Lady Bowthorpe provided the perfect prelude to the main event for fillies on the Rowley Mile when getting up to land the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes (1800m) at Newmarket on Sunday to give trainer William Jarvis his biggest success for over 25 years.
The five-year-old mare struck up a decent rapport with Kieran Shoemark last year when the pair won a Group 3 at Ascot, but the duo topped that when powering out of the Dip to deny Queen Power, who was finishing runner-up in the 1m1f contest for the second consecutive year.
Jarvis, who lives in the shadow of some of the bigger operators on the Fordham Road in Newmarket, could scarcely watch as Lady Bowthorpe delivered her late swoop and was quick to give credit to the team behind the notable win.
He said: "That was fabulous and I'm pleased for the team. Lady Bowthorpe has run well here before; we were a bit concerned about the fast ground, but her class has got her through. It shows that if we have the right horses we can compete in races like this.
"I don't know where we'll go next, but she's in the Lockinge and why not have a crack at a Group 1? She's a Group 2 winner now and beyond that she's in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot."
The winner is owned by music producer Emma Banks, who said: "It's just fantastic that a small trainer and small owner can win a Group 2 at Newmarket. It is a real family affair.
"'Yarmy' [Dyble] taught her to go in the stalls and calm down, and Jade looks after her and Kieran Shoemark gets on so well with her. Lady Bowthorpe is quirky, but she has a real big heart."
Shoemark, who was landing his first win at Group 2 level, said: "She's good and has improved since last year. She'll be a better filly on easier ground and has got away with it today. She's had a good blow afterwards and it's great for the team."
Mystery Angel lifts spirits
The Rowley Mile was stirred into life as members of the Nick Bradley Racing club gave their filly Mystery Angel a hearty roar home in the Listed Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes.
The club was also represented by Forever Grateful in the recognised Oaks trial, and they certainly created a much-missed atmosphere on course as Mystery Angel came clear under Ben Curtis, who was completing.
"I'm a bit lost for words," said Bradley, although the same could not be said for his syndicate members, who were in high spirits. "It was great to see her do that in front of all the owners here on such a big day as we've always felt she was a top-class filly.
"She'll probably go for the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary or perhaps the Musidora at York. We'll have a think."
It was a landmark first Listed winner for trainer George Boughey in just his third year with a licence as he continues to make giant strides among the training ranks in Newmarket.
"They've been running very well and we've got more horses and a better quality of horse this year," said Boughey, who trains a team of 50.
"My aim this year was to try and find a stakes horse and to actually convert and have a stakes winner is fantastic. She's an improving filly and one with a pretty upward profile."
Although not one of the three Investec Oaks entries in the race, Boughey did not totally rule out supplementing the winner for Epsom if she continues to impress.
He added: "She's not in the Oaks, but she's putting a bit of prize-money in the pot and it might be something we have to have a go at. There's a few nice decisions to have to make."
River runs wild
River Alwen gave weight and a beating to his five rivals in the 1m2f handicap with winning rider Jamie Spencer leaving it late to claw back Godolphin's Western Symphony deep in the final furlong.
Fourth on his comeback in a conditions race at Newbury, the winner was testing the water in handicap company for the first time and gave winning trainer Richard Hannon a first success on the Rowley Mile for 219 days.
"He did well," said Spencer. "He benefited from Newbury, he needed that run and was a bit fresh. He was dropped 2lb for that and this was a winnable race."
Owned by Sun Bloodstock, River Alwen finished fourth at Listed level as a juvenile last year and Spencer is confident he has plenty more to offer.
He added: "I think ten furlongs is his trip, but he will get more adaptable to middle distances as he goes along. He should progress and improve again."