Mutasaabeq out to prove mile credentials in Summer Mile

Connections of Mutasaabeq go in search of answers in a fascinating renewal of the Fred Cowley MBE Summer Mile at Ascot on Saturday.

A select field of seven line up for the Group Two feature with the Charlie Hills-trained runner out to prove he stays the trip.

The four-year-old, who is owned by Shadwell, has won four of his nine career starts, but after a promising neck second to Lights On in the bet365 Mile at Sandown, Megallan mastered him by a length and a quarter over an extended mile in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom.

Mutasaabeq (far side) was not beaten far at Epsom
Mutasaabeq (far side) was not beaten far at Epsom (David Davies/PA)

Shadwell’s racing manager, Angus Gold, says Mutasaabeq has to step up to the mark.

“I can’t use the trip at Epsom as an excuse,” said Gold. “Personally, I don’t think the track suited him.

“There’s no real huge reasoning, but I was never convinced it was going to be his track and I just don’t think he was at home on it.

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“But, having said that, he needs to get on and win now, this fella.

“Whether he’s good enough to go and win a Group Two or not, we don’t know. There’s a couple of good, hard-knocking horses in there, so he’s going to have to step up. He still hasn’t won a stakes race yet.

“Everybody feels that he does get the mile. People are entitled to their opinions, but the opinion of those closest to him is that he does stay.

“On his run at Sandown, you couldn’t say he was beaten for stamina there, he was unlucky. He should have won and was staying on up the hill.”

Chindit is the likely market leader
Chindit is the likely market leader (Simon Marper/PA)

The Richard Hannon-trained Chindit heads the market, having started his season with his first win over a mile in a Listed contest at Doncaster.

Though twice subsequently out-classed by the brilliant Baaeed in the Lockinge at Newbury and Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, Hannon is hopeful he will handle both the likely quick ground and the opposition.

“He must have a very good chance,” said Hannon. “He deserves to win a nice prize. He’s consistent and this looks a nice opportunity.”

Modern News has been the busiest of the septet, having had six runs already this year. The Shamardal four-year-old, who is trained by Charlie Appleby, has filled the runner-up spot on his two most recent starts, going down narrowly in the Diomed before being headed by the William Haggas-trained My Oberon in a Windsor Listed race.

The Godolphin-owned colt meets that reopposing rival, along with Perotto (third), on 3lb better terms for a nose defeat.

Modern News has been busy already this year
Modern News has been busy already this year (Steven Paston/PA)

“Modern News has proven ultra-consistent and a stiff mile on quick ground at Ascot will suit,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“He didn’t disgrace himself in Group company in the Diomed Stakes and we are confident that he can be a player again because he is such a genuine horse.”

The Queen may not have had a winner at the Royal meeting, yet Tactical will doubtless have plenty of support. The Andrew Balding-trained four-year-old would not have to improve much on his close-up sixth to Inver Park in the Buckingham Palace Stakes over this extra furlong to be in the shake-up.

There is international interest with Best Lightning, who has won both his starts this season for German trainer Andreas Suborics, including a Group Two over a mile at Baden-Baden.

The field is rounded out by Perotto, who was three-quarters of a length behind My Oberon at Windsor. They meet again on similar terms.

“He obviously ran very well last time,” said trainer Marcus Tregoning. “He is meeting the same horses, more or less, apart from Chindit.

“This horse has handled that sort of going (fast ground) in the past and I think he has got to go there with a good chance. Realistically, we hope we are going to finish well within the money.

“He is in very good order. He wore a tongue strap last time and will do the same again. Plus, he is going to be fitted with sheepskin cheekpieces, which I think will help a lot.

“We’ll see how he goes and he has to find a few pounds, but he is in good shape and others might not relish the ground as he will.”

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