Aidan O'Brien's Somehow needed all of Ryan Moore's skill in the saddle to land the Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks at Chester.

Sent off the 8-15 favourite, the beautifully-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock and Oaks winner Alexandrova was off the bridle at an early stage, not handling the unique contours.

Last at halfway, Moore was just trying to keep in touch when big outsider Play Gal made a break.

Moore was able to ask a few questions once the pace quickened and Somehow began to respond, passing several rivals.

Moorside and Diamonds Pour Moi also rallied, but Somehow came home half a length clear of the former, with the same distance back to the latter.

Moore said: "She was learning the whole time.

"She was a bit asleep but I always felt as if she would do enough.

"She was just very green. She's been running in soft-ground maidens. This was a different track and different ground."

O'Brien said: "She's very lazy and docile at home, she was last year in her maiden.

"I was a bit worried after about half a furlong there. Ryan gave her a masterful ride, taught her plenty.

"We bring the green ones here to try and sharpen them up mentally - it just wakes them up.

"She's got this beautiful pedigree and you wouldn't imagine the (Epsom Oaks) trip is a problem.

"I imagine she's in the Oaks team. We'll find out how much she's learned in the next two weeks.

"You'd hope she's just clicked into gear a little."

Moore, who won the concluding Deepbridge Capital Handicap with 5-2 chance Red Verdon, received a two-day ban (18-19 May) for careless riding aboard Somehow.

Franny Norton showed why he is top jockey on the Roodee when shining on Kimberella (5-1) in the Boodles Diamond Handicap.

The Liverpool-born rider produced the Dandy Nicholls-trained six-year-old to storm past long-time leader Roudee inside the final furlong and score by three-quarters of a length.

Avon Breeze was a further half-length away in third.

"He ran well the last day and we're over the moon he's won. The lad (Franny Norton) rides the track well," said Nicholls.

"He's always been a nice horse. Where we're going to go with him now, I don't know."

Sir Maximilian (5-2 joint-favourite) is bound for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot after showing his well-being with an emphatic victory in the Homeserve Conditions Stakes.

Williams said: "This is a stepping stone. Whether he goes to France between now and Royal Ascot, I don't know, but the King's Stand is his main target at the moment."

After finishing second on his debut at Newmarket last month, the impeccably-bred Mulk (30-100 favourite), trained by Sir Michael Stoute, duly brushed the opposition aside as he got off the mark by two and three-quarter lengths in the Stellar Group Maiden Stakes under Paul Hanagan.

"He ran a super race first time and he's improved," said Richard Hills, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

"We needed to teach him a bit more so we brought him here.

"He relaxed good, so there's no reason why he won't get further. Paul had trouble pulling him up."

Earlier, man-of-the-moment Hugo Palmer began the meeting in the best possible fashion as Copper Knight (11/4) ran out an impressive winner of the Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes.

Palmer landed his first British Classic with Galileo Gold in the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, and Copper Knight was in just as much control today, always travelling well for James Doyle.

Tom Dascombe's Fiery Character was the punter favourite, but was a spent force a furlong out.

Copper Knight hung to his left once he hit the front, but he was so far clear it did not matter.

Stoneyford Lane came home second, two lengths away from the 11-4 winner.