Watch a full replay of the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes won by Ten Sovereigns at Newmarket on Saturday, Lydia Hislop's interview with Donnacha O'Brien and read our comprehensive report from the Rowley Mile.
Ten Sovereigns maintained his unbeaten record with victory in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket but bookmakers are no nearer in deciding whether he will emerge to be a sprinter or a miler next season.
The son of Norfolk Stakes winner No Nay Never made a spectacular debut at the Curragh in late August and returned to the track to win the Group Three Round Tower Stakes on his latest appearance.
With trainer Aidan O’Brien and his son Donnacha having already landed the Royal Lodge with Mohawk and the Cheveley Park with Fairyland earlier in the afternoon, Ten Sovereigns was a prohibitively priced 8-13 favourite to provide the Ballydoyle team with a big-race treble.
The odds-on shot travelled powerfully on the heels of the leaders for much of the way before hitting the front racing inside the final two furlongs.
Simon Crisford’s Jash, who was stepping up markedly in class following novice wins on the July Course and at Salisbury, covered the move and briefly threatened to make a real race of it.
However, Ten Sovereigns found more once tackled and passed the post half a length to the good.
Rumble Inthejungle was a further three and a half lengths back in third.
“He learned plenty today so I'm delighted with that," the winning trainer said.
“He's a very fast horse, he's got loads of speed, and it's exciting for the lads (the Coolmore triumvirate of John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor) now because they have all the stamina in the Galileo mares and now they have the start of all the No Nay Never and his sire Scat Daddy's speed so that was the exciting thing about today, seeing him come up to Group One standard, because you don't really know until they go and do it.
“Donnacha said when he came in after winning at the Curragh last time that it was the first time that he showed greenness and I was worried about the first day he ran, he galloped up the Curragh by himself, and then that's why it wasn't ideal to go back so quick for the next one but we felt that we had to go back if we were going to come here.
“I think he's an exciting horse, when they can travel well and tough it out at the end, that's a good sign.
“I think he'll get a mile but not much further than that.
“The horses are running well now so we are delighted but we take nothing for granted, you just hope.”
Ten Sovereigns is now no better than 8-1 with Betfair for next season's 2000 Guineas, and is 5-1 with the same firm for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. More immediately, he was installed as the 3-1 favourite for next month's Darley Dewhurst Stakes back here on the Rowley Mile but looks an unlikely runner.
“I think it might not be the right thing because he's not long out since he started and we rushed two runs in together, and he just about made this one so I think it might be the wrong thing for him, but the lads will decide that," O'Brien added.
There was no doubt as to where Jash is heading, however, and Simon Crisford was adamant that the runner-up would be put away with the Guineas in mind for next season. The son of Kodiac is a best-priced 25-1 for the first Classic of the 2019 campaign.
“It was a big effort," he said.
"Obviously, he looked very good in his novice races, but this was a very big step up and today he was just out-gunned by a very, very good colt.
“It definitely answered a few big questions for us, because we came here not knowing how good he was going to be. We knew he was good but didn’t know how good. We now think and hope that we have a colt worthy of a Guineas preparation. That is him done for the season.”
Crowley added: “He gave me a super ride. We have always thought quite a bit of him and it rode like a very good race, as it should do. Hopefully next year, he will stay a bit further. That was a very big step up for him.
“He has been running in novice races to a Group One and that answered a few questions. I’m sure he will get further next season, as he has a lot of strengthening up to do.”
In contrast the Richard Spencer-trained Rumble Inthejungle is likely to remain at sprint distances next season.
Rumble Inthejungle had been last of nine when favourite in the Group Two Flying Childers at Doncaster last time but put that form well behind him under James Doyle.
Doyle, who replaced Tom Queally aboard the son of Bungle Inthejungle, said: “I was pleased with that. It was a good run. Things didn’t go right for him at Donny the last day, but today it was a good run.
“It will probably be his last run of the season, but it was nice for him to end the season on a high.
“Obviously this was my first experience of him and he did everything right. He was a bit gassy early and we were drawn out on a wing, which was not ideal, so he did a little bit too much early and I was really pleased with the way he finished.
“He is big horse and you’d think he will do a lot of strengthening over the winter. He is naturally going to be a fast horse and the Commonwealth Cup is probably going to be his target next year and we will work back from that.”