Oisin Murphy showed he will not relinquish his champion jockey crown without a fight after taking the riding plaudits with a treble at Sandown on Friday.
The reigning champion enhanced his position at the top of the Flat jockeys’ championship table when teaming up with Andrew Balding to secure the near 10-1 three-timer.
Though the Classic-winning rider holds the advantage in the race to claim the coveted prize, he knows plenty of hard work is still to be done if he is to retain the title.
Murphy said: “I’m doing my best and everyone can see it. Hopefully I can keep riding winners and I’m lucky to have so much support from so many different trainers. If the horses and I stay healthy, hopefully we can keep kicking.
“Danny Tudhope went a long way clear of me at one stage last year and this is the time of year when it is most competitive. There are a lot of hungry jockeys out there, so I need to keep on trying.”
Politics may have found one too good on his debut at Pontefract, but there was no denying the son of Muhaarar in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes as he triumphed by two and a quarter lengths to get the ball rolling for Murphy and Balding.
The Kingsclere handler said of the 11-10 favourite winner: “He is a nice horse and he will have learned plenty from Pontefract first time out. He was a bit sharper and I was happy to leave the hood off today and that has improved him a bit.
“We will probably look for something at York for him.”
Recovery Run (13-8 joint-favourite) put his previous experience to good use as he went one better than on his previous two starts when denying newcomer Lone Eagle by a head in the British EBF Maiden Stakes.
Balding said: “He deserved it as he had been a little bit unlucky as he just missed out the last twice. He will handle a bit more cut in the ground, so he should have a good autumn I hope.
“He has got a useful level of form already, so it was nice to see him win a race.”
Mon Choix completed Murphy and Balding’s haul when following up his Windsor success on Monday with a clear-cut four-and-a-half-length victory in the Kingston Handicap.
Murphy said of of the 10-11 favourite winner: “It is great to find the key to this horse. He has got his act together and has a progressive profile.”
Michael Attwater’s recent acquisition Minhaaj (20-1) appeared to be money well spent by the Dare To Dream Racing syndicate with a winning debut for the stable in the Weybridge Handicap.
Attwater, who was saddling his first winner at the track, said: “I didn’t want to go above 35,000 guineas for her – that was one bid and we got her for that and she has paid a little bit back already, which is brilliant. I think there is more to come from her now she is getting the hang of it.
“I’ve had horses look like winning then had one nearly put over a rail, horses beaten in photos and it always seems to not work out here, so it is nice to break that duck at last.”
Marcus Tregoning expects Perotto (9-4) to graduate to Pattern company before the end of the season having got his career back on track with a length-and-three-quarter success on his first start over five furlongs in the Oxshott Nursery Handicap.
He said: “This is a hardy little horse and he showed he has got lots of pace.
“I think we are more likely to go down the Cornwallis route or something like that with him.”