Pearl Secret finally finds his touch
David Barron's Pearl Secret finally landed the big prize his connections always felt he had in him when winning the Temple Stakes at Haydock.
Second in the race 12 months ago to Hot Streak, also owned by Sheikh Fahad's Qatar Racing, this time he held off the fast-finishing Jack Dexter and Wind Fire to win by a neck and half a length.
Hot Streak, the choice of Oisin Murphy, who picked up a three-day ban for careless riding, was sent off the 7-2 favourite but could only finish sixth, while G Force, the only Group One winner in the field, met trouble in running and crossed the line in eighth.
George Baker stepped in for the winning ride, just like he had done in 2012 on Roger Charlton's Bated Breath.
Ascot beckons for the winner, but only if the ground is suitable, although that was the case when he ran disappointingly on his reappearance behind Mecca's Angel in France.
"We've been waiting for that to happen for a while. It's always a bit difficult with him, though, as he needs some give in the ground," said Barron.
"We trained him all winter and never missed a day, and then when he ran in France two weeks ago he ran so badly we wondered why we'd bothered. I gave him a piece of work on Monday and that's all I've done with him. He wouldn't go to Ascot if it was firm, as he wants the ground no quicker than today.
One horse definitely going to Ascot is The Corsican who booked his ticket when making a triumphant return after 254 days off the track in the Festival Stakes at Goodwood.
The Prince of Wales's Stakes and the Hardwicke Stakes are the races trainer David Simcock will consider for the lightly-raced colt, who was last seen landing a Doncaster handicap in September.
Held up by Jim Crowley until well into the straight, The Corsican (7-2) was produced to lead inside the final furlong and cosily defeat Educate.
Sunday Indo Sport