Martin Smith may only have 12 horses in his care but in The Emperor Within he hopes he has one capable of being significantly better yet than his victory in the feature contest at Sandown.
Filling the runner-up spot on his two previous starts, the son of Holy Roman Emperor went one better when finishing with a flourish to land the Best Odds Guaranteed At 188Bet Handicap by a length and a half.
The Newmarket handler said of his 14-1 scorer: “To be fair he was disappointing last year, but he has not put a foot wrong this year. He just keeps improving for every run.
“I’ve had Hillbilly Boy and Ifwecan and he is probably a touch better than those two, but I think I’ve a better one called Roman River who is owned by the same people at home.
“We could look at the all-weather, although he is a French-bred horse and is open to French-bred premiums.
“Possibly at the end of the season we could run him in a Group race, then put him away.”
With entries in the Dewhurst, Royal Lodge and Champagne Stakes it is clear the regard in which Almania is held by Sir Michael Stoute and he looked useful when taking division two of the Bet & Watch At 188bet.co.uk EBF Maiden Stakes by half a length.
Philip Robinson, representing winning owner Saeed Suhail, said of the 10-11 winner: “He does look a nice horse and the penny is just dropping. He learnt a lot today and is still learning.
“I was quite happy the other horse (Buffalo River) took us on earlier rather than later, as he just needed something to wake him up. Ryan (Moore) had to teach him how to race and hopefully that will make a man of him.
“Next year is the main objection.”
Rajinsky (7-1) wore down Walkinthesand late on to clinch division one of the seven-furlong affair by a short head.
Owner Raj Matharu said: “He is a nice horse that I bought at Tom Dascombe’s yard. The head lad is a friend of mine and he said that’s the one to buy.
“It’s all up to Tom Dascombe where he goes, but he seems to look a good horse.”
Trainer Adam West and jockey Toby Eley teamed up to celebrate their first winner at the Esher track after Peggie Sue out-ran odds of 25-1 with a clear-cut victory in the 188Bet Live Casino Handicap over the minimum trip.
West said: “John Webb who runs West Racing Partnership (owners) said you’ve got to scratch that five-furlong itch. We’ve seen plenty of toe, but she has always needed a sedate pace until the end.
“We were tossing and turning whether to step her up or her step back (in trip). With the conditions soft we were inclined to give it a go today. This opens up a lot of options now.”
Elsaabiqaat (9-1) gave trainer Richard Hannon a one-two in the Read Silvestre De Sousa At 188Bet Nursery Handicap when defeating Time For Bed by a length and three-quarters.
Hannon said: “I thought she would win at Ffos Las last time, but she didn’t. Hopefully she will go on from this and win a nice nursery.”