John and Thady Gosden produced a nice training performance at Newmarket, as Audience caused a small shock at 14-1 in the Cavani Menswear Fashion Face-Off Frenzy Criterion Stakes.
Only Sam Maximus was sent off a bigger price than the Cheveley Park Stud-owned four-year-old for the Group Three contest, and he arrived at the July course following 263 days off the track.
Ridden by Robert Havlin, the son of Iffraaj led Berkshire Shadow and the 5-2 favourite Aldaary on the far side as the field of six split into two, with defending champion Pogo taking along Sam Maximus and recent John of Gaunt Stakes scorer Jumby on the near side.
The runners fanned out across the track as the business end of the race approached and it was Havlin aboard Audience who seized the initiative and kept the momentum up as he set about putting the race to bed out on his own in splendid isolation.
Audience never stopped as he kept on well inside the final furlong, with little separating Jumby and Pogo who were unable to reel in the winner and finished second and third respectively when making their challenge on the near side.
John Gosden said: “It is all down to Leah Mapston, who looks after him and rides him every day. She understands the horse and she is more to do with this horse winning than the trainer – and the jockey, of course. But she has done a wonderful job.
“He has got a lot of talent, he was not right in the spring, he went off behind and we couldn’t get him quite where we wanted him, but he’s come right for a lovely race like this.
“The hood helps him a lot. It is very useful for a horse like this, as he can live a little on the edge.
“He is in a race like the Lennox (Stakes, Goodwood), but I think he enjoyed this race today on a straight track. We’ll see. We will give him a couple of nice engagements. Ryan (Moore) rode him at Ascot last year and he said this horse has really got something, but he will need a little working out.
“Rab went up that far side this morning and it is completely fresh ground. That’s a little bit of knowing your track.
“Seven furlongs is very much his trip.”