Cavalryman can prove he is as good as ever by landing the Artemis Goodwood Cup for Godolphin.
Now an evergreen eight-year-old, he showed the fire still burns brightly by winning the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket on his return to action in this country after another fruitful Dubai Carnival.
Saeed bin Suroor’s veteran won a Group Three out in Dubai and arguably was an unlucky loser in the Dubai Gold Cup on World Cup night when he got going all too late under Silvestre de Sousa and failed to reel in Certerach.
De Sousa made no mistake earlier this month, however, dropped in trip to a mile and a half, the Brazilian rode him much closer to the pace and kicked for home well over two furlongs out.
Hillstar was pestering him all the way to the line, but Cavalryman showed all his fighting instincts remain by holding him off by a neck and he never really looked like being caught.
The fact he was third to Sea The Stars in the Arc brings home just how long he has been on the go as John Oxx’s former star is already producing the new greats of the game in Taghrooda and Sea The Moon.
Cavalryman ran a lifeless race behind Brown Panther in this 12 months ago, but for some reason he had already run two poor races before arriving in Sussex and he heads there this year in arguably the form of his life.
He rates as a great credit to the skills of Saeed bin Suroor.
Sir Michael Stoute appears to have resisted the temptation to run Top Tug with the Fairmont Stakes in mind.
With a rating of 94, Stoute probably feels he only has one more crack at a decent handicap before he is stepped up in class and this £50,000 prize over nearly 10 furlongs looks ideal.
Top Tug earned a bit of fame before his racecourse exploits warranted it really as he beat subsequent UAE Derby winner Toast Of New York in a Wolverhampton maiden last August.
He was then beaten on his handicap debut off 81 but turned the tables on his conqueror that day, Cloudscape, when they next met, improving in the manner of a typical Stoute three-year-old. Top Tug has a 10lb rise to overcome but he looks the type to follow until he is beaten.
EPSOM: 5.55 Megalala, 6.25 Silver Ranger, 6.55 Express Himself, 7.30 Lady Crossmar, 8.05 Nave, 8.35 Bishan Bedi.
GOODWOOD: 2.05 TOP TUG (NAP), 2.35 Doc Charm, 3.10 Cavalryman, 3.45 Stella Bellissima, 4.20 World Fair, 4.50 Almargo, 5.25 Tigers Tale.
NOTTINGHAM: 2.25 Sulaalaat, 2.55 Lady Atlas, 3.30 Captain George, 4.05 Celtic Sixpence, 4.40 Endless Credit, 5.10 Ubetterbegood, 5.45 High Love.
STRATFORD: 2.15 My Direction, 2.45 Debt To Society, 3.20 Crannaghmore Boy, 3.55 Odin, 4.30 Tzora, 5.00 The Omen, 5.30 The Absent Mare.
Double: Top Tug and Cavalryman.
* Goodwood and Epsom cards in Wednesday’s Star.