Anthem is a hit at Ascot
The well-backed Anthem Alexander (9/4f) justified the support when winning the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
It had appeared as though the impressive Tipperary maiden winner was going to storm clear to record an impressive success when she moved into the firing line travelling powefully for Pat Smullen but she was ultimately made to work quite hard for her success.
She was challenged all the way to the line by Tiggy Wiggy and Newsletter with the distances just a neck and half a length.
The runner-up had broken quickly from the gates and was one of the first to show on the stands' side until headed by the American raider Spanish Pipedream but she appeared to be struggling at halfway.
She rallied strongly, however, and came home with a wet sail to burst past Newsletter in the final yards but the line came too soon and Alexander Anthem held on to provide trainer Eddie Lynam with his second success of the meeting.
Smullen, who was recording a quick double after Mustajeeb in the Jersey Stakes, said: "She's bred for it and she's very, very quick. Today she was a little bit sluggish away from the gates, just through lack of experience.
"The gap was closing in front of me a furlong and a half down, I had to take it and I was probably there too soon, but she's a very fast filly.
"She's still a little bit green and there's a lot of improvement in her. She could have given up if she was weak-minded, but she's genuine and tough and stuck it out well to the line. She's another good Eddie Lynam sprinter."
Lynam, who had been eager to go for this five-furlong event after her maiden success, said: "She's the real deal and she'll get better.
"We haven't had her an awful long time. Noel O'Callaghan (owner) was very kind to give her to me and he was very brave as everyone was trying to buy her. I'm delighted, as when you refuse money for a horse you need a bit of luck.
"I think she's a very good filly and she'll probably go for the Cherry Hinton (at Newmarket), but I'll talk to Noel."
Richard Hughes, rider of the runner-up, said: "I was unlucky they went so quick. At halfway she just struggled a bit, going from running on heavy ground to that.
"She came off the bit and I hit a flat spot for a furlong and a half and then when I really got into her and made her go she put her head down."
Tiggy Wiggy's trainer, Richard Hannon, said: "There's a massive difference between winning and being placed in these races, we'll just have to go home and make her faster!
"There'll be plenty of good days for her during the season and she has run a super race. She can easily go six furlongs now."
Trainer Ken Condon said of the 33/1 third Newsletter: "We always liked her a lot and after she won a maiden at the Curragh she just wasn't herself at Naas so we put a line through that. We're delighted for her, and we could look at something like the Cherry Hinton."