Hooray continued what could be a surprisingly busy build-up towards a Group One challenge with what trainer Sir Mark Prescott felt was her best performance to date in the totepool Sirenia Stakes at Kempton.
Prescott is essentially working backwards from next month’s Electrolux Cheveley Park Stakes and he believes the two-year-old thrives when turned out again quickly after a race.
This was no mean performance from Hooray, who carried more weight than the colts due to a 5lb penalty accrued by her success in the Lowther at York.
Despite all that, and a market drift out to 5-2, Hooray laughed at the challenges of Reckless Reward and 7-4 favourite Signs In The Sand to gallop nearly four lengths clear in a new six-furlong juvenile course record time.
The Paddyman and Fifth Commandment had to be withdrawn after playing up in the stalls to leave only five starters, but Hooray’s victory will uphold the status of the Sirenia for the time being as the four previous winners since Polytrack replaced grass were not exactly of vintage standard.
“It was an unusual race to run in but she seemed so well and ran her best race before in the Lowther when she had run only six days earlier,” explained Prescott.
“It’s unconventional, but it seems to suit her, and I think that was probably her best run so far.
“She could have another race before the Cheveley Park, and the only one she could run in would be the Prix d’Arenberg (at Maisons-Laffitte on September 13), a race we won with Starlit Sands.
“That’s only about 10 days away but we will have a think about it.
“She wants fast ground and if it went away from that in the Cheveley Park, it would be a concern.”
Front-runners were the order of the day and Prescott and Seb Sanders continued their winning run when Tuscan Gold (11-8 favourite) strung them all out in the 40 Live Football Markets At totesport.com Handicap.
“He won’t run again. I’ll keep him for next year as he might make a nice stayer,” added the trainer.
The other Group Three on Kempton’s premier Flat meeting was the totesport September Stakes and the mile and a half event went in effortless fashion to the Michael Jarvis-trained Laaheb.
Richard Hills, acknowledged to be among the very best from the front, kicked away from the home bend to record a winning margin of three and a half lengths over Holberg.
Laaheb (11-4) was a progressive handicapper last season but has started to make an impact at stakes level and Hills believes there is more to come.
“I went a decent gallop as I know him pretty well,” said the jockey.
“I was happy where I was and it was a good job. I’d suggest the Cumberland Lodge Stakes now and he’ll improve next year as well.”
Of Holberg, Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “The winner had already flown but we were very pleased. He could go for the Cumberland Lodge before we think about the Melbourne Cup.”
Godolphin’s afternoon took another turn for the better when Frankie Dettori and the Newmarket maiden winner Biondetti (1-2 favourite) strolled home in the three-runner totesport 0800 221 221 Conditions Stakes.
Crisford added: “He is two from two now and there is progression to come, so we will find another race for him.”
Crisford did not discount the Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury from the equation but said: “We’ll pick and choose our spots.”
Mike Murphy, who quit life as a City analyst to start training in Bedfordshire four seasons ago, celebrated the finest moment of his career with a one-two in the final of the totescoop6 London Mile.
Both runners burst through inside the last furlong on opposite sides of the pack but it was the grey Chapter And Verse (25-1) and Tony Culhane who took the lion’s share of the £60,000 prize, with Red Somerset settling for the runner-up spot.
“Red got touched off here in a photo here last time and went up 3lb, while Chapter And Verse always runs well here but we came more in hope than expectation,” said Murphy.