Role's victory gives Cecil perfect boost
AHEAD of Midday's mission at The Curragh today, Henry Cecil and Tom Queally received the perfect boost at Newcastle last night when they struck with Principal Role.
Racing in the same Khalid Abdullah colours, Principal Role came from last to first to win the 'Kheleyf' Hoppings Stakes.
Already a Listed winner as a three-year-old, the filly was sent off the 7/4 favourite on the back of a pleasing return at Goodwood.
Queally had plenty of confidence in his mount and was a good eight lengths behind the front-running Opera Gal and Fanditha, but Principal Role stamped her authority on the race and quickened up impressively to grab the lead close home and win by three-quarters of a length from Fanditha. Piano stayed on from the rear for third.
Cecil's representative William Brown said: "To be honest, with what she was showing us at home, we expected her to win. It looks like she'll get further, but the boss hasn't mentioned a target."
There was a local success in the prestigious Gosforth Cup when Mick Easterby sent out Ancient Cross to land the big sprint.
Campaigned over further than the minimum trip for the majority of his career, he has really found his niche over five furlongs this term.
Having won a competitive race at York's May meeting off 89, he prevailed off 95 this time and, with the ease of his one-and-three-quarter-length win, he might be out of handicaps before long.
Graham Gibbons was bouncing him along at halfway but he picked up in tremendous style and soon put daylight between himself and the rest.
Noodles Blue Boy stuck on for second, with Verinco third.