Magical Memory made his class tell to run out a decisive winner of the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on Saturday 22 July.
The five-year-old was victorious in the Stewards’ Cup two years ago and is not far off the top sprinters at his best, although he had run no sort of race at Royal Ascot this year when well down the field in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Given a confidence-booster by trainer Charlie Hills in a conditions event at Haydock recently, he looked rejuvenated in the hands of the returning Frankie Dettori, travelling strongly despite the rain-softened ground, which historically has not always being to his liking.
Never far off the pace set by Gifted Master, the 3-1 favourite took charge over a furlong out and was a length and a quarter too good for Perfect Angel, with Lady Macapa in third.
Dettori had sat out the first part of the week to give his injured shoulder more time to heal, and said: “I miss the buzz of winning and this is a lovely old boy.
“Usually he just does enough, but today he put daylight between himself and the rest. He’s better than these at this level and six furlongs is tailor-made for him.”
Hills said: “He’s really tough and Frankie gave him a great ride, it’s great to have him back on board.
“I’m delighted for everyone involved. It’s amazing, we had a terrible run at Ascot and it’s amazing what it does to get a horse’s head back in front. Ever since Haydock he’s shown us the right signs and he’s back on an upward curve.”
Looking to future plans, Hills added: “We’ll probably look at France, last year we thought we might drop him back to five and now if anything we’re thinking he could do further.”
Sam Hoskins, racing manager for Magical Memory’s owners, Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, said: “I had my doubts about the ground because it wasn’t that soft when he ran at York, but Charlie was confident.
“I just think as he’s getting older he’s handling the soft ground better.
“He’s in the Maurice de Gheest over six-and-a-half which will be considered, but the Park Stakes at Doncaster over seven looks a nice aim.
“That isn’t until September, though, so we might look for something before then.
“We’re hoping to line him up for the Prix de la Foret at the end of the season. Its funny, earlier this year we were considering five furlongs, but he wasn’t stopping today.”