Mostahdaf team eager for Champion challenge if weather allows

Mostahdaf’s connections will keep a close eye on conditions at Ascot before making a final call on his participation in Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes.

Winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Juddmonte International at York this season, John and Thady Gosden’s five-year-old is in line to return to Berkshire on Champions Day.

However, a forecast for heavy rain later in the week and the prosect of running on soft or even heavy ground is an obvious concern for a horse who has a proven preference for a fast surface.

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Mostahdaf was a Royal Ascot winner in June
Mostahdaf was a Royal Ascot winner in June (David Davies/PA)

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner-breeders Shadwell, said: “The forecast isn’t good obviously, but there’s no point making a fuss about it and we’ve got to take what we’re given.

“We’ll just keep an eye on it and I’ll speak to Sheikha Hissa and speak to John and see if we can come up with a decision between us.

“As we all know at this meeting, at this time of year, you can get very bad ground and when he raced on it in last year’s Arc he couldn’t handle that at all.

“There’s no point getting beat just for the sake of it, but at the same time we’re very keen to run and try to round off his season with another big win at Ascot.”

Sheikha Hissa and Angus Gold at York
Sheikha Hissa and Angus Gold at York (Mike Egerton/PA)

Connections do have a fallback option in the form of the Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 4, but they are not looking beyond Saturday at this stage.

“That was always the thing – the number one aim was Ascot and if because of the weather or whatever it didn’t come off, then we had the option of the Breeders’ Cup,” Gold added.

“We haven’t discussed it properly as we’ve always been hoping to go to Ascot.”

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