IT was love and marriage.

Ordinarily, you would have expected Lambourn trainer Archie Watson to be saddling his fancied runner in a lucrative sprint at Glorious Goodwood.

Instead, he accompanied his new wife Brodie Hampson to Salisbury last night where she was partnering the stable's Only The Brave in the amateur riders' race.

It was a wise decision.

Dusky Prince could only finish fourth and Only the Brave won - for the first time in four years.

"She's riding and I am just the driver," Watson quipped in the unsaddling enclosure.

The Lambourn man was confident the mare would handle the fast ground as she is American bred and has accordingly been chiefly campaigned on all-weather tracks.

However, he must have feared her losing streak of 14 runs since winning a claimer in 2018, would become 15 as Georgia King enterprisingly poached what looked an unassailable lead midway on Gavi Di Gavi and was still clear entering the final 200 yards but suddenly Only The Brave cut down the gelding's lead and snatched victory in the final strides.

"She's done what she was bought for," said Watson.

"She got messed about at the start and didn't get away well but she is tough. She has been unlucky but it finally clicked for her today."

Salisbury, as with many other tracks, has been a hostage to fortune to the weather. No rain has fallen on the downland turf for a more than a month and to ensure decent, though firm ground, it was being watered at day break.

Naturally, the lack of runners will fuel the argument there is too much racing as only 39 lined up to greet the starter on the six-race card.

The two elements combined to take their toll, principally on the six-furlong feature with several of the better class entrants withdrawn at the last acceptance stage to leave just three to compete for the £8,000 plus purse.

But as the old saying goes, it only takes two to make a race.

It was anything but a straightforward affair as the trio dawdled for the first furlong with Dane O'Neill on Run To Freedom tracking market rival Royal Commando with the unconsidered Fivethousandtoone tucked in behind, before Dane O'Neill made his move.

Extraordinarily, the rank outsider did not get the clearest of runs in such a small field but once clear - and galvanised by first time cheekpieces - he put in a determined challenge and the favourite, who was conceding half a stone to his rivals, had to be driven out to scramble home by a short head.

Depending on ground conditions, Run To Freedom will be earmarked for either the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury next month or the Sprint Cup at Ascot on Champions Day in October.

Run To Freedom provided second leg of a double for Dane O'Neill who took the juvenile race on Mehme who upset the favourite Rose Pick.

The evening ended with a shock result with the rank odds-on favourite Arcadian Friend being turned over by the second favourite Sir Joseph Swan.

The Newmarket raider led for much of the trip until challenged over two furlongs out, and though he gamely tried to fend him off, Sir Joseph Swan swept clear.