INTERNATIONAL hotelier John Wallis made a speedy getaway from Salisbury Racecourse on Tuesday on the third leg of a remarkable trip.
Wallis had been in Paris before catching a morning flight to Heathrow where he touched down at about 10.30am when he was met by a friend on a high performance motorbike.
The pair then zoomed down the M3 and the A303 to the track where he watched Room Key, which he part owns in the Picnic Partnership, make a winning debut in the first division of the six-furlong juvenile race.
Following a post-race chat with trainer Eve Johnson Houghton and jockey Dane O'Neil, he dashed to the bookies to collect his winnings.
Then it was back on the bike for the return trip to Heathrow where he boarded an eight and a half hour flight at 4.30pm to Chicago, where he is based.
Johnson Houghton's winnings were somewhat less, having staked only £2.50 on a win and a place on the Tote.
However she was delighted by Room Key's performance.
“I don't get first time out winners – well certainly not this season,” she said.
“He certainly looks the part, although he is somewhat leggy.
“We'll give him time and see how he comes out of this before deciding where to go with him.”
The two sides of fortune were very much in evidence at the meeting. Laurence Bellman enjoyed his third success in four days when Outlawed won the seven-|furlong maiden.
The three-year-old has taken time to grow into his enormous frame and understandably the owner thinks the best is yet to come from him.
At the other end of the scale, West Country trainer Malcolm Saunders was enjoying his first win since last August when George Baker – who notched a double on the day – rode a brilliant waiting race in front on Sunny Future.
The horse is notoriously difficult in the stalls and Saunders principally took him to the track last season to run him in a 14-furlong handicap started by flag.
He consequently went on to score three times at the course in 2013, including Tuesday's corresponding race.