Trainer Rebecca Bastiman praised the performance of jockey Danny Tudhope after seeing the admirable Royal Brave storm home to claim his fourth course victory at Musselburgh.
The seven-year-old carries the colours of the yard’s former stable star Borderlescott and while Royal Brave cannot quite match the talent of the popular dual Nunthorpe hero, he has nevertheless been a fine servant to connections since being snapped up for 14,000 guineas out of William Muir’s stable two and a half years ago.
Three of his five previous triumphs for the Bastiman team had been at Musselburgh and although out of his depth on his latest visit to Scotland when a sentimental runner in the Borderlescott Sprint Trophy, he was the 9-2 market leader for the Boogie In The Morning Handicap.
Favourite-backers will have been worried when he reared up in the stalls and missed the break, but Tudhope appeared unflustered and managed to weave his way through and steer Royal Brave to a neck verdict over Harome.
Bastiman said: “He’s a superstar isn’t he?
“I think Danny’s ride was the story of the race, to be honest. He reared up in the stalls twice and it’s very hard to give ground away in these sprints, especially at Musselburgh, but Danny didn’t panic.
“I told him not to win by too far, but I wasn’t expecting him to make me sweat as much as he did!
“The horse loves Musselburgh and there’s a big race back here in June, but we’ll see how he is.”
It is almost three years since Borderlescott ran his final race, but he is reported to be a rude health at Bastiman’s West Yorkshire home.
“He’s in great form. He goes out with the string ever day and still thinks he’s the leader of the pack,” the trainer added.
Tudhope went on to complete a double aboard David O’Meara’s even-money favourite Trading Point in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Goliath Cup Handicap.
The O’Meara-Tudhope combination was only narrowly denied in the Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange Handicap, with Montague nailed on the line by the James Tate-trained Tribal Warrior (4-1) and David Allan.
Tribal Warrior was making his turf debut, having won twice on the all-weather at Kempton since the turn of the year.
Tate said: “I’m delighted with that. He’s was quite sick as a young horse and as a consequence he was a bit of a late starter, but he’s genuine and improving all the time.
“You’re never quite sure how they’ll take to the grass first time, but he has the pedigree for it and it was great to see him get up.
“He’s not a horse you’d want to run again too quickly, so we’ll probably try to find something in another three to four weeks.
“I hope there’s more in the tank.”
Nicki’s Angel (14-1) made a winning debut for Richard Fahey in the EBF Novice Stakes, comfortably seeing off odds-on favourite Deep Intrigue in the hands of Paul Hanagan.
Ruth Carr’s Sureyoutoldme was a 12-1 winner of the Jackson Boyd Lawyers-More Than Just Handicap under James Sullivan, while Karl Burke and Ben Curtis combined to land the Core (Oil And Gas) Handicap with 11-4 favourite Four Kingdoms.