The son of Equiano made the most of a drop in class to leave disappointing efforts in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury behind to defeat Sarshampla by three and three-quarter lengths on his first start over five furlongs this year.
Hills said: “He had a couple of mediocre runs, but it is great to get him back to winning ways. Ryan Moore seemed very happy with him. The drop back in trip was no problem.
“He looked very impressive first time out this year and I think we just tried to fast forward his career too quickly. It is all about next year for him.
“His bloods were not quite right when he came back from Newbury and we were working back from the Scarbrough Stakes, but then we saw this race, he was entered in both and it made sense to go for the easier option.
“I won’t be throwing him back in the deep end. We will step quietly with him and give him one more run in either a Listed or Group Three, but I don’t know where or when that will be.
“Obviously he gets six, but he is quick enough for five, so that gives us a few options. I think going six is probably the way forward. He is a very good horse and I know I keep saying that, but I’m sure of it.”
Jim Crowley made the most of being re-routed from Salisbury after landing a double initiated by Naqaawa (11-10), who provided trainer Owen Burrows with a welcome winner when running out a four-length victor in the Gatelys PLC Handicap.
Rob McDowall, assistant trainer, said: “It’s been a very hard season, but we’ve learnt a lot from it and we can only get better from it. Everything that could go wrong has.
“We’ve had a very quiet three weeks. That was our first runner since we’ve had a bit of break and backed right off them.
“She seemed to relish that and Jim said he struggled to pull her up down the back straight. The better ground suits her. She ran at York and it was probably a bit soft for her.”
Things have not worked out for one reason or another for Mukalal (9-2) this season, but the first-time visor appeared to work the oracle after the son of Mawatheeq completed Crowley’s brace when getting up to take the High Leicestershire Handicap by a head.
Winning handler Marcus Tregoning said: “The first-time visor made a difference. A fast seven furlongs or a mile is what he wants and they went very quick there and that suited him.
“He has been a nice horse, it is a shame it has not worked out this year. We might go to Chelmsford if there is a race for him and there is good prize money there.”
Canton Queen made the expected step forward from her debut at Newmarket last month when defeating newcomer Orchid Star by two and a quarter lengths in the British Stallion Studs Apollo EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
Tom Ward, assistant trainer, said of the 16-1 winner: “We always thought she would improve for her first run and Tom Queally said there is a bit more improvement there.
“Physically she looks like she will be a nice three-year-old.”