It takes a good horse to get John Gosden excited and Sunray Major appeared to do that in making a sparkling debut for the champion trainer at Newmarket.
The Clarehaven Stables handler looks to have a future Group-race performer on his hands in the son of Dubawi, judged on the manner of his victory in division two of the Betfair Exchange More Ways To Win EBF Stallions Novice Stakes.
Despite needing to be re-shod before the race and side-stepping out of the stalls, the 8-11 favourite – who is a half-brother to Gosden’s former stable star Kingman – moved through well through the mile contest before running out a three-and-a-quarter-length winner under Frankie Dettori.
Gosden said: “He is a lovely colt and he has worked very nicely at home. He has only done bridle work. He got above himself saddling and his shoe came off and we had to get him re-shod, then he decided he wanted to do this and that. He is a really charming, kind horse.
“The farrier did a fantastic job, as it is never easy when they are a little agitated, but he got the shoe on and he has won in good style.
“We are hopeful he is a very classy colt.”
Plenty is also likely to be heard of King Leonidas over the coming months, after the Kingman colt defied a penalty under Dettori to follow up his debut success at the track in October and take the opening division of the mile contest by two and a quarter lengths.
Gosden said of the 6-4 shot: “It was a good run and we would be very happy with that. I’ve not done an awful lot of work with him and he is just getting himself there.
“I was pleasantly surprised and happy, as I thought it would be tough to give away 7lb, it is not easy. I really liked the way he did it and the jockey was very happy with him.
“We are probably around there at the moment (Listed/Group Three level).”