La Lune graduated to Group Three company in style with a clear-cut victory in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock.
Henry Candy’s five-year-old has been lightly raced so far, with this 12-furlong heat just her ninth start, but she had been making strides – securing a Listed win in the Nottinghamshire Oaks on her seasonal bow last month.
Connections duly opted to move up again in class, and the decision paid dividends as she saw off Cabaletta by a length and three-quarters in the hands of David Probert.
Oisin Murphy set out to make all on favourite Oriental Mystique, but the distress signals were evident with a couple of furlongs to run, as both Cabaletta and La Lune moved on to her heels after she set just a steady pace.
Cabaletta was the first to strike for home, but Probert was clearly travelling the better and La Luna lengthened in style to stride comfortably clear at the line.
Oriental Mystique stuck on again at the finish after seemingly hitting a flat spot, but Cabaletta secured second by half a length.
Candy expects to tackle even bigger things in due course, but has no definite target in his sights.
He said said: “She’s so genuine and straightforward. She’s just wants to please and you don’t get many like that. She’s absolutely tiny, but she’s got a huge stride and a huge heart.
“I was worried about the ground, but (clerk of the course) Kirkland Tellwright was brilliant and said it would be good to soft. It wasn’t ideal, but she’s coped with it. When they want to do it, it makes a big difference.
“I haven’t got anything in mind at all – I’m taking it very much step by step.
“I’m delighted she’s been able to win a Group race. Now she’s won a Group Three we might step up – it’s the logical thing to do.”
Probert was similarly thrilled and said: “She’s got a heart of gold and has really excelled this season.
“I was a little bit doubtful about the ground not drying up enough. She has form in heavier conditions, but in defeat. She was really relentless at Nottingham in the Listed race and that was on very quick ground.
“She really relished the mile and a half today. She enjoys passing horses and she’s a warrior.
“The way she’s done it today is pretty exciting.”