Roger Charlton’s unbridled excitement was clear for all to see after Top Offer translated some impressive homework into a winning racecourse debut at Newbury.
The Beckhampton handler arrived at the track buoyed by the fact that eight of his last 16 runners had been victorious, but surely none have left the trainer as visibly delighted as this particular juvenile.
Charlton admitted afterwards that Top Offer was the most exciting youngster in his care and that he had fully expected him to make a winning start to his racing career.
Clearly the word was out in some quarters as he was a solidly backed 6-4 favourite for division two of the Don Deadman Memorial EBF Maiden and got the job done in fine style under Steve Drowne.
Always travelling kindly towards the far side of the track, the son of Dansili showed a smart change of gear once popped the question and did not have to engage top gear as he strode three and a half lengths clear of Pulverize.
Coral offer 25-1 about his chances for next year’s 2000 Guineas, while Victor Chandler offer just 16-1 and make him a 20-1 chance for the Derby.
The fact Charlton believes the youngster compares favourably with Group-race-winning stablemate Cityscape suggests there would be worse ante-post bets.
The trainer told Racing UK: “You don’t often see it in two-year-olds. He’s always been so straightforward and he’s a wonderful mover.
“You have to keep pinching yourself now and again. We upped his work and he’s been working with older horses. He’s always done it nicely.
“Then you get apprehensive because I said to someone this morning I’d be disappointed if he didn’t win by three lengths!
“I’ve always liked him and he’s got a great future.
“I’m not one for jumping from a maiden to a Group One, but should he progress, the obvious Group One races are the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy.
“Cityscape won his novice race last year by nine lengths and I always thought this was potentially a better horse than Cityscape.”
Charlton and Drowne went on to complete a double with Deck Walk (16-1) in the Crossland Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
Division one of the maiden also looked a fair contest on paper, with newcomer Firdaws all the rage beforehand.
She did virtually everything right in the race but was unable to reel in Sir Michael Stoute’s 11-1 chance Tales Of Grimm, ridden by Kieren Fallon.
Barry Simpson, racing manager for winning owner Sir Robert Ogden, said: “Kieren thought he was one of the nicest moving horses that he’s sat on for some time.
“He went to post extremely well and in the race he broke well. Kieren was very pleased with the way the horse performed.
“I don’t think we have any exciting plans. It’s just nice to have a horse who looks as though he has a lot of potential.
“If Sir Michael feels he’s ready, we’ll put him in some of those better races at the backend of the season.”
Coral make the winner 20-1 for Guineas glory.
David Barron’s Kohala beat off a number of less exposed rivals to land the Bathwick Tyres St Hugh’s Stakes.
The Queen Mary fifth was always up with the pace under Jimmy Fortune and held off the challenge of dual winner Excelette by three-quarters of a length.
Fortune said: “They went off very quick and she travelled well in behind the leaders.
“She looked at the stands when she got to the front and she’s probably won with a little bit in hand.”
Eddie Ahern registered a double on the card, guiding Rockfella (11-1) to an all-the-way win in Punter Southall Transaction Services Handicap, before striking on 9-1 chance Oneladyowner in the Download The Blue Square App Handicap.
The latter’s trainer, David Brown, said: “He had a breathing problem so we put that right and I expected him to run well today, but I thought he might just need one more bit of work.
“I was obviously wrong and he’ll probably go to the Ayr Silver Cup, as he wouldn’t get in the Gold Cup.
Woodcote Place (9-2) ran out a comfortable winner of the Christopher Smith Associates 30th Anniversary Claiming Stakes, while 20-1 shot Gallego came from the clouds to land the closing Chris Beek Racing Polar Jest Apprentice Handicap.