The Moon moved up to Group 3 in style with a clear win in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock.
Henry Candy’s five-year-old daughter has been lightly raced so far, with this 12-stadium heat just her ninth start, but she had made some progress – securing a Listed victory in the Nottinghamshire Oaks on her arc seasonal last month.
Connections duly chose to return to class, and the decision paid off as it edged Cabaletta by a length and three-quarters in the hands of David Probert.
Oisin Murphy decided to do everything on favorite Oriental Mystic, but the distress signals were evident with a few yards to go, as Cabaletta and The Moon got on his heels after establishing a steady pace.
Cabaletta was the first to strike for the house, but Probert was clearly traveling the best and La Luna laid down in style to comfortably cross the line.
Oriental Mystique stayed at the finish after apparently touching a flat, but Cabaletta secured second place by half a length.
Candy expects to tackle even more important things in due course, but has no specific goal in sight.
He said, “She’s so genuine and straightforward. She just wants to please and you don’t have a lot of her like that. She’s absolutely tiny, but she has a big step and a huge heart.
“I was worried about the pitch, but (course director) Kirkland Tellwright was brilliant and said it would be good to soft. It wasn’t ideal, but she got away with it. When they want to do it, it makes a big difference.
“I have nothing in mind at all – I’m doing it step by step.
“I am delighted that she was able to win a Group race. Now that she won a Group 3, we could step up a gear – it is the logical thing to do.”
Probert was also thrilled and said: “She has a heart of gold and has really excelled this season.
“I was a little doubtful that the ground was not drying up enough. She is fit under heavier conditions, but in defeat. She was really tough in Nottingham on the Listed and it was on very fast ground.
“She really enjoyed the mile and a half today. She loves to pass horses and she’s a warrior.
“The way she did it today is pretty exciting.”