Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, Sheikha Reika went into this contest with an official rating of 88, but she improved on that form in no uncertain terms tackling middle-distances for the first time, sitting prominently under Andrea Atzeni as confirmed front-runner Chain Of Daisies cut out the early speed into the blustery headwind at the seaside venue.
As the field turned for home and the tempo began to increase a notch a number of the nine-strong line-up started to come under significant pressure, Chain Of Daisies wilting some way out and the second favourite Winter Lightning proving unable to quicken when asked, but Sheikha Reika travelled ominously into proceedings and soon skittled clear over a furlong out, winning by four and a half lengths as stable companion Rasima gave vein chase in second.
A 550,000 guineas purchase at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Sheikha Reika is an own-sister to G1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Lumiere and she looks capable of making her own mark in Pattern company on the back of this success.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Robert Barnett-owned Mot Juste produced an emphatic performance to break her maiden at the third time of asking in the 7f fillies’ novice at Beverley.
Having finished fourth in a warm heat at Goodwood earlier in the month, Mot Juste put her experience to good use under Danny Tudhope, being forced to track a wide course early before making a sweeping move at the foot of the hill to career away in the closing stages and win by an eased-down seven lengths.
A homebred daughter of Distorted Humor, Mot Juste is out of a winning half-sister to the dam of Cursory Glance, who Roger trained to win the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, while she hails from the further family of Mr Barnett’s exceptional performer Time Charter.
Roger said: “Sheikha Reika has always worked like a very good filly and all credit must go to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid for suggesting this step up in trip, which has suited her perfectly. She also seemed to relish the fast ground and I hope she can continue to progress from here. An honourable mention must also go to Rasima, who tries very hard and has run another fine race in defeat.
"Mot Juste is an improving filly and for all this looked an ordinary race on paper, to win like she did having not had the perfect trip through is testament to her ability. She looks a nice prospect.”