Frankie Dettori can look towards Guineas weekend with a positive feeling about at least one Classic ride after the courageous performance of Sandiva in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.
Starting his first full season as the retained jockey of Sheikh Joaan al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing, Dettori has many fine horses to choose from on both sides of the Channel and even treated Rowley Mile course visitors to a flying dismount with the broken ankle from last October firmly healed.
Trainer Richard Fahey had already prepared Sandiva to win a Group Three in France as a two-year-old, and while bookmakers were not quick to cut her in the 1,000 Guineas market, she closed strongly to finish half a length up on Euro Charline and Majeyda when plenty went against her.
"I've got about 35 unraced three-year-olds to ride and there's a lot of travelling, but I'm enjoying it," Dettori said. "We haven't seen the main ones yet, like Rizeena and the [Aidan] O'Brien ones, but at least my filly has come and done it. Where she was drawn was a one or two-length disadvantage and there was no cover, so it was a good performance. She is entitled to go to the Guineas with a good chance."
Sandiva is still as big as 25s with Betfred for the main event and could yet be joined by Marco Botti's Euro Charline, who also looked like she would appreciate a little further than this seven furlongs.
Dettori's ex-employers Godolphin could have a legitimate Investec Derby colt on their hands as True Story (5-2) mauled his opponents in the ebm-papst Feilden Stakes.
The July course maiden winner stretched seven lengths away from 15-8 favourite Obliterator, who showed great promise himself to finish well ahead of the rest. Now just 14-1 for Epsom with Ladbrokes and Coral, the son of Manduro will take in a Derby trial.
Richard Hannon hopes Shifting Power can prove the exception to the fairly ordinary rule of recent winners of the CSP European Free Handicap. The 13-8 favourite had a size advantage over his rivals but proved determined to get past Mushir and Aeolus by a head and a neck.
It had already been a good day for Hannon, who collected his biggest winner since taking over from his father in the £100,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Sprint. Magnus Maximus (25-1) raced prominently under Pat Dobbs and galloped to the line three-quarters of a length to the good.