Klassique had too many guns for hot favourite True Self in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock.
The decision to switch smart hurdler True Self to the Flat has proved a masterstroke by Ireland’s perennial champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins, with the six-year-old following up a Cork maiden triumph with three successive Listed victories at Bath, Newmarket and Gowran Park respectively.
She was a warm order to notch a fifth win on the bounce and add a Group Three success to her CV on Merseyside, and the 8-11 market leader travelled powerfully for much of the mile-and-a-half journey in the hands of Colin Keane.
However, the William Haggas-trained 7-2 chance Klassique responded admirably to Danny Tudhope’s urgings to charge to the lead in the testing conditions – and the further she went the better she looked, passing the post three lengths clear of the Irish raider.
Pilaster was just half a length further away in third.
Maureen Haggas, assistant to her husband, said: “She did great. She was lovely and settled – Danny gave her a lovely ride, and it couldn’t have gone better really.
“They had the best of the ground because they are on a fresh track, and there was only a four-runner race before it, but she seemed to handle the ground. She is better with a bit of cut, but it’s rather exceptional today and is getting worse. They’ve had three days of rain – it’s bottomless.
“She’s just improving. She was a tiny yearling, and they were brave to buy her. She had a year out at two (years of age), and when she came to us at three she was unrecognisable and has changed again this year – she’s holding her condition better.
“There are a few races for her – there’s the race at Doncaster (Park Hill Stakes), and you could go back up in trip with her, but she’s won a Group race and will be a lovely mare.”
The victory topped off an excellent week for Tudhope, who reached a career milestone of 1,000 domestic winners by steering Ingleby Hollow to victory at Thirsk on Monday.
He said: “It’s a great achievement – I’ll probably appreciate it more when I stop riding and I’ve time to look back.
“Hopefully there’s a few more winners to come before then.”