The sun shined down on Gosforth Park as Newcastle hosted Britain’s return-to-racing on Monday.
And from these Newcastle races, an Epsom Oaks favourite might have been found.
Frankly Darling – a filly out of the John Gosden stable, showed why she has been so highly rated among track watches, putting together a barnstorming win on debut.
The daughter of Frankel took to the front inside the distance in the 10-furlong heat and cruised home to win comfortably by five lengths from second-place Thibaan.
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Jockey Robert Havlin needed only to sit back and enjoy the ride – it was that easy.
“She’s still pretty green,” he said post-race.
“Stuck three-wide I was going to drop in, but the one on my inside was struggling a bit so I decided to keep it nice and smooth for her.
“Turning in I was fairly confident, she’d organised herself by then. I always felt she was going to put the race to bed.
“She saw the mile and a quarter out well, she’s by no means a slow filly, but I think she can see the mile and a half out no problem.
“She’s filling into her frame nicely and she’s going the right way.”
In the first race of the day, Zodiakos in the appropriately named “Welcome Back British Racing Handicap.”
Speaking post-race, jockey James Sullivan revealed how jockeys would be feeling upon their return to the track.
“I’m blowing a bit as obviously it’s the first time I’ve ridden in a race for a while and it was hard work from three and a half furlongs out.
“In fairness to Roger (Fell), he had him very fit, he was spot on for today.”
Eye-catching Grey Art Power is another to keep an eye on as the British Classics edge closer, winning the Novice Stakes.
After jumping from the gates, he left the field for dead in a stunning front-running win that justified the hype surrounding Tim Easterby’s charge who overcame heavy weights.
“He’s a nice horse and Tim thinks a lot of him. He’s got some classy entries, but he had to prove he could do it,” said jockey Silvestre De Sousa.
“He had a big weight today.
“Mentally he’s not there yet, he’s still a big baby, going into the gate he didn’t know who he was and on pulling up he was waiting for the others.
“There’s a lot of improvement in him.
“He’s a fast horse, and coming back to five (furlongs) would be no problem.”
Art Fire currently holds a Commonwealth Cup entry at Royal Ascot.