Ryan Moore lifted Time Test (pink cap) to victoryPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Time Test produces the goods to land Brigadier
Report: Sandown, Thursday
BetVictor Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f7y, 4yo+
TIME TEST defied a 5lb penalty, a messy passage and last year's winner Western Hymn to come from last to first to land the Brigadier Gerard under a fabulous Ryan Moore ride.
The strong early pace would have delighted Moore, who settled his mount last, but the traffic troubles upon straightening up would have been less to his taste. It was to Time Test's credit that he picked up instantly once out, and to Moore's that he was able to make a gap appear - albeit later than ideal.
Once in full flight the pair powered down the outside of the field, working their way on to the heels of Scottish and Western Hymn - who had been fighting for the lead.
John Gosden's five-year-old finally got the better of his battle with Godolphin's new recruit, asserting as the field came into the final furlong. But having seen Scottish off he then faced the surging Time Test. While the leader had already been in a dogfight, the new challenger was conceding 5lb and had got racing early from a long way back.
For half a furlong it was impossible to call. Time Test's trainer Roger Charlton feared a 24-hour round trip to Ireland may have taken the edge off the four-year-old, but he showed no ill-effects as he gradually edged to the front - eventually pulling a neck clear. Scottish held on for third, four and a half lengths adrift.
"The Prince of Wales's is what I'd be angling for," said Charlton. "He looked good at Ascot last year but he he's going to have to be particularly good this time. Talking to Ryan [Moore], a mile and a quarter is his trip. He didn't take the easy route and I thought it was a good effort tonight."
Time Test 8-1 for Prince of Wales's
A Shin Hikari's Prix d'Ispahan rout means the Japanese superstar heads the betting at 5-2 for the Royal Ascot Group 1, with Time Test cut to a best-priced 8-1 (from 10) - although he is as short as 4-1 second favourite.
Roger Varian's 5-4 favourite Intilaaq, who disappointed under front running tactics and faded to finish sixth, has been pushed out to 25-1, while Western Hymn has been cut to 20-1.
On the runner-up, Gosden said: "I'm delighted with that. He's come back from that nasty operation and is nearly back to his best. I'm really happy with him. The ground was just okay to run him today, but that will dictate where we go now. Anywhere with a bit of good, or good to soft."
Frankie Dettori added: "He ran a perfect race. Everything went fine, but if I had to be picky he's better on good to soft."
William Buick, who rode Scottish, said: "He's run a good race. The front two have come away from him in the end, but he'll be better for the run."