Amarillo shows the way for Schiergen's raiders
A first visit to Haydock proved to be fruitful for Peter Schiergen as the leading German handler saddled a winner and a runner-up in the two feature events at the Merseyside track.
Schiergen, a former champion jockey in his homeland and a winner of multiple Group One events as a trainer, is best known on these shores for his handling of the brilliant Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and King George-winning mare Danedream.
His latest raiders had clear claims in their respective Group-race assignments and Nymphea fired a warning shot when narrowly held in the BetVictor Royal Ascot Money Back Pinnacle Stakes.
A little over half an hour later, Schiergen and jockey Andrasch Starke were in the number one spot in the Haydock sunshine as 10/1 shot Amarillo claimed a thrilling Timeform Jury Stakes.
Pastoral Player (5/2 fav) had to switch wide for a run and could perhaps be counted a shade unfortunate, as he flashed home and was beaten just a short head by the German runner.
Schiergen said: "I was not sure if we had won, but after just being beaten with Nymphea in the race before, I was hoping we had. The race was good and everything went OK. We came here as there are no races in Germany for him, so we decided to come here.
"Anything from 1,400 to 1,600 metres [seven furlongs to a mile] is fine for him. He had never won a Group race before, but was unlucky in Germany last year and we know he is a Group horse."
Fast-improving filly Moment In Time may have earned a trip across the Atlantic after beating the front-running Nymphea by a head in the Pinnacle Stakes.
Saddled by in-form Newmarket trainer David Simcock, the 8/1 chance was nearer last than first rounding the home turn, but picked up well to get up in the dying strides under Jim Crowley.
Simcock said: "She started the year off 78 and has improved to win a Group Three. She has always been a filly that has worked well. She disappointed me last year, but she's progressed and matured and we're really pleased with her.
"She likes this ground and we might go to America. The Grade Twos and Grade Ones over there are easier."
Ed McMahon's Artistic Jewel (8/1) went one place better than last year in the BetVictor.com EBF Cecil Frail Stakes.
For a moment it appeared the Dominik Moser-trained Gracia Directa might claim another victory for Germany, but Graham Lee timed it right on Artistic Jewel to take Listed honours.
Winning trainer Ed McMahon said: "It was a tough ask for her today, having her first run of the year against horses who had all had a run, but she is a very genuine filly and Graham gave her a great ride.
Robert Winston, meanwhile, was found guilty of careless riding aboard the unplaced Angels Will Fall and suspended for three days (June 23-25).
The Northumberland Plate is on the agenda for Marco Botti's De Rigueur (11/2) following a stylish display in the BetVictor Royal Ascot No Lose Hughes Stakes.
Botti's wife, Lucie, said: "He has done nothing wrong since he joined us last year, but we decided to put the cheekpieces on him as he wanders when he gets to the front."
Locally-based owner Pauline Good was thrilled after seeing the Richard Hannon-trained Professor (11/8 fav) run out a ready winner of the Listed BetVictor No Lose Hughes Money Back Sandy Lane Stakes.