In the end, even their three-year-olds have redeemed themselves, Arctic Cosmos winning the final Classic of the season at Doncaster last Saturday. There was a time, however, when John Gosden and William Buick were especially grateful that Dar Re Mi had relieved their new partnership of any early pressure, with that spectacular success at Meydan in March. Gosden soon perceived that they would have to wait for the two-year-olds for any momentum on the home front, and told his new stable jockey to show due patience during the summer. Sure enough, the Clarehaven juveniles are now in rampant form, and yesterday he sent out four of them to win at three tracks inside 80 minutes.
The man himself is at the yearling sales in Keeneland, hoping that the next cycle proves just as fertile. But tidings of his two winners here, in particular, may well have prompted thoughts of returning to Kentucky in a few weeks' time. For Gosden is presumably seeking a colt to win him the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf for the third year running, and conceivably Treasury Devil might fit the bill.
Winner of a Newbury maiden on his debut, this colt by Bernadini was sent off odds-on to beat four rivals for the Futurity Novice Stakes. And after briefly running green he swept past Introvert to win going away, looking ready for an eighth furlong as he did so. Buick was wearing the same Lloyd-Webber silks as on Dar Re Mi, who was retired only days ago to join the broodmares at Watership Down Stud.
The Lloyd-Webbers sell nearly all their young colts, but one way or another ended up retaining Treasury Devil at Keeneland last year, having failed to find a bidder beyond $1m. "We set a value on them all and, by not being greedy, nine times out of 10 they will make their value," Lady Lloyd-Webber said. "Thank goodness this one didn't. He's a very exciting prospect."
As it happens, she had greeted the stable's St Leger success with dismay, having bred the hot favourite in Rewilding. But the fact is that a maximum of three colts can win English Classics every season, dispiriting as that must be to connections of Gosden's other winner here, Masked Marvel.
A gorgeous debutant by Montjeu, Masked Marvel was well backed to take his maiden in very similar fashion to Treasury Devil. Jeremy Brummitt, racing manager to Bjorn Nielsen, tried to resist excitability while admitting excitement – sufficient, in fact, to mention Epsom next June. "There's only ever one target, isn't there?" he said. "Everything else is Plan B. We do like the horse. But we'll find out more next time. Certainly he was the least forward in this race."
Of Gosden's five runners yesterday, the only one to be beaten finished third to a stablemate, Utley, at Yarmouth. His winner at Beverley, The Shrew, briefly extended Paul Hanagan's lead at the top of the jockeys' table to 14, but Richard Hughes struck back here when Penitent won a listed race on his first start since the Derby meeting. His Lincoln success had previously implied that Penitent would prove himself Group class and, still lightly raced, those hopes remain warranted by the sort of expert placement typified by William Haggas here.
There was also a listed contest at Yarmouth, where the flourishing Nouriya kept up Sir Michael Stoute's pressure on Richard Hannon in the trainers' championship. Hannon and Hughes were proceeding to Kempton last night, Hanagan having meanwhile reached 148 for the year with another winner at Beverley. Over at Listowel, Alfa Beat won the Guinness Kerry National – another tribute to his artful trainer, Charles Byrnes, who had already nursed him 45lbs up the handicap through four consecutive wins.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Dancing Welcome (5.55 Wolverhampton) Bounced back to form here the other day, going sweetly before pulling well clear of the third. This trip is probably a bare minimum but she is too well treated to ignore off a 3lbs lower mark.
Mirrored (4.20 Ayr) Another change of yard has prompted signs of renewal in his last couple of starts, travelling strongly before meeting traffic at Ripon last time.
One to watch
Deacon Blues (J R Fanshawe) Is in the right hands to keep progressing next year, and excelled in third against older rivals in the Portland last Saturday.
Where the money's going
Coral report good support for Workforce in their Arc market, cutting the Derby winner to 5-1 from 7-1.