“I haven’t won a category one race for 30 years, if I have to wait another 30, I’ll be 110.”

Pos Trainer W R % TPM Pts
1 M A Wallis 175 721 24% £157,625 957
2 K R Hutton 114 386 30% £250,195 602
3 E Mcnair 72 195 37% £66,405 521
4 P Janssens 106 400 27% £71,260 517
5 A Harrison 56 140 40% £68,665 472
6 P J Simmonds 111 586 19% £89,340 464
7 J G Mullins 64 441 15% £47,475 415
8 M J Dartnall 67 211 32% £63,585 400
9 H Keightley 51 116 44% £45,920 375
10 S A Cahill 100 377 27% £57,035 342

Trainer Phil Simmonds afforded himself a chuckle recalling 80 year old owner Bryan Turner’s words before Prime Time landed the 2018 Coral Essex Vase.

After taking an early lead, the strapping British bred had been reeled in by Brigadier Bullet in the semi finals. But Sporting Dave ran between them and thwarted the odds on favourite as he mounted his challenge at the fifth bend. (Full result below)

It was a long overdue success for Spalding based breeder who was once of the sport’s most successful owners back in the 1980s with the likes of Squire Cass, Long Spell and Olivers Wish.

The former Turkey farmer produced Prime Time and brother Apache Kid, out of Story Time – mother and son achieving the unusual feat of both finishing runner-up in a Produce Stake.

Simmonds said: “I’ve known Bryan for many years and admired Prime Time as an open racer for a long time. A few weeks ago he phoned and asked me to take her because he fancied having a gamble in 575m maiden.

“I have her a trial and then. . .kind of . . . disobeyed him by putting her straight into the Essex Vase. Thankfully for me, it came off on this occasion.”

A second consecutive Cat One success at Romford following Grays Cup Winner in the Puppy Cup sees the local handler move to sixth on the Trainers Championship table.

Romford Stadium Manager Karen McMillan (right) presents the Essex Vase trophy to Prime Time’s owner Betty Turner. Also pictured from left: Ben Lewis, Nathan Hunt, Bryan Turner and trainer Phil Simmonds. Photo: © Steve Nash