Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s son of Dalakhani was forced to survive a stewards’ enquiry, but the result was never really in doubt as he passed the line three-quarters of a length to the good over the Hugo Palmer-trained Wall Of Fire having only required one reminder from the ultra-confident Andrea Atzeni.
This was an imperious performance from Defoe, who was settled towards the rear throughout the early stages as Andrea was intent on tracking the Group 1-placed Frontiersman through.
Long-time leader To Eternity began to wind up the gallop passing the half-mile marker and while Frontiersman made up his ground easily, so too did Defoe, who swung off the bridle down the Newbury home straight before coasting into the lead with two furlongs left to run.
Things got a little tight with Wall Of Fire against the stand-side rail a furlong out, but the coming together made no difference to the overall result as Defoe powered through the soft ground to build on handicap victories both here and at York, alongside a handsomely-franked victory in the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton last month.
Roger said: “Defoe is thoroughly progressive and the step up in trip clearly suited him well. He also handles cut in the ground nicely and he’s got a fantastic mind, switching off, travelling strongly and finding generously for pressure.
“We will get him home and discuss plans with his owner, Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, but the St Leger would look the obvious option for him and there is no reason why he won’t continue to improve.”
A little over thirty minutes later, Equitation got off the mark at the second time of asking in the six-furlong maiden at Doncaster under Jack Mitchell.
The son of Equiano is owned by an enthusiastic and loyal group of partners and their patience with the horse was handsomely vindicated as he landed the spoils by a length from the fast-finishing Mohsen.
Roger said: “Equitation was very green on debut and he took a sizeable step forward here, travelling smoothly and asserting well. He ought to be allocated a workable handicap mark and he should have more to offer. I am delighted for all of his owners – this was a great result.”