Prospects of Frankel siring his first Classic winner have moved a significant step closer with his son Eminent making a winning return in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket.
The colt is trained by Martyn Meade and races in the colours of New Zealand racing identity Sir Peter Vela.
Although a relative stranger to preparing Classic runners, Meade will now have all his attention focused on May 6 and the 2000 Guineas for the powerfully built three-year-old after his Group Three win.
Despite being one of the least experienced runners in the field with only a debut maiden win to his name, Eminent showed he was a horse who needed serious consideration after putting a number of Pattern race winners firmly in their place.
Having raced just behind the early pace in the stands side group of runners, the 8-1 chance was steadily brought through by champion jockey Jim Crowley to throw down his challenge in the final stages.
As others wilted hitting the rising ground, Eminent came into his own to pull away and take victory by a 1-3/4 lengths from Rivet in 1m35.15 seconds, the quickest recorded in the race for more than 50 years.
Following the race, the winner was cut across the board for the 2000 Guineas with Coral and Ladbrokes trimming him from 25-1 into 8-1 and 10-1 respectively.
“He just stays and that is the thing,” Meade said.
“We have always been worried about his trip as to what it really would be. He doesn’t quicken too much but he just stays.
“He was not 100 per cent wound up today, but I didn’t want to overdo him as it is a trial after all. He was coming here for a trial, not to say this was his big day.
“It is tremendously significant.”