COLOURFUL David Evans, who is always guaranteed to give the press a decent line, was asked what was the decisive factor that persuaded him to run Mr Top Hat in the six furlong juvenile race at Salisbury this afternoon.

Evans, who had been harbouring doubts about the heavy ground, laughed when it was suggested he might have walked the course, simply quipping: "The £16,000!"

The two-year-old understandably was down the field on his Newbury debut but then suffered a setback, writes JOHN HOSKINS.

However, he then put in an encouraging performance at Windsor when beaten in a photo finished and again when placed at Newbury.

However Evans, who had never raced the colt on heavy ground, was concerned about the conditions.

"It was question of shall I or shall I not? It's either they go on it or they don't and he did. He's proper nice horse."

Evans, not one for keeping horses idle, will run him again before the season's close.

"Where? I don't know. We'll have a look."

On a low-key day, most trainers were noticeably absent, with the heavyweights concentrating on the major Newmarket sales.

So it was left to Oz Wedmore, as pupil assistant, to saddle Roger Varian's two runners and the 300-mile round trip will not have seemed so far after both won.

The unraced Jamil was the more impressive, making light of the ground to coast home by two and a half lengths in the seven furlong maiden.

Andrea Atzeni, who partnered both, enthused about the Dansili colt who is Kuwait-based Abdullatif M Al Abdulrazzaq's first horse with the yard.

"He's very straightforward," Atzeni said of the winner. "He has a good attitude. It's hard work first time out but he won going away. He will get further."

Certainly the result did not surprise Wedmore.

"He did the job very well. It has not come as a total surprise, he's been working well at home."

The stable's other winner, Ace Ventura, looked as though he would win just as easily as he grabbed the favoured stands side rail. But he could not shake off Regular Income who had been nagging at his heels and then only scrambled home by a head from the fast-finishing Mandalayan.

"It was hard work," explained Atzeni, alluding to the ground. "I have always liked him and he will be a better horse next year."

Referring to his promising debut fifth at the St Leger meeting, Wedmore added: "He has certainly come on from that run at Doncaster."

To complete a good day, Atzeni completed a three timer when Ayrad defied top weight in the ten furlong handicap to run away from his three rivals.

Before dashing off for the evening card at Kempton, he said: "It was very straight forward and nice to see him get his head in front again.

"I always thought he wanted soft ground and my only worry was whether he still had it or not. He still has."