Owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Shabeeb has twice acquitted himself creditably over 1m4f this season and he appreciated the return to a stamina-sapping trip when getting the better of Fire Jet and Alqamar by a head and half a length in a thrilling finish to this £30,000 prize.
Ridden by Jim Crowley, Shabeeb was settled at the rear of the seven runners through the early stages of the contest as the Mark Johnston-trained Soldier In Action cut out a sedate early gallop and the septet raced virtually in Indian file down the Rowley Mile.
The tempo was turned up a notch entering the final four furlongs, with Jim pulling Shabeeb out to give him one clean run at the leaders and he found a willing partner in the son of Smart Strike, who responded generously for pressure to record a third career success and the first since his three-year-old season.
From a stout-staying family that includes G1 Prix Royal-Oak runner-up Schiaparelli and G1 German Oaks winner Salve Regina, stamina is certainly the forte of Shabeeb and he shapes like he could improve again over further.
Roger said: “Shabeeb has run two nice races this season and he appreciated the step back up in trip. He’s probably worth marking up given he’s come from the rear in a steadily-run race and I think he would be better off a truer gallop. He’ll remain on a workable mark when he is reassessed.”
Fifteen minutes earlier, Mystic Flight ran out an impressive winner of the seven-furlong three-year-old novice at Newbury.
A €280,000 Arqana Breeze-Up purchase on behalf of Cheveley Park Stud, the son of Kendargent turned in an eye-catching performance on this his debut when accounting for recent Kempton winner Nordic Passage by two and a quarter lengths.
Despite racing keenly through the first two furlongs and conceding experience to the second, third and fourth, Mystic Flight picked up with real alacrity under Jack Mitchell to stamp himself as an exciting prospect for the summer ahead.
Roger said: “Mystic Flight has shown ability in his homework but this was a really impressive start to his career given he raced immaturely in the early stages but still had enough in the tank to pick up well close home. We’ll look for another novice with him but he looks a potentially smart sort.”