No doubting Thomas at HQ
Ralph Beckett went another step towards his plan of targeting the Northumberland Plate with Poyle Thomas when the gelding won at Newmarket.
Richard Kingscote's mount (7-1) battled on gamely to defy top-weight Sohar by a length and three-quarters in the Margaret Giffen Memorial Handicap, and Beckett enthused: "When he failed to go through the sales ring I felt at the time there was a chance he would do well from four to five because he hadn't run at three.
"Whether he develops into a Northumberland Plate horse remains to be seen, but I think there might be a decent race in him."
De Rigeur stunned the crowd when rattling home to stage a 25-1 shock in the John Sunley Memorial Levy Board Handicap.
A four-times winner for Marco Botti before getting injured, Andrea Atzeni's mount had not had conditions in his favour on two previous outings this year.
Botti explained: "He needed his first run and then found the drying ground against him here at Newmarket. But I knew he was progressive and am very surprised he returned such a big price."
The market was dominated by the well-supported favourite Mighty Yar and Rye House, but both disappointed and never threatened to get in a blow. It was left to Duke Of Clarence and Dashing Star to follow home the winner.
Mark Johnston executed his plan to get Muteela into the weights span for the Sandringham Handicap when sending out the Sheikh Hamdan-owned filly to preserve her unbeaten record in the Betsi Golden Mile Handicap.
Dane O'Neill shone on the 12-1 shot, who bravely fought off the persistent Pretzel to score by half a length.
Johnston said: "This was my only chance to get her into the Sandringham and I'm delighted with the result. There's not much of her but she's game and fought and fought today. It's a great family, including a Group One winner in Awzaan."
There were some promising two-year-olds on view and especially Justice Well, who bolstered the high strike-rate David Elsworth boasts with his impressive juvenile team as he overhauled Burnt Sugar in the second division of the six-furlong maiden.
Justice Well (12-1) comes from the family of Dead Certain and after getting up under William Carson could now head for the Coventry.
Elsworth said: "His dam is by Singspiel and I thought he might not have the toe, but it shows how wrong you can be. I'll definitely look at the Coventry as he's one of the nicest in the bunch."
Peacock eased home in the first division for Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore and is another promising colt that could go on to run at Royal Ascot.
That would be a fitting next step for the son of Paco Boy as he is owned by the Queen.
Hannon said: "He'd shown us quite a bit at home and he has a lovely temperament. He'll be suited by further, but after that well have to think about the Coventry"
John Gosden saddled three in the Ladbrokes Charitable Trust Maiden Fillies' Stakes and while his 'first string' Belle D'Or ran well she could not resist the finish of stablemate Swift Campaign, a 40-1 shot ridden by Ted Durcan
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, said: "Ted said she was always going well, and that she could get a bit further."
Richard Fahey produced a fine training performance to bring Rene Mathis back from a long lay off to land the Betfair Supporting The Animal Health Trust Handicap by a neck from Hoodna.
His son and assistant Peter Fahey said: "This horse had some issues but appears to have come through them."