Royal Party at Ayr
Mirco Demuro made an immediate impression on his first visit to Ayr by steering home Party Royal to a decisive victory.
The Italian jockey, who has ridden Group One winners around the world, decided to try his hand in Britain this season due to the depressing downward spiral of the sport in his homeland.
He was noticed immediately by Middleham trainer Mark Johnston, who provided the mount on 5-4 favourite Party Royal in the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF Maiden Stakes.
A promising fourth on his debut at Chester, the juvenile was pushed two lengths clear of Cappadocia with Demuro only resorting to his hands and heels.
"I was only able to watch the race on TV but it looked a good performance," said Johnston.
"He got a bit stewed up beforehand, which was a bit of a concern, but I thought he ran really nicely first time out at Chester and I expected him to come on a bit for that, as it's such a sharp track.
"Obviously at this time of year owners are wanting to go to Royal Ascot. I'm not sure what he has beaten or whether he'll go, but it's something to think about."
With no firm stable jockey and Silvestre de Sousa, who rode many winners for Johnston's powerful yard last season now required by Godolphin, there could be a few more opportunities for Demuro going begging.
"Funnily enough I met him a few years ago when he rode for me in the Shergar Cup at Ascot but I've not met him since he's been back," Johnston said.
"I think his record of five wins from 14 rides for me speaks for itself."
Laura Barry, who looks after Richard Fahey's Investec Derby hope Mickdaam, demonstrated her own ability on the racecourse when 11-4 favourite Sunny Side Up brought home the bacon in the Money Back If Spain Win At BetVictor.com Handicap.
"She's a nice filly and it's good to ride a winner for (owner) Jim McGrath," said Barry, an Irish-born 7lb claimer.
"I've ridden her a few times at home and I hope there'll be some bigger wins to come. The ground and trip suited so it's panned out well."
Referring to Mickdaam, she told Racing UK: "He ran well at Chester last time and it's going to be a big day, so fingers crossed he puts in a good run.
"He's a good, calm horse, really straightforward, and he's in great shape."
Geoff Harker produced an impressive training performance to bring Ginger Jack (5-1) out on his seasonal reappearance to come through late and lower the seven-furlong track record in the Play Casino At BetVictor.com Handicap.
Jockey PJ McDonald then doubled up through Social Rhythm, who defeated her 7-2 co-favourites Kathlatino and All For You in the Best Odds At BetVictor.com Fillies' Handicap.
"Maybe seven was on the sharp side for Ginger Jack and I didn't want them to get too far away, so it worked out well," McDonald said.
"He really wanted to win and put his head down.
"Social Rhythm is a lovely little filly, I think I've won three or times on her and she stays quite well. She loves coming off the pace, you just couldn't ride her from the front."
Social Rhythm's trainer Alistair Whillans collected his own brace when Vittachi (11-4) appreciated a rise in trip in the Watch Live Racing At BetVictor.com Handicap.
Diman Waters, eventually dropped back to what appears his best trip of five furlongs, justified 5-1 favouritism under Kelly Harrison in the Bet Mobile At BetVictor.com Handicap.