Al Thakhira (right) storms clear in an impressive victory at NewmarketPICTURE: Getty Images
Al Thakhira 16-1 for Guineas after romp
Report: Newmarket, Saturday
Vision.ae Rockfel Stakes (Group 2) 7f, 2yo
AL THAKHIRA looked a serious prospect for 2014 when she ran away with the Rockfel Stakes on Saturday.
The Marco Botti-trained filly, who runs in the increasingly prominent colours of Qatar's Sheikh Joaan, was absolutely rampant in a three and a quarter-length victory.
The 5-1 shot cruised through the race under Martin Harley, drawing to the front in a manner not entirely dissimilar to Sheikh Joaan's Arc winner Treve, and then bounded free in the final yards.
The filly was inserted into the Qipco 1,000 Guineas market at 12-1 by Coral and at 10-1 by Paddy Power, while Betfred and BetVictor are outliers at 16-1.
Botti said: "We were a bit worried if she would get the trip on this ground as she has so much speed, but Martin said she handled it well and picked up nicely.
"There is an outside chance she could go to the Breeders’ Cup but we will see about that in the next week or so. If she does well over winter she could be a 1,000 Guineas filly next year."
The big disappointment was Lightning Thunder. A strong performance was expected by the Olly Stevens-trained filly after the form of her previous defeat was given a big boost on Arc day, but she failed to live up to expectations and came home in fourth.
Minor honours went to James Tate's Blockade, who was eighth of 12 in an Ayr Group 3 last time out, and the Henry Candy-trained Valonia.
Also at Newmarket on Saturday:
Kingston Hill wins the Autumn Stakes from favourite Oklahoma CityPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Autumn Stakes (Group 3) 1m, 2yo
KINGSTON HILL is 20-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas after retaining his unbeaten record in the Autumn Stakes.
The Roger Varian-trained juvenile was available at 15-2 but won impressively from the Ballydoyle favourite Oklahoma City.
Ridden by Andrea Atzeni, Kingston Hill came with a run between horses in the final furlong and went readily clear of the favourite.
Varian said: "He needed to step up and he did it well I thought. He’s a good moving horse and will be fine on better ground.
"It’s nice going into the winter with a horse that looks highly promising and I think he will get further, but we’ve not got to the bottom of him.
"He’s very laid back and he might well be up to competing over a mile. Equally he might get a bit further as well."
Oklahoma City took second two lengths adrift the winner, while the Richard Hannon-trained Truth Or Dare finished third under Ryan Moore.
Fiesolana (right) sees off her rivals in a taking Challenge Stakes victoryPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Dubai Challenge Stakes (Group 2) 7f, 3yo+
FIESOLANA capped a productive season with a well-earned victory in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket.
Willie McCreery's four-year-old filly had won four of her seven outings this year, including a treble of Group 3s, before making her British debut on Future Champions Day. Well-backed, she was sent off 3-1 favourite after Ballydoyle's Darwin was withdrawn.
And she added a first Group 2 in impressive fashion, wearing down the German raider Amarillo in the final furlong to score by two lengths.
McCreery said: "She's a real seven furlong specialist and I was just a little concerned that the seven at Newmarket was going to be too stiff but it was perfect."
McCreery added Fiesolana would soon be leaving his yard.
"She's in the sales back here in December and there's not really anything else for her. She will be sorely missed," he said.
Darley Stakes (Group 3) 1m1f, 3yo+
ANDREW BALDING'S Highland Knight emerged the victor in a head-bobbing duel to the line with Tales Of Grimm.
It was a dramatic return to form by the 25-1 six-year-old, who was last seen finishing fifth of six in a conditions race at Bath.
Chapter Seven completed the places.