Youth Spirit turned in a career-best performance at Chester, as the three-year-old claimed the Chester Vase on the opening day of the May Festival.
The son of Camelot was stepped up to 1m4f for the first time and he took after his sire with a smart performance at the Cheshire track.
Andrew Balding’s gelding was tracking the leading pair of Fancy Man and Wirko coming around the bend, with the latter beginning to weaken.
Youth Spirit pushed his way into the lead in the final furlong, combatting the late challenge of Sandhurst to win by a length and three quarters.
The gelding is now a 20/1 shot for The Derby, but he will need to show further progress if he is to land success on the Epsom Downs.
Dubai Fountain got herself some black type at Chester as she landed the Listed Cheshire Oaks for Mark Johnston.
The filly was pushed out in the final stages, just doing enough to fend out the incoming challenge of promising juvenile Zeyaadah to win by a length.
Johnston’s prospect is now a 14/1 shot for the Oaks, but she will need to step up if she is to win in top-class company.
Navello made it three wins in four starts under George Boughey, as the two-year-old continued to show progress in winning the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes.
The colt pulled clear of market rival Devious Angel in the final furlong, quickening up to win by six lengths.
Showalong could have more to offer after justifying favouritism in the 5f handicap for Tim Easterby, while Roger Varian’s Alfaadhel landed the Boodles Maiden Stakes.
Paws For Thought landed the 6f handicap for Tom Dascombe and Tony Coyle‘s 25/1 outsider Broken Spear claimed success in the 7f handicap.