ah Ti Dar got her 2019 campaign off to the best possible start with a hard-fought success in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday afternoon.

Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber’s homebred filly was dropping down to ten furlongs for the first time since winning her second start in Listed company at Newmarket last May.

That three-year-old season ended with two gallant efforts in Group 1 company when second in the St Leger and third in the Fillies’ and Mares’ championship at Ascot.

She was a short-priced favourite to win today and she overcame the drop down in trip and unseasonably fast ground to win by a neck under Frankie Dettori.

Trainer John Gosden said: “She has shown great tenacity to win on her first start of the year. She wasn’t suited by the return to a mile and a quarter and perhaps the ground was fast enough for her first run.

“We shall look at Epsom’s Coronation Cup with her now if she comes out of this okay.”

Dettori added: “She was a bit rusty but stayed on really well.”

Lah Ti Dar is a daughter of Dubawi and multiple Group 1 winner Dar Re Mi. Her full brother Too Darn Hot was in action later in the afternoon when making his 2019 return in the Dante Stakes.

Last year’s champion two-year-old was unable to maintain his unbeaten record, going down by a length to Telecaster. Trainer John Gosden will now target the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot back at a mile.