Al Kazeem (right) storms to success in the Group 2 Jockey Club StakesPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Al Kazeem gives Charlton the perfect big-race tonic
Report: Newmarket, Saturday
Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f, 4yo+
AL KAZEEM gave trainer Roger Charlton and jockey JamesDoyle the perfect tonic ahead of their 2,000 Guineas bid with Top Offer when running out the easy winner of the Jockey Club Stakes.
Last year's St Leger hero Masked Marvel led the eight-runner field at a moderate pace until around a furlong out, when Al Kazeem and Quest For Peace took over.
While the latter stayed on to finish a clear second, he was no match for Al Kazeem, who asserted despite drifting markedly left in the closing stages.
There was no joy for supporters of the warm 6-4 favourite Meandre. The French raider found disappointingly little when coming under pressure and never posed a threat.
Fellow French challenger, the Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden, stayed on well to finish third over a 1m4f trip which was on the sharp side for him.
The winning time was 2min 39.66secs, 11 seconds above Racing Post standard, which suggests the ground is plenty slow enough.
Doyle said of the winner: "He was good. The thing was to get him relaxed and into a rhythm, but they were going so slow it was a while before I could do that and then start to creep into the race.
"He was looking about and got a bit tired - that was all that (drifting left) was."
Luca Cumani, trainer ofQuest For Peace, said: "I don't think he really appreciated that ground so hopefully there's more improvement when he gets better ground.
"It was a very strong field and the winner won well and showed the better turn of foot. Ours got tired. He goes for the Coronation Cup next."