A NEW era in the royal family's patronage of racing was ushered in at Salisbury when a sleek brown colt became the first horse to run in the colours of the new monarch, King Charles.

Educator, appropriately bred by his late mother, competed in an average ten-furlong handicap in the capable hands of Tom Marquand but the outcome was not what most racegoers wished for - comfortably beaten by his market rival in the four-runner race.

The ever-smiling Marquand had posed for a few selfies before walking into the parade ring, looking slightly embarrassed by the fuss as he was snapped by a posse of national press photographers. He then chatted to the King's racing manager John Warren and the trainer's wife, Maureen Haggas, before cantering the three-year-old to the start.

Settled out in front, the one-time Derby hope, sidelined through injury after winning a handicap at Newmarket in April, lacked race fitness and did not help his cause by jumping the path half a mile out. He then could only run at only one pace when challenged by the progressive Okeechobee who had won his two previous races at Kempton and Wolverhampton in style.

Marquand, who had met the future king at Royal Ascot this year, was philosophical.

He said: "It didn't go to plan but that's horse racing. Everyone would have liked His Majesty to get off to a winning start but it wasn't to be."

Warren explained Educator wore cheekpieces to aid his concentration.

"He had a setback in the spring and although we thought he was probably a decent horse, he needs to get back to work," he said.

"You don't rush a horse back to a course with all guns blazing and he will be better for that run. He is a horse who needs more racing. He will be more focused. He jumped the path and became distracted."

Ordinarily the headlines would have been garnered by Ralph Beckett who gained a unique treble. He had never saddled three winning debutants on the same track on the same day.

It was also a milestone for Dougie Costello who has ridden at every course in the country except Epsom as a jump and flat race jockey. He enjoyed his first winner at Salisbury when If Not Now provided the middle leg of the treble.

Costello left his North Yorkshire base at midnight to ride work for Whitsbury trainer Marcus Tregoning before driving onto Salisbury where he partnered what appeared to be Beckett's second string in the one-mile maiden.

A little edgy to post, Costello had him covered up behind the bulk of the field and only looked destined for a place two furlongs out but then finished fast on the stands side and edge out the yard's other runner and favourite Rebel Red. Beckett commented: "He will learn a lot. He was green and is a nice horse but that's it for the season."

The same applies to the well-bred Bluestocking who Beckett considers potential classic class as he will feature in a major trial next year. Always going well, the only problem facing jockey Rob Hornby was getting a run but he threaded his way through and switched to the far rail, quickened clear.

A big, angular filly, Beckett feared the occasion would be too much for her. "I thought she would be too raw but she did it well."

Remarquee provided the third leg. The Kingman colt looked set to be set for second place as the odds-on favourite Bresson dictated the pace and never looked likely to be overhauled until well inside the final furlong when Hornby had to get a little more forceful on Remarquee. "He looked a little wide-eyed and unsure of his job," said Beckett. "He looked a bit reluctant until Rob gave him a flick of the whip. But it was for him to get off the mark."

Beckett's bid for an unprecedented four-timer was dashed when another newcomer in Come Together made late headway in another maiden but could not get into the mix and finished sixth behind Secret Solace who had belied her 50/1 odds on her debut at Newbury a fortnight ago.

Marcus Tregoning considers her to the best her French-bred dam Secret Pursuit, who was placed in the Cheshire Oaks, has produced.

He said: "Now we are dreaming. She's very tough and will go on any ground but that's probably it for the year. Hopefully she will get further than (Thurday's) six. In fact, I'm sure she will."