Sam Twiston-Davies rode Salubrious to a debut victory over fences and declared: The world is his oyster.
The 21-year-old rider kept the son of Beneficial up to his work as they held on to beat Drum Valley in the Davenport Property Investment Novices’ Chase at Fontwell yesterday.
It was hardly the performance you would expect of a 1/5 market leader, as he survived a couple of mistakes and idled in front before winning by a neck.
But as far as Twiston-Davies was concerned, it was a case of mission accomplished.
He acknowledged the Paul Nicholls-trained talent, who won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival, has a lot to learn.
However, the rider is confident his mount – rated 153 over hurdles – has a bright future in the chasing sphere.
Twiston-Davies said: ‘He jumped and got better as the race went on.
‘He was good when he needed to be but he is a work in progress.
‘Speaking to Paul, this was always going to be a starting point.
‘Obviously he will build fitness-wise from here.
‘I’m not sure whether they are in a rush for any major plans.
‘But at the same time, what is nice is that he has got started and won his first chase. That will give him a bit of confidence.
‘The world’s his oyster now. It would be nice to see him pitch up and win another little one and then hopefully have a go at some big money.’
Salubrious had to survive a stewards’ enquiry before his team could celebrate success.
Twiston-Davies took the blame for a bump with runner-up Drum Valley and jockey Leighton Aspell after the final fence.
He said: ‘I should have been on the other side of Leighton. His has jumped right near enough throughout.
‘I wanted to go down the middle and keep it smooth rather than chop and change, left and right. So it was my fault.
‘Even so, he has idled a little bit in front.
‘He has a history of doing that but we saw it out in the end.’