It is less than a year since Oisin Murphy rode his first winner, but so rapidly is his star rising that he is already being spoken of as a future champion jockey.
Murphy first hit the headlines last September when riding a high-profile four-timer at Ayr, the centrepiece of which was the Ayr Gold Cup, and he is now well on course to completing the 95 wins he needs to lose his apprentice's claim in record time.
Such has been the demand for the services of the 19-year-old nephew of the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning rider and trainer Jim Culloty that he has, quite remarkably, already been used by more than a hundred yards in this country plus a few more in Australia, where he spent last winter furthering his education.
Now Kevin Ryan gives him the leg-up for the first time on Hot Streak (2.40 Haydock) in the Temple Stakes, the Yorkshire trainer happy to have him on side even though Murphy is unable to take advantage of his 3lb claim in this Group Two sprint.
The ground has been a concern for a colt who likes to get his toe in and connections were happy to see the rain setting in this afternoon.
Fittingly, Murphy will be partnering a contender who represents the new generation of speedsters. The Temple Stakes has been won in three of the past four years by either Sole Power or Kingsgate Native and these two veterans, first and second in the Group Three Palace House Stakes on 2,000 Guineas day at Newmarket three weeks ago, continue to ward off young challengers.
But the three-year-old Hot Streak would appear to be made of the right stuff to depose them. Close behind the pair at Newmarket, he surely has more scope for improvement than the two old-timers and, besides, every drop of rain that falls counts against Sole Power.
This is a huge day for the reputation of Kingman (3.20 Curragh), odds-on for the Irish 2,000 Guineas after narrowly – and some would say unluckily – losing out in the English equivalent.
Kieren Fallon, who beat Kingman on Night Of Thunder that day, is adamant that the winner will beat him more easily when they meet again.
Night Of Thunder's stablemate Shifting Power, fourth in the 2,000 Guineas, renews rivalry here but, even so, a repeat of that Newmarket form should be enough for Kingman to take care of business on this occasion, The improving second favourite Mustajeeb, winner of a Group Three contest at Leopardstown on his reappearance, is likely to make a good race of it.
There is a slight concern Kingman may not quite have the stamina for this stiff mile. Interestingly, he has been given an entry in the six-furlong July Cup, but John Gosden, his trainer, insists that we should not read too much into that; he is a proper miler.
For information regarding the QIPCO British Champions Series visit: britishchampionsseries.com