Mutasaabeq advertises Classic potential with Newmarket strike

Mutasaabeq emerged as a potential Classic contender after making an impressive start to his campaign at Newmarket.

A winner at the track on his sole juvenile start in October, the Charlie Hills-trained colt was a 7-2 chance on his return to the Rowley Mile for the bet365 British EBF Conditions Stakes.

Ridden by Jim Crowley, the son of Invincible Spirit – owned and bred by the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum – was sent straight to the lead and it was impossible not to be impressed by the way he extended six lengths clear at the line.

Hills said: “The way the track is and with the wind behind them, it is a bit of an advantage being in front. He has won on heavy ground, but he loved the ground today.

“We are always learning, but I think he is a very talented horse.”

Mutasaabeq is out of the top-class racemare Ghanaati, who won the 1000 Guineas in 2009 for the same connections.

Hills decided against entering Mutasaabeq for the 2000 Guineas on May 1, but did not rule out the possibility of supplementing the colt, with Betfair giving him a quote of 12-1.

Hills added: “We’ll discuss it with the management and discuss what’s best for the horse.

“We didn’t put him in the 2000 Guineas and we spoke about it at length as we were a little bit concerned temperament-wise, so we wanted to go down the soft route.

“We can have a discussion now about putting him in a race like that, but there are plenty of good races after – we could run him in a Listed race here and then go on to Royal Ascot, maybe.

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“We are mindful it is a long season and there are plenty of good races we can aim for.”

Carolus Magnus stretches clear of his Newmarket rivals
Carolus Magnus stretches clear of his Newmarket rivals (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Andrew Balding’s Carolus Magnus confirmed debut promise with victory in the opening Alex Scott Maiden Stakes.

Third on his Doncaster debut a couple of weeks ago, the 11-2 chance opened his account with a near two-length verdict under Oisin Murphy.

“He has done really well as he had a pretty serious injury as a two-year-old. Very unusually, he split both front pasterns, so full credit to him – he has done amazingly well to come back,” said Balding.

“They are patient, understanding owners, Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, and they always come up with good horses. It helped he knew what he was doing today, but he is a fair horse.

“He could go a mile, so we will look at our options and make a plan from there.”

Forca Brasil (purple) edges ahead
Forca Brasil (purple) edges ahead (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Murphy went on to complete a first and last race double aboard Arecibo (9-2), who made a successful first start for trainer Robert Cowell in the bet365.com Handicap.

Forca Brasil made a winning introduction for George Boughey in the bet365 British EBF Novice Stakes.

The 4-1 shot, who runs in the colours of football agent Kia Joorabchian’s Amo Racing Limited, was due to run in the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster, but had to be withdrawn on veterinary advice.

He proved his class at Newmarket, however – scoring by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Rossa Ryan to leave connections dreaming of Royal Ascot glory.

Joorabchian said: “Hopefully he will be a good horse and lead us into more fun things to come.

“It is still a little bit of a way to go to Ascot, but that is the aim and we are always trying to get there.”

Boughey added: “He has worked a few times here and it has been good.

“He looks a Norfolk horse probably, but he has done it nicely today.”

Overwrite (right) under Franny Norton
Overwrite (right) under Franny Norton (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Mark Johnston’s Overwrite (16-5) claimed a narrow verdict in the Pat Smullen Memorial Handicap under a power-packed ride from Franny Norton.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “That was top class from the jockey and it was a masterclass on how to ride this track. I think I knew from about 200 yards in that he was going to win.

“It was a good performance. He is probably the type to try to get high enough up in the weights to sneak into the Royal Hunt Cup.”

Of Smullen, Johnston added: “It is a very nice race to win for sure. He is not someone I knew particularly well, but he was obviously a very inspirational figure in the industry, particularly what he did in his later years in trying to do as much for the benefit of others when his time was coming.”

Double Or Bubble (15-2), not seen since scoring at Ascot in September, made a superb reappearance for Chris Wall in the Price Promise At bet365 Handicap, with Jack Mitchell the winning pilot.

Wall said: “Mix And Mingle (full sister) won this race, then she won the Chartwell at Lingfield and we thought that would be on the radar for Double Or Bubble.

“She is a bit more laidback than Mix And Mingle and she will probably get a mile, so the Conqueror Stakes at Goodwood on May 1 could be another option, but we will have to see how she takes the race.

“I thought she would run well as she has been working well. I didn’t quite expect her to do that, but you live in hope.”

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