Maid In India led from pillar to post in the Betway Achilles Stakes at Haydock.
Eric Alston’s mare won three times during a profitable campaign in 2018, but needed to produce a career-best performance on her seasonal reappearance in this five-furlong Listed contest.
With Tom Eaves in the saddle, 9-1 shot Maid In India flew out of the blocks and was soon dictating affairs against the rail closest to the grandstand.
Lady In France – a winner on her only previous start at Newcastle last month – did best of the chasing pack, but Maid In India was ultimately well on top as she passed the post with a length and three-quarters in hand.
Alston is best known for his handling of the top-class sprinter Reverence, who completed a Group One double in 2006 with victories in the the Nunthorpe at York and the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
The veteran trainer said: “She’s a good filly, and the ground helped her today. We were a bit worried it would be too heavy actually, but they are getting through it.
“I don’t know where she’ll go. She’s in the Wokingham (at Royal Ascot) and the weights are out – so you’ll get a penalty for that – but there’s a Listed race at Ayr the same day.”
Alston added: “It’s up to the owners if they want to go to Royal Ascot, I suppose. She has won over six furlongs, but her best form is over five.”
“She should have run six weeks ago, but she had some implants in her eyes and they stopped working and her eyes blew up. She’s been fit to run for a few weeks.
“She’s won first time out every year now.”