Bated Breath holds off Sole Power to claim the Temple StakesPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Bated Breath blazes a trail to Temple glory
Report: Haydock, Saturday
Betfred.com Temple Stakes (Group 2) 5f
BATED BREATH, three times a bridesmaid in Group 1s, gained a first success in Group company when denying last year's winner Sole Power by a neck under George Baker.
The action was expected to be fast and furious, and so it proved, with Tangerine Trees quickly into stride and Swiss Dream and Masamah in close attendance. George Baker, deputising for the suspended James Doyle, sat just behind the leaders as the field flew past halfway.
As the field fanned out across the track, Baker's mount quickened nicely down the centre to take the lead, with Sole Power off in pursuit.
While Baker had a straightforward run, Paul Hanagan had to come around horses to challenge, and the minor inconvenience proved crucial, as he was closing all the way to the line but could not get to the winner.
Bookmakers reacted to the victory by slashing Bated Breath for the King's Stand at Royal Ascot. Coral make the Roger Charlton-trained five-year-old the 5-1 favourite [from 14], while he is the 7-1 joint-favourite [from 10] with William Hill.
Charlton said: "That was fantastic, he's never won a Group race before and he really deserved it. He's got so much speed and he should be even better if he can get cover off a strong pace. I would suggest that we will go for the King's Stand, but we'll have to talk about it. George Baker did a great job."
Baker added: "He likes it here. I'd have liked to have held on to him for a bit longer but I was travelling all over them. He had a fantastic season last year without winning a big one and hopefully this will be the springboard to even better things.
"I'm lucky to have had such a good opportunity in a big race like this but I'm also sorry for James [Doyle] who is banned."