Capable Guest ran out a shock 25-1 winner of the totesport betXtra Zetland Gold Cup in the hands of old acquaintance Joe Fanning at Redcar.
The race still looked wide-open with three furlongs to run and a big roar went up when the 7-2 favourite Fragrancy struck the front at the quarter-mile marker.
But Fanning was sitting pretty just in behind on Mick Channon’s charge, who responded in good style when asked for his effort and kept on to score by half a length and the same from Fragrancy and Monte Alto.
Channon’s representative Lesley White said: “The boss tried different tactics today. He said Joe should let the horse do his own thing and he has gone and done it well in the end.
“He said that he will now possibly go for the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.”
Fanning recalled: “I have only ridden the horse once before, when he won his maiden as a two-year-old at Leicester (August 2004).”
Rowayton (6-1) is also Royal Ascot-bound, with the Queen Mary the target on the back of an impressive debut performance under Philip Robinson in the Winning Syndicates With Middleham Park Racing Maiden Auction Stakes.
The win did not come as a great surprise to trainer James Bethell, who said of the 6-1 chance: “Philip said the ground was plenty fast enough for her, but that she would improve.
“She had been working well at home and I think we will have to think about Royal Ascot now.
“I bought her for 14,000 guineas at the autumn sales and about six weeks later a half-brother to her by Dansili went for 200,000 guineas!”
The connections of Indian Days will also be dusting down their top hats and tails ready for the Royal meeting following a convincing success in the totesport betXtra Win Only Handicap.
Successful trainer trainer James Given said of the 5-2 favourite: “I will not mind if he goes up six or seven pounds for that because he then might sneak in at the bottom of the handicap for the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot.
“The mile and a half will be OK as he settles so well and he will like the fast ground.
“There is also a mile-and-a-quarter handicap for three-year-olds at Epsom which is a possibility.”
There was another shock for punters when the Ronnie Barr-trained Lewis Lloyd ran out a 33-1 winner of the Subscribe To Racing UK Selling Stakes under apprentice Slade O’Hara.
Barr was at Carlisle, but Lewis Lloyd was retained without a bid.
The winning trophy was presented by former England football manager Sir Bobby Robson and all the jockeys later came out and had their photograph taken with him in the winner’s enclosure.
Silver Seeker gave his trainer Pauline Robson her first success on the Flat when winning at Musselburgh a week ago and he is likely to return there in search of a hat-trick after gaining an easy success under Paul Fessey in the totesport betXtra Show Only Handicap.
Robson’s partner David Parker said after the 5-6 success: “We will see how he is, but he may run at Musselburgh on Friday – his win the other day was in an apprentice race so he will only get one penalty.”
Dance Sauvage came down on the bend into the straight giving apprentice Andrew Mullen a heavy fall.
The jockey, who reported that his mount “just slipped”, sustained an injury to his left hand while Dance Sauvage appeared to have escaped unscathed.