By Simon Jackson at Sandown Park.
Vent De Force led all the way under Richard Hughes in the Cantor Fitzgerald Investment Trusts Henry II Stakes over an extended two miles.
The four-year-old travelled well throughout the £65,000 contest and stuck to his task in the closing stages to score by one and three quarter lengths for the champion jockey.
Trainer Hughie Morrison later revealed that he had left the tactics up to the jockey.
“When you have a top jockey you don’t give instructions,” Morrison revealed.
“It was Richard Hughes decision to lead. It is nice to see that you can ride him wherever you like. That should hopefully put him spot on [for Royal Ascot].”
The second of the Group 3 races, the £65,000 Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes, was won by Western Hymn who is now unbeaten in three runs over course and distance.
Western Hymn, sixth to Australia in the 2014 Investec Derby, was cut to 10-1 (from 16-1) by Paddy Power for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot after winning by a head for James Doyle.
“I told James he was spot on for the race,” trainer John Gosden said. “I said whatever you do don’t move until you are inside the last two furlongs.
“If this horse gets reasonable ground he will go for the Prince Of Wales. Of course the Coral Eclipse [at Sandown on July 4] is a possibility but it is too far away to make any firm plans.”
Earlier, the Richard Hannon-trained King Of Rooks’ price for the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal Meeting was slashed to 2-1 favourite (Paddy Power) after an impressive win in the five furlong Listed race for two-year-olds.
The second Listed event on the valuable six-race card was won by the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Consort who is unbeaten in two runs. He is now 12-1 (from 20-1) with the Irish Bookmaker for the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.