An exciting looking renewal of the Group 3 Craven Stakes lived up to its billing. It produced an emphatic winner in the shape of Martyn Meade’s Eminent who was only visiting the racetrack for the second time in his career.

The son of Frankel, who made a winning debut over course and distance in September, broke well and tracked Racing Post Trophy hero Rivet in the early stages.

As the race heated up into the final three furlongs, the two groups began to merge and there was little to split six rivals across the Rowley.

Godolphin’s Benbatl looked to be coming through with the strongest challenge just outside but Jim Crowley and Eminent began to pick well out of the dip.

He strode clear in the short run to the line to score by just under two lengths from Rivet.

“I was tracking Rivet who was always going to give me a nice toe into the race,” reflected Crowley.

“I was really impressed with him. I’ve never had a horse take so long to pull up actually, the further he was going the better he was going. He has a great mind and he didn’t mind the fast ground. He was only hitting top gear at the line.”

Out of Coolmore’s mare You’ll Be Mine, herself Group 1-placed at a mile, Eminent remains unbeaten from two starts so far both of which came over the straight mile at Newmarket.

His Newmarket-based handler has a lot to look forward to from his three-year-old charge with Classics very much high up on the agenda.

I’ve never had a horse take so long to pull up

Meade said: “He had the most wonderful trial I could possibly have expected, I’m really really thrilled with him.

“My main thought at the moment will be for the Guineas because he does handle this track very well but there is no doubt that he will get further.”

Eminent has now been trimmed to a general price of 8/1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas in just over two weeks time where Churchill heads the betting at 6/4.