably be his next target.”
Top Rank (11-2) bounced back from defeat at York to take the Group Three Betfair Superior Mile at Haydock.
The Tom Tate-trained four-year-old showed a fine turn of foot under PJ McDonald to score by a length and a half from My Oberon (11-2). The 6-4 favourite Khaloosy disappointed and was another length and a half away in third place.
Tate said: “We’ve always hoped he’d be a good horse. We were absolutely devastated when he got beat the last day, but I suppose, in hindsight, that was part of his physical and mental education.
“I was there at York and you could tell after the race he was thinking ‘oh right, there is something else I can do’.
“I don’t thing he wants fast ground, but anything from good or softer.”
The Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day next month could be on the agenda.
Tate added: “Group Two is the obvious stepping-stone, the Group One is the dream move. He’s entered anyway.
“I thought it looked like he stayed well today. A mile at Ascot would be fine, soft ground would be fine.
“It just depends if it’s a step too soon for him now. If not this year, we’ll certainly look forward to next year. He’ll be a lovely five-year-old. He’s five from six now.”
Jim Goldie is dreaming of next year’s Melbourne Cup for Euchen Glen after the seven-year-old won the Betfair Exchange Old Borough Cup Handicap.
It was Euchen Glen’s first win since July 2018 and the 14-1 chance scored by a length and a quarter under Paul Mulrennan. Dark Jedi (22-1) was second with Diocletian (18-1) a further length and a quarter away in third with Rhythmic Intent (11-2) fourth.
Euchen Glen had been off the track for almost two years with a tendon injury and only returned at Doncaster in June.
Scottish trainer Goldie said: “He ran a blinder in the Ebor (when fifth) and the handicapper was generous enough to drop us a pound which was quite handy.
“The race set up quite well. There was plenty of pace and Paul decided to drop in and wait. It was a brilliant ride by Paul.
“He gets on well with him. It was unfortunate he missed his John Smith’s Cup win (in 2018) because he got injured the week before. Both have come back from injury. It’s great to see the horse back as good as ever. He’s as good as you get.
“He might be a Melbourne cup horse next year if we can keep him sound.”
Goldie added: “He’ll get a hike for that. He’s heading for the Doonside Cup at Ayr in a fortnight. Whether I can get the owners to supplement him for Ascot (on Champions Day), I don’t know, but Stradivarius is in that.”
Favorite Moon (9-4) won the Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap under Andrea Atzeni.
The William Haggas-trained gelding had disappointed when favourite for the Melrose Handicap at York, but showed his true colours to score by eight and a half lengths from stablemate Midrarr.
“He settled well and did it really nicely. He loves that ground, I think it’s quite important to him. He’s going the right way,” said Maureen Haggas, assistant to her husband.