Al Shaqab Racing sponsored the Lockinge Stakes for the first time on Saturday and were rewarded with a bumper entry with 16 runners going to post.
Night of Thunder was the star on show, having won last seasons 2000 Guineas and finished runner up in the QEII Stakes on Champions Day and he was in need of showing that he was a genuine Group 1 horse.
Now running in the colours of Godolphin this was a workmanlike performance without being spectacular as it seemed fitness became the issue in the closing stages, but his undoubted class got him through and he held of his stablemate Toormore under new jockey James Doyle.
However there was one genuine top class performer on the card and that was Ryan Moore. Taking the first four races on the card before adding a fifth with Crystal Zvezda who booked herself a place at Epsom with a stunning last to first performance in the Fillies Listed constest.
The card started with the Olympic Glory Conditions Stakes over 6f 8yds, a race they were calling a mini Coventry and the winner Birchwood will surely be heading there. He is a big horse who is only going to get better in time, but he produced a telling turn of foot in the closing stages to hold off Beaverbrook and the arguably unlucky Al Shaqab runner Eltezam, who was very tight for room in the closing stages.
The second and possibly easiest of the Moore winners was the extremely talented Telescope. This always looked a penalty kick for the Sir Michael Stoute representative and so it proved. He was keen enough early but it was only becasue they didn't seem to be going fast enough for him, and Ryan Moore seemed at pains to hold onto him. But with just under three furlongs to run Ryan gave him his head and using that big long stride of his he powered clear in the manner of the top class performer he is.
Running on from the back Dubday put in a solid effort, but under level weights conditions for this Listed race he proved no match for the winner who will now be heading for Royal Ascot where he will attempt to repeat last seasons scintillating win in the Hardwicke Stakes.
Michael Stoute told the Racing Post "That was very smooth and very impressive. We'll go to the Hardwicke Stakes next, then plan the second half. He's a great traveller and has lot's of options."
"He's honest and consistent, and is a bit stronger from four to five, I'd of been disappointed if he couldn't have won"
Adaay was next to power home under the former champion paying a healthy compliment to Limato in the process who had simply brushed him aside at Ascot last time out. This was a no nonsense success and he is clearly a talented individual himself.
On the day formely sponsored by Juddmonte Roger Charlton unleashed another smart prospect for them in the London Gold Cup. Time Test had looked a solid performer as a 2yo making a satisfactory debut at Newbury before two outings at Sandown yielded a win and a place to conclude his juvenile season.
Ridden by Ryan Moore on this occasion he was well drawn in stall three but his pilot was content to settle him out the back of the field and give him plenty of time to build into his race.
As the field entered the straight he was still towards the rear of the field and Ryan decided to take the brave mans root through runners to make his challenge. The gaps came and Time Test took them readily even when the final one seemed to be closing on him he had enough gears to take it before lengthening away to the line to record a success which marked him out as a pattern race performer of the future.