Ascot victor Mohaafeth handed York Stakes mission

The Sky Bet York Stakes is next on the agenda for Royal Ascot hero Mohaafeth.

The son of Frankel emerged as a leading contender for the Derby after winning his first three starts of the season, but was taken out of the premier Classic at Epsom on the day of the race due to unsuitable ground.

William Haggas instead sent his exciting colt to the Royal meeting where he ran out an impressive winner of the Hampton Court Stakes – and he is now set to step up to Group Two level on the Knavesmire.

With jockey Jim Crowley likely to be at Ascot to ride stablemate Al Aasy in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes on the same afternoon, Dane O’Neill is poised to take over in the saddle aboard Mohaafeth at York.

Haggas told Sky Sports Racing on Wednesday: “We knocked the Eclipse on the head last weekend and he’s going to go for the Sky Bet race at York on July 24, which is unfortunate for Jim, but good for Dane, because that’s the same day as the King George.

“The horse that won the King Edward (Alenquer) is hopefully going for the Grand Prix de Paris on July 14, so we’ve got a busy few weeks coming up.”

Al Aasy in action at Newbury
Al Aasy in action at Newbury (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Al Aasy has the option of warming up for the King George in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket next week, but appears unlikely to take up the engagement.

“The King George is very much the plan. Whether he goes for the Princess of Wales’s Stakes, I’m not sure – I doubt it. He’ll probably go straight for the King George,” Haggas added.

“He worked beautifully again yesterday and is on target to go where we want him. We just have to decide whether going to Newmarket might take the edge off him for Ascot, which wouldn’t be sensible.

“My gut feeling is he’ll probably go straight to Ascot.”

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