Jim Bolger made an impact on his first visit to Newbury in 16 years by saddling 2-1 favourite Vocalised to victory in the Bathwick Tyres Greenham Stakes.
However, the colt is unlikely to take his place in the stanjames.com 2000 Guineas on May 2 with Bolger instead favouring the Poule d’Essai des Poulains eight days later.
Subsequent Derby winner New Approach failed by an agonising nose to claim the Newmarket Classic 12 months ago for Bolger, and the County Carlow-based trainer is set to rely on Dewhurst winner Intense Focus in the Guineas – with Gan Amhras another possible contender.
Vocalised arrived in Berkshire race-fit having taken a similar trial in Ireland earlier in the month, and he coped with softer conditions to collect by a length under Kevin Manning.
Cityscape showed a likeable attitude to box on for second, with Icesolator third and Godolphin’s Shaweel weakening to fifth.
Bolger last visited Newbury when saddling Blue Judge to finish second in the equivalent race in 1993, and outlined the plans for many of his Classic hopefuls.
The trainer, who had earlier seen his filly Maoineach beaten, said: “I came here expecting to win two races but this game would tame lions.
“I would say Vocalised would be better on better ground, and he will now probably go to Paris.
“He isn’t entered at Newmarket, and I thought at that stage I had enough horses for that race.
“I would be surprised if he gets the Derby trip, but he is hardy.
“Intense Focus will to Newmarket, and I’ll have to see if Gan Amhras will run as well. He was going to run tomorrow at Leopardstown but he can’t go there as the ground is soft.
“For him it will be either Newmarket or York for the Dante – and the ground will be the deciding factor there.
“Intense Focus is in good shape and both he and Vocalised would be entitled to run in any Classic over a mile.
“Gan Amhras will be better suited by 10 furlongs to a mile and a half.”
Dewhurst winner Intense Focus had the likes of silky-smooth Craven Stakes winner Delegator and Aidan O’Brien’s Rip Van Winkle behind when scoring at Headquarters last autumn.
Bolger added: “It was a last-minute decision to run Intense Focus at Leopardstown as we were expecting soft ground and it came up better than that.
“We ran him but he needed it and it probably came a week too early.
“The Dewhurst is always a good race and Delegator looks to be the one, but Aidan (O’Brien) is very happy with Rip Van Winkle.”
Bolger blamed the soft ground for the defeat of Maoineach, and nominated Royal Ascot winner Cuis Ghaire as his main contender for the 1000 Guineas.
He said: “Cuis Ghaire is my number one for Newmarket and there is a possibility of Oh Goodness Me running too.
“She is in the same position as Lush Lashes last year – before the Guineas I was thinking about the Musidora but at the last minute I decided to give her a run in the Guineas before going on to win the Musidora.
“Cuis Ghaire is showing a lot of the traits of Teofilo and New Approach and lights up when she gets somewhere different.”
Primary focus for the 2000 Guineas from the Greenham was on Cityscape, as Roger Charlton’s son of Selkirk was only beaten only a length on an unfavourable soft surface.
Ladbrokes slashed the Khalid Abdullah-owned colt’s price to just 12-1, although 25-1 is available with William Hill who were unchanged.
Charlton was thrilled with the runner-up, and said: “I thought that was great. Steve Drowne said he just got caught by race-fit horse.
“He ran a good trial and, at the moment, we’d hope to go to Newmarket - although I’ll have to talk to the Prince first.”