Amy Murphy will make sure to keep June 23 clear in her diary after Thegreatestshowman booked his ticket to join stablemate Kapono at Royal Ascot with his victory at Brighton.
The Newmarket handler, who saw her first Cheltenham Festival runner Kalashnikov finish second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in March, can look forward to two runners on her first trip to the Royal meeting, following the son of Equiano’s length success in the Thorley Taverns Novice Stakes.
She said of the 4-1 scorer: “He doesn’t do a lot in front, but I’m delighted to get him back on track as he ran really well first time out at Newbury.
“We took him to Longchamp and he had a hiccup, as he flipped over in the stalls. He simply didn’t stay the stiff six at Pontefract and it was complete trainer error running him there.
“We’ve liked him from day one. I’m sure they (owners) will want to go to Ascot for the Windsor Castle.”
She added: “They will be my first Royal Ascot runners and will both probably end up in the same race, which is typical. It is better to have two bullets rather than one, though.”
Tom Clover celebrated his first success since tying the knot with his partner Jackie last month, with Balgair (5-2) providing him with his inaugural winner at the Sussex track in the Matthew Clark Wholesale And Whitley Neill Handicap.
The Newmarket handler said: “He is a horse that really enjoys passing horses and is quite a free-going sort.
“A mile is probably his trip and I would like to get him on a straight mile where they go hard, as that is where he will be seen at his best.”
Richard Hughes has been left scratching his head on more than one occasion with Jack Taylor (10-1) this season but the cards finally fell right for the three-year-old in the Motorclean Ltd Handicap.
Hughes said: “Shane (Kelly) gave him a great ride to put his head in front on the line. The blinkers worked, but he is not ungenuine, he just has lots of energy.
“We were not sure what trip he was most effective at, as when he won his maiden in France he looked like all did was stay. He has shown more speed in his races lately.”
Alistair Rawlinson enjoyed his first winner at the seaside circuit when steering the Michael Appleby-trained Tan to glory (9-2) in the Whiteley Neill Handcrafted Original Gin Handicap.
Rawlinson said: “The first time I rode him he struggled over five, but he had been off for a while. He has jumped quite slick every time since and he has been like a rocket.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so fast downhill in my life.”
The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Altra Vita (9-5) was forced to survive a stewards’ inquiry after grinding out victory by half a length in the Whitley Neill Handcrafted Rhubarb And Ginger Gin Handicap.
Winning jockey Luke Morris said: “She was not doing a lot in front. She is progressive and still on the up. She is learning all the time.”