If the highest-rated horse in the world, Gladiatorus, failed to sparkle at the Royal meeting yesterday, the crowd did not have to wait long before a new superstar had been crowned. Half an hour after Gladiatorus had trailed in from his Queen Anne Stakes disaster, the Australian sprint sensation, Scenic Blast, blew his rivals away in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes - the first leg of the Britsh section of the Global Sprint challenge.
Scenic Blast arrived in England with a lofty reputation, and it looked fully justified as jockey Steven Arnold guided the white-faced five-year-old to an emphatic victory. Scenic Blast had won the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington in January, a race which Miss Andretti, Choisir and Takeover Target had all graduated from when they came to England from Australia and won the King's Stand. And Arnold's mount of could not have won much easier as the pair ranged up on the outside of the field, before winding up and finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of the British filly, Fleeting Spirit.
"I probably could have waited longer because I got to the front quite early," said Arnold. "He was really strong at the two-furlong marker and I thought it was either now or never." Such was the strength of Scenic Blast's challenge that it seemed inevitable that Saturday's Group 1 Golden Jubilee, over a furlong further, might be considered by trainer Dan Morton. He said: "Look today, I think that I have the best sprinter in the world, but he's not the sort of horse that I want to back up so quickly. He'll run in the July Cup at Newmarket next time."
Mastercraftsman, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, confirmed his status as one of racing's best milers when out-battling Evasive and old foe Delegator in the Group 1 St James Palace Stakes.