This year’s renewal of the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes, produced an emphatic winner in the shape of the John Gosden-trained Khalidi, who broke the track record in the process.
The one mile and three furlongs contest hasn’t produced a Derby winner since 1979 winner Troy. Although the likes of Dubai Millenium and Masked Marvel had won this race before going on to much better things.
Behind Derby-hopeful Permian at Newmarket three weeks ago, Khalidi was held up off a strong pace set by his free-going stable mate Monarchs Glen.
A good eight-lengths clear coming down the hill for home, Monarchs Glen eventually had his lead eroded.
Although coming under pressure from Frankie Dettori some way out, Khalidi began to make good progress down the outside.
He had to negotiate around his stable mate over a furlong out and then stayed on strongly to go clear, winning by a comprehensive five-lengths.
Dettori was celebrating his second pattern race win in less than 24 hours after partnering the popular stayer Big Orange to a similarly easy success at Sandown.
“We ran him a bit too quick [at Newmarket] he just bounced that day and wasn’t going at all,” reflected Dettori.
“When you look back he got beaten by the Dante winner so maybe was outclassed!
I think he could be a nice King Edward type
“Today up in trip on faster ground that he likes and they kind of set it up for him a bit with a strong pace. I think he could be a nice King Edward type a mile and a half on firm ground.”
Gosden’s fine record in the race sees the Newmarket maestro take his fourth in the last decade.
His previous winners include Masked Marvel who took the race in 2011 before tasting St Leger success in the autumn.