AND it worked. The quality testified to that. 

Seldom has Salisbury's Cathedral Stakes attracted a field its purse demanded because of its proximity to Royal Ascot - but not this year. 

The traditional flagship of the track's mid-June meeting was moved to Saturday's evening card in the hope of drawing a better class field.

"The BHA has looked at various initiatives and there have a few changes around the country," explained Salisbury's supremo Jeremy Martin of the switch.

"It was thought it would be better to move it away from Ascot which now means there is a gap of three weeks instead of a few days between the two."

Delighted by the success of the change, he commented: "Now we have a much stronger race. Eight of the nine runners tonight are rated over 100. It's a cracking listed race."

And so it proved. 

The result was in doubt until the shadow of the post with Run To Freedom thrusting his head out where it mattered in the bunch finish. The five-year-old, a winner of a similar race at Windsor last summer, would probably have gone off as favourite but for his below par seasonal reappearance at Haydock a fortnight ago. 

Settling him at the back of the field in the six-furlong dash, Trevor Whelan was forced to wait for a gap to materialise. Momentarily, it looked as though he was all dressed up to go inside the final furlong but then an opening mercifully materialised and Whelan drove him through it to win by a head and grab the near £30,000 pot.

Racing's anoraks would have feasted on the facts. The evergreen-winning trainer Henry Candy has now enjoyed a 50% record at the track this year, Run To Freedom providing his fourth success from eight starters for a near £20 profit to a level £1 stake. 

That remarkable statistic had been enhanced half an hour earlier when Be Frank won the sprint maiden, Whelan tucking him away just behind the leaders before switching to the outside to win going away from the unraced Bondi Bay who finished in eye-catching style after being slowly away.

They will have also noted that Archie Watson seldom runs a debutant juvenile at the track, and there was the added hint he had booked Arc winning jockey Luke Morris for the ride on Reveiller.  

The February foal, whose value had more than tripled before his purchase as a yearling, certainly knew what was expected. Fast away, he virtually led throughout and when the pack gathered a furlong out, he quickened clear to suggest the Soldier's Call colt would relish a step up in trip.

Morris went on to land a double for his retainer Sir Mark Prescott when Rubusto gamely led from start to finish in the 12-furlong handicap.