Time may tell Charlton ace is smart

  • Last Updated: August 29 2014, 18:10 BST

A review of Friday's action at Sandown, where Time Test was a hugely impressive winner for Roger Charlton and Khalid Abdullah.

Time Test: Trainer Roger Charlton is not getting carried away despite an impressive success
Time Test: Trainer Roger Charlton is not getting carried away despite an impressive success

Roger Charlton stressed it would be one small step at a time with the impressively-entered-up Time Test after his fairly routine victory in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes at Sandown.

As the Wiltshire trainer makes a habit of being accurate in his assessments, there had been a fascinating buzz around the Dubawi colt prior to his debut at Newbury last month, when he went off at odds-on but came up a neck short against a more experienced opponent.

Sent off the 5/6 favourite under James Doyle here, he either led or stayed close to the pace throughout the seven furlongs and completed his business by a brisk two and three-quarter lengths.

From one of Khalid Abdullah's breeding families closely allied with the late Sir Henry Cecil, Time Test was out of the classy mare Passage Of Time and thus a half-brother to Retirement Plan.

He is engaged in next month's Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes as well as the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes and Racing Post Trophy.

"He looked like he might do that for 90 per cent of his run last time," said Charlton.

"James said he wasn't mad on the soft ground, it blunted his turn of foot, but I suppose it was the same for all of them."

Asked if the Royal Lodge might be an option, Charlton said: "We'll see. He has got some Group One entries, and he's got a Group One pedigree, but he has only won a maiden and would need to do a bit more first.

"We'll just go quietly. I don't think he needs to be going a mile yet."

Abdullah's colours were carried to a later victory by John Gosden's Ski Lift (9/2), who stayed on strongly up the Esher slope in the HWFA Williams Handicap to give Doyle a double.

Another winner with an aristocratic pedigree was Basem, who provided the second leg of a Richard Hughes double in the ROA Owners Jackpot Handicap.

The full-brother to last year's Lockinge and Champion Stakes winner Farhh has the same trainer in Saeed bin Suroor, and had been off the mark straight away at the Craven meeting.

Beaten at the next attempt at Beverley in May, the 7/2 chance took this event in his stride by a length and a half.

"He's a nice horse," said Hughes. "I got the impression going down to the start that he'd want a lead, and I'd like to ride him in a better race."

Sky Bet clipped Basen to 20/1 from 33s for the Cambridgeshire following the race.

Hughes had earlier brought a good training performance from Stuart Kittow to fruition in the Sports Taster Day Handicap when the 10/1 chance Macdillon overcame an absence of 338 days.

Devon-based Kittow said: "We had a virus in the spring, so we've been easy on the horses.

"He should have won this race last year - Kieren Fallon was furious as he couldn't get through for a run. He loves this place and conditions were ideal today."

Majestic Hero looked a sprinter with a solid future, possibly for different connections, after the Orleans Nursery.

Trained by Ron Harris, the 9/4 favourite was sixth in a strong York event landed by Felix Leiter and had much less on his plate back down to the minimum trip with David Probert driving his mount a length and a quarter clear of Perardua.

It had taken Majestic Hero's groom Roshan an hour and a quarter to create a unique and intricate pattern on his quarters, using his own design.

Harris said: "He's got a real physique, this horse, ever since we had him as a yearling.

"We'll have to see where we go now, but there's been a lot of interest in him from everywhere."

Just a trio lined up for the Squire Furneaux Volvo Maiden Fillies' Stakes with Charlie Hills' outsider-of-three Brown Diamond (5/2) coming out ahead under Ryan Moore.

"She obviously didn't get a mile and a half in sticky ground in the Cheshire Oaks and would have needed her last run as she's had a few niggly problems," said Hills.