By Racinguk.com staff
Kew Gardens was a decisive winner of the Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes at Newmarket.
Fourth behind stablemate and leading Derby contender Saxon Warrior in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh three weeks ago, Aidan O'Brien's juvenile was the 13-8 favourite for this 10-furlong Listed event.
Ryan Moore controlled the pace in front and, with the rail to help, kicked for home over a furlong out.
Dee Ex Bee and Graffiti Master went in pursuit, but Kew Gardens was well on top at the line, passing the post three and a half lengths in front of the former.
"I thought it was a very good performance," Moore told Racing UK.
"I felt the step up in trip would suit him. He got in to a good rhythm and was very smooth. I never had to get too serious with him. I just asked him to stretch the last furlong and he picked up very well."
Kew Gardens is by Galileo and out of Chelsea Rose, who was a Listed winner at up to 12 furlongs. The winner is now 33-1 for the Investec Derby, and both rider and trainer see no problems with the colt staying middle distances next season.
"He's already run ten today, so he is going to stay a mile and a half at three," Moore added.
O'Brien said: "He galloped out to the line so you would be delighted with that.
"I would say he's a Derby type horse, he'll be starting in a Derby trial next season. France would be an option for him, for sure.
"I would say that would be it for the year but you never know. We take it day by day with the two-year-old's, they will tell us what's best."
The time of 2:02.76 was a juvenile record.Kew Gardens broke the juvenile track record at Newmarket (PA)
Mark Johnston will look towards a potential Classic for Dee Ex Bee and was far from downcast after unsaddling the 7-2 chance, who won a heavy-ground event at Epsom last time.
Johnston said: “It was a good run. P.J. [McDonald] said that when he went to quicken going down the hill, he thought he would beat Ryan [Moore], but he quickened down the hill when we were off our legs a wee bit. But he’s gone on and got second place back, and he was strong at the line.
“He will step up in trip next year and maybe look at a Derby trial or something. We will see after that.
“Fast ground and the Dip is probably a bit hard on him, as he is a great, big, giant horse. He has won at Epsom, but that was in soft ground, and even there he looked to be struggling a wee bit before he picked up going up the hill.
“Long term, we might look at the Irish Derby or King Edward VII, but we will take in a Derby trial before deciding.”
John Gosden is looking to the long-term with Graffiti Master, who was ridden by James Doyle.
“It was a very good run, but we will put him away until next year," he said.
“He probably found the ground tightening up a bit too much for him. We are some way off before deciding targets like Derby trials and the like, but we’ll look for somewhere with a bit of juice in the ground when we start off next season.”