Mehmas 3yo Nelson Gay continued his march through the ranks on Friday with a scintillating display in the 5f class 2 handicap at Sandown Park.
In search of a three-timer for Richard Hughes, the gelding made smooth progress under David Egan to take it up a furlong out and bound clear to win by a widening six-and-a-half lengths.
The Racing Post were impressed, commenting: "He quickened up well when switched to challenge and his rider didn't have to get serious with him yet he pulled right away from the runner-up. He did have a fitness advantage over all bar one of his rivals, but he's progressing fast and could have a nice pot in him this year."
Richard Hughes is also looking forward to a productive summer with Nelson Gay, who sports the colours of R. Gander and Partner.
"I felt justified running Nelson Gay in the Norfolk last season after he was beaten at Yarmouth, but it just didn't happen for him last year until he fell in in a bad maiden at Southwell," he said. "He won well at Wolverhampton last time, which was the first stepping stone to better things and he was very good. I didn't expect him to win eight lengths, but he's in a race at Goodwood next week or we'll go for the five-furlong handicap at Royal Ascot."
Bred by Gerard Mullins, Nelson Gay is a half-brother to four winners and out the winning Rublevka Star, by Elusive Quality.
Also on Friday.....Kodiac was represented by a smart looking debut winner in Rogue Bear, who scored at Doncaster for Tom Clover. Owned by The Rogues Gallery, the 3yo was bred by Thomas Hassett.
A good day for Kodiac also included a new win by $250,000 earner Pillar Mountain at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The hard-knocking runner was bred by Bernard Cooke.
There was also an excellent run by veteran Tally-Ho-bred Desert Encounter to take second in the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown. Now the earner of almost £1.1 million, the nine-year-old is a credit to his trainer David Simock.
Nelson Gay returns following hims impressive win