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Glorious scenes at Ascot as Sheikh Hamdan’s silks record famous hat-trick

There were emotional scenes in the Ascot winner’s enclosure after the brilliant Baaeed starred in a treble for the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell operation on Qipco Champions Day.

Seven months on from the prominent owner’s death, the blue and white silks that have been synonymous with so many equine greats over the years were once again in the spotlight on the richest raceday of the British Flat season.

While the success of Roger Varian’s Eshaada in the Fillies & Mares Stakes came as a surprise to many, much was expected of Baaeed as he put his unbeaten record and huge reputation on the line in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

What followed was a race for the ages as the William Haggas-trained three-year-old outgunned his older and more proven top-class rival Palace Pier by a neck, leaving Sheikh Hamdan’s long-time racing manager and close friend Angus Gold struggling to fight back the tears.

“Sheikh Hamdan would have loved this. It’s a huge day for the team and Sheikh Hamdan’s family to sort of mark his legacy in the year he died,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to have two Group One winners. To have one is enough, but to have two and for this horse (Baaeed) who has shown so much all the way through to win again is brilliant.”

Palace Pier was the narrow favourite at the off at at 6-4, with Baaeed – who did not make his debut until appearing at Leicester in early June – a 2-1 shot under Jim Crowley.

Baaeed was travelling much the better of the pair racing inside the final two furlongs, but Palace Pier gritted his teeth to make a race of it and there was just a neck between them at the line.

Angus Gold was emotional at Ascot
Angus Gold was emotional at Ascot (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gold added: “Everyone was asking beforehand ‘what do you think?’. I just said we’d let the race tell us as he’s never beaten a horse of Palace Pier’s class before.

“What a fantastic horse race it was. At the three-furlong pole I looked at Frankie (Dettori, on Palace Pier) and thought ‘fantastic, we’ve got you’ – but he was still there at the end and was only just beaten, so it shows what a tough horse he is.

“Palace Pier had done it all before whereas we still had to prove it. He had a proper fight on his hands and thankfully he proved man enough for it.”

Shadwell, who went on to complete the hat-trick with Baaeed’s stablemate Aldaary in the Balmoral Handicap, announced last month it would slim down its operations in the UK, Ireland and America, “to focus on quality and competition at the highest level of the sport”.

But Gold is hopeful the colours will continue to be a major force in the sport next season and beyond, with Baaeed primed to captain the team.

“Obviously it was a huge operation and I think they just felt we needed to trim it, which is perfectly understandable,” said Gold.

“We’ve got a lot of horses going to the sales in the next few weeks, so we’ll see what we’re left with.

“We’re hoping to keep some of the best ones and obviously we’ve got some yearlings to come into training next year, so I think there’ll still be a fair few horses there.

“I think compared to most owners, it will be a fairly sizeable team.”

Of Baaeed, he added: “I’m amazed how much speed he has, with his pedigree. He’s a full-brother to Hukum, who as we know stays a mile and a half well.

“He’s a charming horse who always wants to please, so to see him win a stallion-making race – which is very important for the breeding – was a huge thrill.

“I don’t remember many that have done it so quickly and he’s never taken a backwards step, that’s what’s been so extraordinary for me.

“He hasn’t had a particularly hard life so far and has done what we’ve asked him the whole way through, so I can’t see why he wouldn’t go on.”

Crowley was aboard all three winners, and was quick to pay his own tribute to Sheikh Hamdan.

He said: “For me it was one of the best days racing that I’ve seen, let alone to have been a part of. Fantastic horses running today and so nice to have crowds back, it was a big plus.

“Sheikh Hamdan I’m sure is looking down. It’s so sad that he can’t be here, because he would absolutely been buzzing today. Hopefully his daughter, Sheikha Hissa, is watching and she will be over the moon. He loved Ascot.”

D-Day looms for Baaeed in Prix du Moulin

Connections of Baaeed are taking nothing for granted ahead of the unbeaten colt’s eagerly-anticipated graduation to the highest level in Sunday’s Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp.

The William Haggas-trained three-year-old did not make his racecourse debut until early June – but less than three months later he is ranked as one of the most exciting horses in Europe.

Since scoring on his introduction at Leicester, Baaeed has treated his rivals with contempt on a couple of occasions at Newmarket before powering clear in the Group Three Thoroughbred Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

The time has come for the son of Sea The Stars to test his powers in Group One company – and with Jim Bolger deciding against declaring his 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes hero Poetic Flare, Baaeed will be a red-hot favourite to make it five from five.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, said: “He’s going up another couple of grades and there’s no point jumping the gun – let’s see if he’s up to it.

“It’s a shame Jim Bolger’s doesn’t run. Everyone wants to see the good horses run in these races and I’d imagine he’s saving him for the Irish Champion Stakes, which is understandable.

“We’re taking on a very good filly (Snow Lantern) who is obviously a Group One winner already and very highly thought of.

Baaeed - champion in waiting?
Baaeed – champion in waiting? (PA)

“It’s going to be a big test for him and we’ll see if he can live up to the hype now.”

With Baaeed having proved his versatility ground-wise, there are no real concerns regarding underfoot conditions in Paris.

“I’m told it’s going to be nearly good ground. They might get a little bit of rain, but not too much,” Gold added.

“He’s won on good to soft, so I don’t think the ground will worry him unless they get a downpour and it goes heavy or something.”

Snow Lantern after winning the Falmouth Stakes
Snow Lantern after winning the Falmouth Stakes (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Baaeed is joined on the trip across the Channel by Richard Hannon’s Snow Lantern. The daughter of Frankel is a Group One winner already, with a top-level triumph in the Falmouth Stakes sandwiched by creditable placed efforts in the Coronation and the Sussex.

Aidan O’Brien saddles both Order of Australia and Lope Y Fernandez, with Andre Fabre’s Victor Ludorum and Peter Schiergen’s German filly Novemba completing the six-strong field.

Raabihah on course for Arc after Deauville victory

Raabihah confirmed her participation in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when winning the Prix de Pomone at Deauville.

Owned by Shadwell Stud, the four-year-old filly finished fifth behind Sottsass in Europe’s premier middle-distance race last year but had been below form so far this season.

Her three defeats – runner-up but a beaten favourite each time – had come over shorter trips. However, stepped back up to an extended mile and a half, she was impressive in winning Sunday’s Group Two by two and a half lengths.

“I’d love to think we can have another crack at the Arc – that was the reason she was kept in training,” said Shadwell’s racing manager Angus Gold.

“She got beat a couple of times earlier this season. But as (trainer) Jean-Claude (Rouget) said to me yesterday, sometimes with these fillies who have a relatively hard time at three – she was racing at the top table – it can just take them a while to get back to that level.

“I actually thought she ran a hell of a race in the Arc. She came from a long way back in bad ground and was the only one closing at the end.

“We gave her a break at the stud, and it’s just taken her three runs to get back up to speed. The distance yesterday is exactly what she should be running over on pedigree.

“It was great to get her back on track, and I don’t see any reason why she wouldn’t go for the Arc. Jean-Claude just wants to see how she comes out of it first before deciding whether she runs in the Vermeille first or not.

“Last year she wasn’t very far behind the best – and while people had been questioning her, having been beaten a few times, it was great to get her back on track, win a Group Two and show that she’s trained on.”

Untapped potential on show in what promises to be high-class Acomb

Impressive Ascot scorer Ehraz is one of five last-time-out winners set to do battle in a fascinating renewal of the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York on on Wednesday.

Charlie Appleby’s Noble Truth and the Richard Hannon-trained Ehraz finished first and second respectively in a Newmarket maiden in early July, since when Ehraz has gone one better with a facile success.

The pair renew rivalry on the Knavesmire, with Angus Gold, racing manager for Ehraz’s owners Shadwell, expecting another bold showing from their colt.

“He ran very well first time at Newmarket and was impressive at Ascot. He’s done everything right so far and Richard is very happy with the horse – he’s giving him all the right signs at home,” said Gold.

“Obviously it’s a trappy little contest, but I think they feel Ehraz is above average on his home work and all being well he’s a potentially nice horse in the making.

“Like always, you’ve got to see them go and do it on the track.”

Like Ehraz, Noble Truth has two runs under his belt, having finished third behind Hannon’s subsequent July Stakes winner Lusail on his debut before his comfortable defeat of Ehraz.

“Noble Truth progressed from his first start to win his maiden and has done well physically since,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“This will hopefully tell us the level we will be campaigning him at for the rest of the season.”

Hugo Palmer has high hopes for Dubawi Legend
Hugo Palmer has high hopes for Dubawi Legend (Simon Cooper/PA)

Dubawi Legend made a big impression when winning by five lengths on his Doncaster debut four weeks ago, a performance which came as no surprise to trainer Hugo Palmer.

He said: “We’re obviously hopeful. He’s a horse we’ve always held in high regard.

“I’d have been disappointed if he hadn’t won the way he did at Doncaster. We were hoping he would do something like that first time and he didn’t disappoint.

“It’s a race that is typical of the conditions of the Acomb. It’s going to be a question of which maiden winner in the second half of July was the better one.”

Palmer would be unconcerned if rain arrived at York, adding: “His work on watered ground in Newmarket has been very pleasing and I would have thought anywhere between firm and good to soft and he’ll be fine.

“It’s just the second run of his life and two or three of the others have got more experience, but he hasn’t missed a beat since Doncaster and goes there in great nick.

“Hopefully he can run a big race.”

Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy team up with Glorious Goodwood winner Imperial Fighter, while Mark Johnston saddles Royal Patronage, who made it third time lucky on his latest appearance at Epsom.

Mohaafeth makes next step with York Stakes date

Mohaafeth bids to make it five wins from five starts this season in an intriguing renewal of the Sky Bet York Stakes.

The son of Frankel emerged as a leading contender for the Derby after his first three victories of the campaign, but was taken out of the premier Classic at Epsom on the day of the race because of unsuitable ground.

Trainer William Haggas instead sent his exciting colt to Royal Ascot, where he ran out an impressive winner of the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes.

Mohaafeth will be a hot favourite to successfully graduate to Group Two level on the Knavesmire this weekend – but with fellow Royal Ascot winner Juan Elcano and high-class Irish raider Armory among the opposition, his task is far from straightforward.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, said: “I’m very much looking forward to seeing Mohaafeth run. It’s the next step up. We’ve waited for this race particularly, and William and his team have been very happy with him. Let’s see if he can take the next step and go from there.

“He’s an exciting horse and one to look forward to, and obviously he’s done everything right this year. It will be very interesting to see him on Saturday. Hopefully there will be no excuses, and we can see how we get on.”

The Shadwell colours will also be carried in the five-strong field by stablemate Montatham, of whom Gold added: “William wants to make sure there’s a bit of pace. We don’t want a falsely-run race.

“He’ll be there or thereabouts. He’s a lovely horse and a real star for us, so hopefully he can run a good race.”

Armory represents trainer Aidan O'Brien in the Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire
Armory represents trainer Aidan O’Brien in the Sky Bet York Stakes on the Knavesmire (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

While Mohaafeth is stepping up in class, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Armory is dropping down in grade – having finished a close-up third behind esteemed stablemate Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on his latest outing.

Armory is 7lb clear of Mohaafeth on official ratings, but does have to concede 12lb to his younger rival.

“We thought this looked a nice race for Armory,” said O’Brien.

“It’s 10 furlongs on hopefully good ground, and that is what he wants. Hopefully he’ll run well.”

Kevin Ryan’s Juan Elcano bids to follow up victory in the Wolferton Stakes, with Andrew Balding’s Bangkok completing the field.

Motakhayyel leads hunt for International honours

Motakhayyel heads Shadwell Estate’s three-pronged attack, along with Danyah and Aldaary, on the Moet & Chandon International Stakes at Ascot.

The five-year-old, trained by Richard Hannon, was impressive when recording the second of his back-to-back victories in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket two weeks ago.

However, he has to defy top weight of 9st 13lb on Saturday, including a 3lb penalty for his three-and-a-half-length demolition of 17 rivals.

“He was incredibly impressive the other day, with a lot of weight on his back,” said Shadwell’s racing manager Angus Gold.

“He killed the race, and it was probably his best ever run. Let’s hope he can back it up.

“He’s obviously got a lot of weight again – but he’s a star horse and has been an absolute gem for us.”

Danyah ran a good race when runner-up at Royal Ascot and will try to go one better back at the Berkshire track
Danyah was runner-up at Royal Ascot and will try to go one better back at the Berkshire track (Dan Abraham/PA)

Danyah, trained by Owen Burrows, has been placed in three big handicaps this season, the latest coming in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in which he was second to Highfield Princess.

Gold said: “He’s very consistent. He ran a good race at the Royal meeting and deserves to win a big one.

“He wouldn’t mind a drop of rain if that appeared on Saturday. He’s a nice, solid horse.”

The William Haggas-trained Aldaary was not thought to be at his best when only fifth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

“He looked a really progressive horse last year,” said Gold.

“He won his first two starts very impressively, both on soft ground – (but) I don’t think he necessarily needs that.

“With hindsight, I think William and his team felt he wasn’t quite bouncing at the Royal meeting. He didn’t run a bad race. We just feel he’s a bit better than that.

“William has freshened him up, and he worked very well the other day. Let’s see how he gets on. There was talk of going to Goodwood, but William feels at the moment seven furlongs is probably the right trip for him.”

Dance Fever returned to form with victory at Leicester, on his second start following 11 months off the track.

The Clive Cox-trained four-year-old has a 3lb penalty for that success, but connections are expecting a good show as long as any rain showers are not too heavy.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing him run,” said Sam Hoskins, racing manager for owner Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds.

“He’s only 3lb higher than when he won at Leicester last time, and the form has been boosted since.

“We always thought he’s well handicapped, but he’s never had any luck with the weather. It always seems to rain when we want to run him in a big one.

“There are thunderstorms forecast. A bit of rain would be fine, (but) we wouldn’t want a washout.

“He’s handicapped to go close. He was meant to have a run before Royal Ascot – but it was so wet in May we couldn’t run him, and Ascot was a case of blowing the cobwebs away.

“He clearly needed it more than we expected him to, and it was good to see him back next time.

“He’s near the fancied horses. Hopefully he’ll go really well. He ran well at this meeting last year. We’ll be very hopeful he’ll be competitive, as long as the ground doesn’t turn soft.”

Hugo Palmer would like to see some rain for Acquitted.

“He’s been threatening to win one of these big handicaps, and I think he’s got one in him,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“He’d need rain to run, but that does look probable. We just don’t know how much.

“Good ground, we’ve absolutely no problem. If it stays good to firm he won’t run.”

Charlie Appleby is optimistic New Science can put his poor Royal Ascot run on soft ground behind him, with a big performance in the Pat Eddery Stakes.

The Lope De Vega colt was only seventh behind Point Lonsdale in the Chesham Stakes, but had looked a bright prospect when making a winning debut at Yarmouth in May.

He had Reach For The Moon a length and a half in second place that day, and that horse occupied the same position in the Chesham, just half a length behind the winner.

“He was disappointing, but it was very soft ground at Ascot last time,” said Appleby.

“John’s (Gosden) horse (Reach For The Moon) went on to finish second in the Chesham, and we finished down the field, but William (Buick) said he wasn’t happy even going to post on the ground.

“We’ve put a line through it. His homework has been good since – I’m pleased with his preparation, and if he can bounce back to his Yarmouth maiden form he’s a major player.”

Opposition includes the Tom Dascombe-trained Mr McCann, who was fourth in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, George Boughey’s Cachet, third in Newmarket’s Empress Stakes, and smooth Salisbury scorer Like A Lion, trained by William Muir and Chris Grassick.

Baaeed may wait for Celebration Mile

The Celebration Mile and Prix Jacques le Marois are among the options under consideration for the hugely exciting Baaeed.

In the space of just over a month, the William Haggas-trained three-year-old has made a winning debut at Leicester, dominated his rivals in a Newmarket novice event and returned to the July Course to slam talented colts like Maximal and One Ruler in Listed company last week.

While an outing at Glorious Goodwood in the Group Three Thoroughbred Stakes is not being ruled out, the Sea The Stars colt appears likely to given more time to recover from his recent exertions before being stepped up in class again.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, said: “I think Baaeed is a very good horse, hopefully.

“I haven’t discussed it any further with William as yet, but I think Goodwood is going to come too soon.

“He’s had three races in relatively quick succession – he’s gone from winning a maiden a month ago to suddenly being an impressive Listed winner in a short space of time.

“There’s the Celebration Mile at Goodwood at the end of August, or if he (Haggas) wanted to go a step further there’s the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville, but all the same problems apply in terms of getting to France these days.

“I’m waiting to have a chat with William once he’s had a good look at the horse and see what he thinks. He might turn round and say ‘he looks fine, let’s go to Goodwood’. He was talking about the Group Three race over a mile (Thoroughbred Stakes).

“However, he did say he didn’t want to overdo it because the horse is in a great place at the moment. He might be the best three-year-old we have in training, so we’ve got to do the right thing by him.”

Baaeed is one of several promising three-year-olds for the Shadwell team.

Mandoob (right) winning at Lingfield
Mandoob (right) winning at Lingfield (John Walton/PA)

Brian Meehan’s Mandoob ran with plenty of credit when runner-up in last week’s Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket, while the Haggas-trained Royal Ascot winner Mohaafeth is bound for the Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday week.

Moshaawer, meanwhile – who is trained by Roger Varian and recently impressed in a minor event at Doncaster – is viewed as a possible St Leger candidate.

“Mandoob ran very well and is a very nice horse,” said Gold.

“He’s never been a great mover in slower paces, so Brian has to be careful with him – he’s not a horse we can run every day of the week and on fast ground.

“We’ll space his races out and look for the best opportunity somewhere on a nice track. It’s early days in his career, but he’s got plenty of talent and he’s one to look forward to if we can keep him in one piece.

“Mohaafeth is heading for York, all being well. He worked on Tuesday morning and looks in good shape.

“These things are never easy. But the ideal scenario would be he wins next time, and then we can look at the Juddmonte International.

“I think Moshaawer is an improving horse – we always hoped he was going to be. He’s had niggling problems with a stress fracture and things, and he is a work in progress.

“Is he going to make up into a Leger horse? I think the idea was to give him another run at the end of this month, and if he was going to win that then you could look at the Great Voltigeur at York and we could see if he’s got the class to be a Leger horse or not.

“I think he will make a nice staying horse next year.”

Mehnah ready to sparkle on Rouge return

One-time Classic hope Mehnah bids to get back on the winning trail in Wednesday’s Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes at Killarney.

A winner on her racecourse debut at Dundalk in the autumn, Kevin Prendergast’s filly made a most encouraging start to her three-year-old campaign when narrowly beaten in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April.

A tilt at the Irish 1,000 Guineas was firmly on the agenda before injury intervened, meaning she will make her first competitive appearance in three months in Wednesday’s Listed contest.

Angus Gold, racing manager for Mehnah’s owners Shadwell Estate, said: “She ran a very good race (at Leopardstown) and we were aiming for the (Irish) Guineas before unfortunately she pulled a muscle behind, which meant we had to ease up on her.

“She’s back in good form apparently. Obviously being drawn highest of all doesn’t necessarily make the task any easier, but other than that it’s a perfect race for her and I spoke to Kevin and he seems very happy.

“We’ll try to win a stakes race with her first. If that goes well, we can look around and have a bit of fun with her.

“The interesting thing with her will be what her trip is. She just got beaten over seven furlongs in the Guineas trial, this race is a mile and I’d always imagined she’d be a mile-and-a-quarter filly, but I don’t know that.

“Let’s try to get her back on track and see where we are.”

Mehnah features in a maximum field of 15 runners plus two reserves.

Joseph O’Brien has a trio of contenders in Neptune Rock, Sense Of Style and Thinking Of You, while father Aidan saddles recent Bellewstown scorer Friendly and Queen’s Speech.

The Ger Lyons-trained pair of Acanella and Amber Kite also feature along with Flirting Bridge from Henry de Bromhead’s yard.

Al Aasy set to be gelded and misses King George

Al Aasy is set to miss the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes and undergo a gelding operation after being narrowly beaten for the second time in succession at Newmarket last week.

The son of Sea The Stars looked destined for the top after registering back-to-back Group Three victories at Newbury in the spring and was a hot favourite to make a successful Group One debut in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

But after travelling smoothly into contention, Al Aasy was outbattled by the admirable Pyledriver, and was again beaten a neck by Sir Ron Priestley when odds-on for Newmarket’s Princess of Wales’s Stakes.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, feels the time has come to take drastic action.

He said: “Al Aasy had every chance to go and win the race last week and you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth.

“We’re going to give him a bit of a break and we’re probably going to geld him. We know he handles soft ground, so we’ll give him a few weeks off and then bring him back in the autumn. The King George is definitely out.

“He’s got plenty of talent, he’s just a bit of a thug. Going out on the track, he makes it difficult for whoever is on board.”

Once Al Aasy has been gelded and enjoyed a mid-season break, he could be prepared for international targets.

Al Aasy (left) and Pyledriver fight out the finish to the Coronation Cup
Al Aasy (left) and Pyledriver fight out the finish to the Coronation Cup (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“Of course we could keep him entire and hope that he’s going to make a stallion somewhere in due course, but it’s more important for Sheikha Hissa and her family to have these horses to race now,” Gold added.

“This horse could win a lot of money in Dubai or Australia or wherever. We’ve had discussions about it and it’s more his attitude and general demeanour before a race (that is a problem).

“I wasn’t there last week, but William said he got pretty colty beforehand again, so let’s just take the guessing out of the equation.

“We’re going to send him out to the stud for three weeks to freshen him up, so I think it will be September before he runs again.”

Al Aasy retains option of Newmarket before King George tilt

Al Aasy is the star name among nine confirmations for the Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

Hugely impressive in winning his first two starts of the season at Newbury, the William Haggas-trained four-year-old was a hot favourite to successfully graduate to Group One level in the Coronation Cup at Epsom last month, but was beaten a neck by the popular Pyledriver.

Connections of Al Aasy have already identified the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 24 as his main midsummer target and a decision is pending on whether he will first contest the Group Two feature on the opening day of Newmarket’s July Festival.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, said: “We have left both Al Aasy and Hukum in in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes and we’ll see what happens over the next few days.

“With Hukum we were always intending to come here and Al Aasy is certainly a possible. Obviously the main aim with Al Aasy is the King George and I spoke to William at the beginning of this week and he said he was going to give him a bit of work and monitor him.

“If he’s fresh and bouncing and he feels he needs another run before Ascot, we have the option of running at Newmarket, but if he feels he’d be better going straight to Ascot then we will do that.”

If Al Aasy does sidestep Newmarket, Owen Burrows’ Hukum appears a more than able deputy judged on his third-placed finish in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“I think Hukum has earned his spot there – that’s an obvious sort of place for him,” Gold added.

Haggas has a potential second string to his bow in Ilaraab, while Sir Michael Stoute’s Highest Ground and the Mark Johnston-trained Sir Ron Priestley also feature, together with Bangkok from Andrew Balding’s yard.

Mandoob (right) winning at Lingfield
Mandoob (right) winning at Lingfield (John Walton/PA)

The first Pattern race on the opening day of the three-day meeting is the Group Three Bahrain Trophy, in which the Shadwell colours could be carried by the unbeaten Mandoob.

The Farhh gelding has won each of his two starts for Brian Meehan and ground conditions on the July course will decide whether he steps up in grade for the hat-trick bid.

Gold said: “This is certainly the plan, but I know he’s a horse who would certainly want good or easier ground, so it depends on the weather between now and then.

“He’s nice horse and a progressive horse, but he wouldn’t run if it was good to firm.”

Mandoob’s potential rivals include Johnston’s Gear Up, Charlie Appleby’s Yibir and Stowell from John and Thady Gosden’s yard.

Jadhlaan impressive at York last month
Jadhlaan impressive at York last month (Tim Goode/PA)

Group Two honours are up for grabs in the Tattersalls July Stakes, which has attracted 15 juveniles.

Bryan Smart’s Project Dante just about sets the standard after finishing a close-up third behind Perfect Power and subsequent winner Go Bears Go in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting, while Shadwell could be represented by Johnston-trained York winner Jadhlaan.

“He is certainly a possible, which is why we put him in,” said Gold.

“I always felt this horse would love to go six furlongs and Mark rather agreed with me, (but) Franny (Norton) rode him the other day and said he actually thought he had plenty of speed for five.

“It would give us more options if he can go six furlongs, so we said we’d put him in and see how he is.”

The colours of the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum are also well represented in the Listed Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes, with both Baaeed (Haggas) and Mostahdaf (Gosden) in contention.

Baaeed followed up a debut victory at Leicester with a dominant display over this course and distance last month, while Mostahdaf lost his unbeaten record when finishing down the field in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Gold added: “Baaeed is an exciting horse, hopefully. He’s Hukum’s brother and at this stage looks to have a bit more speed than Hukum.

“His whole career is hopefully ahead of him. He’s come out twice now and won really impressively both times, so the plan was always to go here with him.

“With Mostahdaf, the plan after Ascot was to step him up to a mile and a quarter. John (Gosden) wanted to go for the Prix Eugene Adam in France, but it’s so complicated at the moment getting horses and jockeys and staff to France – the whole thing is a bit of a nightmare.

“As I understand it, there are very few options for three-year-olds only over a mile and a quarter, so we decided we’d put him in here and then see what options there are.”

Al Aasy team to let dust settle following Coronation defeat

Connections of Al Aasy have yet to firm up plans for his next outing following his narrow defeat in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on Friday.

The William Haggas-trained four-year-old was a hot favourite to successfully graduate to Group One level, having dominated his rivals in the successive Group Three races at Newbury this spring.

The Sea The Stars colt looked sure to prevail after coming from the rear to lead in the final furlong, but was ultimately beaten a neck by the rallying Pyledriver, with the pair pulling clear of dual Group One winner Japan in third.

Angus Gold, racing manager for Al Aasy’s owners Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, said: “Having gone a neck up, it was disappointing not to maintain it. Anyway, he ran a good race and they were seven lengths clear.

“If you took the winner out he’d have won on the bridle and everybody would be saying what a good horse he was.

“We’ll regroup and see how he comes out of it and then make a plan.”

Al Aasy holds an entry in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot next week, while the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at the end of July will also be considered.

Gold also raised the possibility of Al Aasy dropping back in trip before the end of the year.

He added: “The one thing I would say in the horse’s defence is they’ve always said to me he shows a lot of speed in his work. He got outstayed the other day. Whether he didn’t quite home, I’m not sure.

“There is a possibility he might come back to a mile and a quarter at some stage. I think we need to run him over a mile and a half on a more conventional track, hopefully on less severe ground, and see where we are.

“I would imagine it (Hardwicke Stakes) would be too soon, but I haven’t spoken to William about it yet. It will be that or the King George, or we decide to drop him back in trip and go for something shorter.”

Later on the same afternoon the Shadwell team had high hopes of claiming Classic glory with Zeyaadah in the Cazoo Oaks, but Roger Varian’s filly ultimately disappointed behind the brilliant Snowfall.

Zeyaadah (left) was well beaten in the Oaks
Zeyaadah (left) was well beaten in the Oaks (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“She certainly didn’t get home, but having said that she wouldn’t have won it at a mile and a quarter,” said Gold.

“It would have taken something to win the race – she (Snowfall) was thoroughly impressive.

“My own feeling is I’ve never thought of her as an Oaks filly. I think back to our previous Oaks winners and I would have been surprised to have put her in that category.

“I think she’s a very nice, tough filly. We’ll bring her back to a mile and a quarter for a Group Three or Group Two, again on a more conventional track.

“We’ll look for options later in the summer. She can always go back up in class if she merits it.”

Hampton Court date for Mohaafeth

Mohaafeth is likely to contest the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot next week following his late withdrawal from the Cazoo Derby.

The Frankel colt was considered a leading contender for the premier Classic, having made it three from three this season with a hugely impressive display in the Listed Newmarket Stakes on Guineas weekend.

However, with rainfall throughout Friday ensuring the ground was on the soft side, trainer William Haggas made the difficult to decision to pull him out of the Derby and instead wait for the Royal meeting.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, said: “William has always been quoted as saying this horse wants fast ground.

“We all walked the track and we thought it was probably fine to run, but William made the point that it wasn’t his ground and his feeling was that he wasn’t going to win it in that ground.

“If you did run you’d risk messing up Ascot, it’s the middle of the season and we need to know where we’re going with this horse.

“If he’d run seventh or eighth and had a hard race and hadn’t recovered in time for Ascot, we’re getting to July without knowing what sort of horse we’ve got to go to war with, so to speak.

“William just felt it wasn’t the right thing to do to run him.”

Mohaafeth is entered in the King Edward VII Stakes on Friday week, but is set to run instead over a mile and a quarter at Group Three level the previous afternoon.

Gold said: “It’s most likely he’ll run in the mile-and-a-quarter race, I would think. There is quite a body of opinion around the horse that thinks he might end up a mile-and-a-quarter horse.

“We weren’t sure about the mile and a half going into the Derby. I’ve noticed his breeder has been quoted twice now, saying she doesn’t think he’d stay – and he has got a lot of speed, this horse.

“Maybe it will turn out a mile and a quarter is his best trip – time will tell.”

Battaash doing everything right in build-up to King’s Stand defence

Battaash continues to please as he works towards defending his King’s Stand Stakes crown at Royal Ascot following an injury he sustained over the winter.

The seven-year-old returned to Charlie Hills’ stables in Lambourn in April from his owners Shadwell Stud after recovering from a small fracture.

All has gone well and the five-furlong Group One on June 15 remains the target.

“His trainer will tell you he’s definitely on course for Ascot. It’s been well documented he was late going back in due to his problems during the winter,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate Company.

“He’s a seven-year-old so our job is to make sure he’s OK. He’s done a couple of bits of work now with Dane O’Neill on and Dane is very happy with him. He worked really well on Wednesday and Dane felt like he was still enjoying it.

“We’ve got just under three weeks left before Ascot. At the moment we’re on track. Whether he’ll be sharp enough to go there first time, only the next two weeks will tell us. We’ve a sporting chance at the moment.”

Gold welcomes the prospect of dry conditions for Mohaafeth ahead of the Cazoo Derby at Epsom on Saturday week.

Drier ground at Epsom would be preferable for  Mohaafeth in the Cazoo Derby
Drier ground at Epsom would be preferable for Mohaafeth in the Cazoo Derby (David Davies/Jockey Club)

After one of the wettest Mays on record, the weather is set to settle down and quicken up the going.

Faster ground would greatly improve the William Haggas-trained colt’s chances in the premier Classic, on the back of his impressive victory in the Listed Newmarket Stakes on good to firm at headquarters four weeks ago.

“For the ground to dry out would be a help. That would make a difference to this horse with his action,” said Gold.

“All his best form seems to be with top of the ground. Hopefully, we’ll get a dry spell.

“He’s in great form. They are all happy with him. I saw him yesterday (Wednesday) and he’s in great shape.”

Mohaafeth is around a 7-1 shot for the Derby.

Shadwell and Haggas are responsible for short-priced favourite Al Aasy in the Cazoo Coronation Cup on Friday week.

Al Aasy is favourite for the Coronation Cup after this easy win at Newbury
Al Aasy is favourite for the Coronation Cup after this easy win at Newbury (John Walton/PA)

The four-year-old has won two Group Threes at Newbury this spring in impressive fashion to earn his chance at Group One level.

Gold feels Al Aasy may have been flattered by his latest success in the Al Rayyan Stakes, but is not questioning his right to go to Epsom.

“To be absolutely honest, I think one could be a little bit lulled into that Newbury performance. Those around him were under pressure a long way out, but I loved the way he travelled,” he said.

“His confidence is sky high now and he’s a very worthy contender.”

Impressive Newmarket winner Mohaafeth set for Derby

Mohaafeth is set to take his chance in the Cazoo Derby after bursting into the big-race picture with an impressive victory at Newmarket.

The Frankel colt out of a Sea The Stars mare, French Dressing, trounced Secret Protector in a Listed contest on Guineas weekend to win for the third time this season.

Mohaafeth was slashed to joint second-favourite at 7-1 with some bookmakers – and connections of the William Haggas-trained colt are keen to run him at Epsom.

“He won well, obviously. I think as long as William is happy with the horse and he’s going the right way and Sheikh Hamdan’s family want to run him in the Derby, that is where we will go next,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate.

“We’ll see what happens in the next 10 days with all the trials. That is going to be informative.

“He’s earned the right to run.”

Mutasaabeq could step back down to seven furlongs, possibly for the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, after his run in the 2000 Guineas.

The Charlie Hills-trained colt finished seventh behind Poetic Flare, but may have lacked the experience for such a tough test on only this third start.

“At this stage I’d have thought the obvious race is the Jersey, but let’s see how he is in two weeks’ time when we start back with him,” said Gold.

“The important thing is he’s a good horse and we’ve go to make him into a proper horse and into a stallion.

“He needs to get some Group form under his belt.

“We know he’s a promising horse and I’m sure he will get better as the year goes on. We always knew it was asking a lot going to the Guineas on only his third outing.

“We saw at the weekend it’s hard to win a Guineas off so few runs.”

Al Zaraqaan (blue and white colours) is to drop back in trip after being beaten in the Jockey Club Stakes
Al Zaraqaan (blue and white colours) is to drop back in trip after being beaten in the Jockey Club Stakes (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Dropping back in distance is on the cards for Al Zaraqaan after he finished fourth in the Jockey Club Stakes.

“Jim’s (Crowley) first reaction was he didn’t stay, having thought last year he would definitely stay,” said Gold.

“I did when he was winning at Kempton on the all-weather and this year when he beat Almigwhar on the all-weather. Jim felt he came there sweetly and didn’t go anywhere.

“We’ll bring him back to mile and a quarter. He has plenty of speed on the dam’s side of the family. We thought Golden Horn might put his stamina in, but he didn’t get home on Saturday and Jim felt he’d prefer slightly easier ground.

“We’ll see if that is the case, but we will coming back in trip with him.”

Mutasaabeq set to be added to 2000 Guineas field

Mutasaabeq is set to be supplemented for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

The son of Invincible Spirit, trained by Charlie Hills, is out of Ghanaati, who carried the colours of the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum to victory in the 1000 Guineas in 2009.

Mutasaabeq, who is now owned by Sheikh Hamdan’s family under the Shadwell Racing banner, has won both his starts over seven furlongs at Newmarket, with his latest victory coming earlier this month.

“As long as all is well with the horse tomorrow morning, we will supplement him,” said Angus Gold, Shadwell’s racing manager.

“We’ve been thinking about it. We didn’t put him in at the first stage because we thought it might come a bit quick for him.

“Mentally he was always a fizzy horse, but the team did a great job to keep a lid on him. Then he won first time out at Newmarket late in the season.

“Obviously he was impressive when he won there the other day. It’s impossible to say what he beat, but the way he did it was visually impressive and he ran right to the top of the hill and Jim (Crowley) said he would have no problems going a mile.

“I saw the horse a few days later and he seems to have take that race particularly well. He seems very relaxed at home.

“Dane O’Neill rode him a little half-speed (gallop) yesterday and said he felt in great form. I spoke to Sheikh Hamdan’s family to discuss the options and they said they would like to supplement him.”