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‘Every chance’ Mogul might wait for Ascot after Dubai reappearance

Mogul could be given a break following his run in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on Saturday.

The Aidan O’Brien colt was sent off favourite in what was a hot renewal of the mile-and-a-half feature, but finished seventh of the nine runners behind Mishriff.

It was a first outing for Mogul since his victory in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December.

O’Brien said: “Mogul ran well. He hadn’t run since December and for him that is a long time. He’s a horse that progresses with his racing and we think he will progress a lot.

“I think he won’t mind coming back in distance either. He’ll have no problem coming back to a mile and a quarter and don’t rule him out going back to a mile. He’s a very strong traveller.

“There is not much for him until Ascot and we don’t want to run him on soft ground. There is the Tattersalls (Gold Cup), but the ground can be slow there and there is every chance that he won’t appear again until Ascot.

“Hopefully he will have a full season after that.”

Mishriff mission to give Thady Gosden dream start

As dream starts to a new career go, winning the Dubai Sheema Classic with Mishriff would be hard to beat for Thady Gosden.

A regular presence on racecourses in recent years representing his father John, he now shares the British licence at Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket.

The team enjoyed a first winner on a joint ticket at Lingfield on Friday -and while Mishriff runs solely in Gosden senior’s name in Dubai, it is the younger man who has been overseeing preparations at Meydan.

“He takes everything in his stride,” he said, of Mishriff.

“He travelled very well to Saudi and enjoyed the training out there, and it’s been the same here.

“I think he likes the routine of coming out on to the track, doing a lap and going back in. It’s nothing too stressful at all.

“He’s still holding his condition well from all the travelling. Obviously its a pretty long way there and back, and then a month later come back out here, but he’s taken it all very well so far – we’ll find out on Saturday.”

As well as winning connections a fortune, Mishriff proved his versatility in the Saudi Cup on dirt but now steps up in trip and goes back on the turf.

Thady Gosden speaks to the press in Dubai
Thady Gosden speaks to the press in Dubai (Dubai Racing Club/Marthea Kelley)

“He broke well, and David (Egan) gave him a brilliant ride (in Saudi),” said Gosden.

“Obviously the American horses, including Charlatan, had a lot of early speed so he knew he had to be up there with them and if he got away in the straight, he might be tough to catch. David rode him perfectly, and the horse showed a lot of class.

“He has plenty of size and scope about him as well and he’s really matured well into a four-year-old – he’s definitely gone the right way from three.

“The thought process was that we’ll always be running on turf back in the UK – it’s a mile-and-a-half race, and depending on how he runs that will decide his road map for the rest of the year and which races to target.”

David Egan handled the pressure well in the Saudi Cup
David Egan handled the pressure well in the Saudi Cup (Bill Selwyn/PA)

Of Egan, who missed a couple of big-race rides on Mishriff last year through suspension and Covid protocols, Gosden said: “He’s very cool, calm and collected all the time.

“He thinks everything through thoroughly – he’s a brilliant jockey.”

While predicting not much will change at Clarehaven, the 25-year-old does admit to a sense of anticipation.

“Its very exciting,” he said.

“We’re lucky at home – we have a wonderful team there, who work incredibly hard, so hopefully things will go in the right direction, but we’ll find out! Things obviously won’t change very much.”

Chief opponent to Mishriff, according to the betting at least, is Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul, another to have won a big international race – in Hong Kong.

O’Brien has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds Mogul, and this could be the year he really delivers.

“Obviously this will be his first run of the season, but he ran in the middle of December in Hong Kong – he came out of that race very well and he seems to be in good form,” said O’Brien.

“He is a horse that likes nice ground, and a flat track seems to suit him. The ground is always beautiful in Meydan, and it’s a great track.

“We think Mogul is ready to start for the season. He is a very solid horse who has a lot of experience of travelling – and he seems to thrive from that really.

“But we are never under any illusions that it is always very competitive racing out there and there are very highly-rated horses competing in these races.”

Mogul takes in his surroundings at Meydan
Mogul takes in his surroundings at Meydan (Erika Ramussen/Dubai Racing Club)

Charlie Appleby runs two in Walton Street and Star Safari, and it is the former who carries his main hopes.

Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “Walton Street goes into this on the back of a very good trial in the Dubai City Of Gold, when he repeated his track record time.

“He has to improve again to be competitive at this level, but ticks a lot of boxes in terms of home advantage.”

Saeed bin Suroor runs Dubai Future, the mount of Frankie Dettori – and while he has been consistent this season, he has three lengths to find with Walton Street.

“He’s a tough horse, always tries his best and he’s in good form, always runs well in Dubai,” said Bin Suroor.

“The trip will suit him, Frankie Dettori will ride. It won’t be an easy race, but we’re looking for a good run from him.”

Andrew Balding runs St Leger runner-up Berkshire Rocco, while Oisin Murphy rides the Japanese filly Loves Only You. Arima Kinen winner Chrono Genesis is another leading hope.

Mogul primed for Sheema Classic clash with Mishriff

Mogul is all set to play his part in what promises to be a mouthwatering renewal of the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on Saturday.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt has long been held in high regard and ended his three-year-old campaign on a high with victory in the Hong Kong Vase in December, beating Exultant by three lengths.

The son of Galileo was also a Group One winner in the Grand Prix de Paris, and was sixth to stablemate Serpentine in the Derby and fifth to Tarnawa in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

He will clash with John Gosden’s Saudi Cup winner Mishriff, among others, and speaking at the Curragh on Sunday, O’Brien said: “Mogul goes over tomorrow and he’s in good order.

“We think the track, ground and trip will all suit him well. He didn’t have a long break over the winter so that will be an advantage to him because he’s a horse that does very well.”

O’Brien also had news of this year’s Classic generation, including Dewhurst one-two St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley, plus Derby favourite High Definition.

High Definition is favourite for the Derby
High Definition is favourite for the Derby (PA)

The Ballydoyle handler said: “Battleground is in good form and he’s been doing everything right so far. He’s done well over the winter.

“Wembley and St Mark’s Basilica are the same. We’ll decide in the next week or so whether we’ll train High Definition to go to the Guineas first time or to go to a Derby trial.

“Van Gogh, who won in France, is also there and they are all at the same stage. So far they’ve all done everything right.

“They’ll have a bit more serious work and then we’ll know where we go after that.”

Ryan Moore celebrates international double in Hong Kong

Ryan Moore ended his year on a high on Sunday as a first victory in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint completed a career ‘Grand Slam’ of wins at the big international meeting at Sha Tin.

Moore had earlier struck for a third time in the Hong Kong Vase courtesy of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Mogul, before the Japanese-trained Danon Smash gave him a landmark success.

Moore had previously partnered Snow Fairy (2010) and Maurice (2016) to Hong Kong Cup wins, while Maurice also landed the Hong Kong Mile with the three-time British champion jockey aboard in 2015.

Zac Purton, Joao Moreira and Gerald Mosse are the other three jockeys to have completed the quartet of HKIR victories.

Speaking after the win on Mogul, Moore said: “He’s a horse that we always expected a lot from. He was a good two-year-old, he won his Grade Two race at Leopardstown. I don’t know, maybe just the way the season unfolded, he took a while to really pull himself together.

“Maybe he was just a bit behind on Derby day (when sixth to Serpentine) and we were always on the back foot. He was super impressive when he won in Paris (Grand Prix de Paris) and his Breeders’ Cup run (fifth behind Tarnawa in the Breeders’ Cup Turf) wasn’t without merit.

“Today, the race worked out nicely for him, he’s beaten a really solid yardstick in Exultant. He (Exultant) always seems to consistently perform to the same level and never seems to run a bad race around here. He’s put them away very nicely.

“In reality, I was in front sooner than would have been ideal today but he took me there nicely. When he gets in front, he maybe lacks a bit of concentration still but he’s a beautiful looking horse. He’s got a fantastic mind and it doesn’t stress him. He’ll be a really nice four-year-old.

“He has a great mind, so travelling won’t stress him. He loves decent ground. I think a few times the ground was a little bit against him. Maybe even in America, the pace was wrong but the ground might have been loose enough. At York, the ground might have been deep enough for him that day. These fast, flat tracks suit him. They let him show what class he has.”

Moore, 37, first travelled to Hong Kong in 2001 as a teenager and has gone on to firmly establish himself as one of the world’s best.

He said: “I’ve always loved coming to Hong Kong. I came here when I was 18 and they were doing the breeze-up sale and I’ve always loved coming here.

“I hadn’t even rode as an apprentice then and I remember coming here and watching Douglas (Whyte) ride all the winners. It was a different time but it was always a great atmosphere and you know how much it means to the punters here. They love their racing and it will be great to have them back here.

“It’s fantastic racing and competitive racing. It’s been a shame I wasn’t able to get over here earlier this year, but hopefully we can come again. The year for everyone has been a mess, but we’re very thankful to everyone at the Hong Kong Jockey Club for getting me over.

“It’s been a big effort and I can’t really stress enough the time they’ve put in. We’re very thankful to get us over here.”

Mogul charges to Hong Kong Vase victory

Mogul produced a dominant display to provide Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore with a third victory in the Longines Hong Kong Vase in Sha Tin.

The Ballydoyle handler saddled Highland Reel to claim the Group One prize in 2015 and 2017, with Moore doing the steering on both occasions.

Mogul lined up with strong claims, having finally claimed the Group One victory he had long promised in the Grand Prix de Paris on his penultimate start, before finishing a creditable fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland last month.

Hong Kong favourite Exultant led the field into the home straight, but he was unable to resist Mogul’s late charge, with three lengths separating the pair at the line.

Columbus County was a close-up third, with French raider Royal Julius finishing last of the seven runners.

O’Brien told Sky Sports Racing: “We’re delighted with him. He’s a big, powerful, strong horse who is made like a miler. It was only when we started riding him patiently and riding him more for speed than stamina that we’ve seen the best of him.

“Ryan gave him a lovely ride. He settled lovely and quickened very well.

“He’s a very exciting horse for next year. I think anything from a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half on nice ground (suits).

“Ryan says he’s really matured and is really improving. He’s got a very solid mind.”

Magical in stall two for Breeders’ Cup Turf assignment

Magical will break from stall two while stablemate Mogul will start widest of 10 runners in Saturday’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland.

The duo, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore and Pierre-Charles Boudot respectively, will be trying to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a seventh success in the 12-furlong heat, which also features Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa, the mount of Christophe Soumillon.

John Gosden is also represented with the Frankie Dettori-ridden Lord North (six) and Mehdaayih, who will be in stall four for Joel Rosario.

Kameko, winner of the 2000 Guineas, goes for glory in the Fanduel Breeders’ Cup Mile and Oisin Murphy’s mount will be surrounded by some familiar horses as he breaks from stall two.

O’Brien’s Circus Maximus (one) and the Ger Lyons-trained Siskin (four) have already crossed swords with Andrew Balding’s charge this year, while Lope Y Fernandez (three), Safe Voyage (six) and One Master (nine) complete the British and Irish challenge.

Last year’s winner Uni is drawn 12th of the 14 runners for Chad Brown.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Cayenne Pepper was drawn 14 of 14 runners for the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf, which also features O’Brien’s Peaceful (three), Terrebellum (seven) from the Gosden yard and James Fanshawe’s Audarya (11).

Glass Slippers is in stall six for Kevin Ryan in the Turf Sprint, with Charlie Hills’ Equilateral among the reserves for the six-furlong contest.

Bob Baffert appears to hold the key to the Classic with three-times Group One winner Improbable, Kentucky Derby victor Authentic and Maximum Security.

The trio were all drawn next to each other in the 10-furlong feature, taking stalls eight, nine and 10 respectively.

Baffert said: “That was crazy. I got here just before the draw and I saw Authentic in the nine. And they’re going to be easy to watch.

“It’s not like the Sprint and they have a long run to the turn. They have to break well. Improbable, he needs to break well.”

Tiz The Law will be in stall two with Toms D’Etat (four) another leading contender.

Monomoy Girl (10) and Swiss Skydiver (five) face off against each other in the Distaff in what is one of the most eagerly-awaited clashes.

Swiss Skydiver won the Preakness on her most recent start for Kenny McPeek, while Monomoy Girl won this race in 2018 but could not defend her title last year after suffering a bout of colic.

Trainer Brad Cox is unconcerned by her draw in the widest stall of all, adding: “She was 11 of 11 in the Breeders’ Cup in 2018. She was 14 of 14 in the Kentucky Oaks. I love it.”

O’Brien hoping Arc absence can work in Mogul’s favour at Keeneland

Aidan O’Brien feels being forced to miss the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe could have been a blessing in disguise for Mogul as he prepares for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland.

The three-year-old colt would have been a leading fancy for the Arc with after his victory in the Grand Prix de Paris in September, but a return to ParisLongchamp was cancelled due to contaminated feed issues.

Mogul relished the good ground for his Group One success, but would not have appreciated the testing conditions on Arc day.

“He’s a big, gross, powerful horse, who takes his racing well and is always very happy to race. We were looking forward to the Arc with him,” O’Brien told a Breeders’ Cup teleconference.

“The ground was good when he won the Grand Prix de Paris, but none of our horses got to run on Arc day and the ground would not have been ideal.

“Maybe that wasn’t much of a disadvantage, especially looking to this race. We always thought this track would suit him. He’s a pacey horse. He loves nice ground and a flat track.

“We’re happy with what he’s doing at home at the moment.”

O’Brien is also pleased with Magical, who has had a tremendous season with three Group One victories, though she he got stuck in the mud when bidding for back-to-back victories in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on her latest start.

“We’ve been delighted with her this year. She ran well the last day. The ground was very heavy in Ascot. She seems to have come out of the race very well,” he said.

“She did very well over the winter from four to five physically and we were looking forward to seeing her race this year. When she started racing, we thought she had improved again.

“She’s a fine, big mare and has been racing at the top level at two, three and four. I suppose we were delighted and hoping the improvement would be there.

“It’s possible this will be her last race, but I don’t know. She also has an entry in Hong Kong in December, so I suppose we will see how things go.

“What we usually do is we take them home and have a good chat about it 10 days after the race and see what we want to do.”

O’Brien expects Circus Maximus to have several things in his favour when he bids to improve on last year’s fourth place in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“He’s been in good form since the last day. The ground in Ascot was very bad and it didn’t suit him,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

“He likes a nice surface and an even pace, a flat track and he loves to get into a battle. We think all those things might suit him.”

O’Brien also believes Lope Y Fernandez could find this race up his street.

“We think six, maybe seven is his ideal trip. We had a race in France on Arc day, a seven-furlong Group One (the Prix de la Foret) in mind for him and he didn’t get to run,” he said.

“We thought it would set him up for this race, so when we couldn’t run there, we ran him over six at Ascot and the ground was bad, but he ran respectably and we all thought the Breeders’ Cup Mile might suit him on a flat, easy track.

“We think it will suit him and will ride him a little bit patiently.

“Ryan (Moore) will have the choice and at the moment Circus Maximus is the highest-rated, but we’ll wait and see.”

O’Brien is looking forward to running Battleground in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

“He’s a fine, big powerful colt. He’s usually a good traveller, likes nice ground. He started early in the year, won at Royal Ascot and then he went and won at Goodwood,” he said.

“He was being prepared for the National Stakes and he coughed getting off the box, so we withdrew him and then we prepared him for the Dewhurst and with the ground the way it was, we said we’d wait.

“He has been in full training a long time and was prepared for two races in between he didn’t run in, so we think his fitness levels are good and high and he seems to be in good form.”

The Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf is Peaceful’s target and O’Brien is convinced the ground at Newmarket was to blame for her poor performance in the Sun Chariot Stakes.

“She’s in good form. The ground was very bad in Newmarket, probably the worst ground there for a very long time,” he said.

“We just felt it was too deep for her. She came out of the race well and we put her disappointing run down to ground.”

“We always felt this race was going to suit her.”

Love not certain to head to Breeders’ Cup

Aidan O’Brien has suggested his dual Classic winner Love may skip the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland next month.

The filly has been imperious throughout her three-year-old campaign, having been busy in her juvenile season with seven runs.

She began by winning the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and was even more impressive at Epsom in the Oaks, beating stablemate Ennistymon by nine lengths.

Given a mid-season break, the daughter of Galileo then won the Yorkshire Oaks at York, a run that was meant to put her spot on for a crack at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, only for very heavy ground in Paris to scupper that plan at the 11th hour.

As fate would have it, she would have been a non runner in any case due to the well-documented problem with contaminated feed which led to the Ballydoyle handler withdrawing his runners from last Sunday’s card at ParisLongchamp.

The Arc was won by Sottsass with In Swoop a close second, the latter having been behind O’Brien’s Mogul in the Grand Prix de Paris.

When asked if Mogul would head to the Breeders’ Cup with Love, O’Brien replied: “Mogul is a possible for Champions Day at Ascot or the Breeders’ Cup.

“Love might be finished for this season with next year in mind.”

Monday Musings: Arc Love Abounds

The betting will tell you that next Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a virtual match between 6-4 shot and dual fillies’ Classic winner Love and the Queen of world racing, Enable, who is available at 5-2 after just the 13 Group wins in an 18-race career over five seasons which has yielded 15 victories in all.

That two of them were in the Arc seems not to matter in the face of Love’s faultless campaign of 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks. The memory of an almost unthinkable defeat when going for the hat-trick at Longchamp last October when Waldgeist got up late to deny her, and another second place to Ghaiyyath in the Eclipse Stakes this summer have only slightly dented Enable’s air of invincibility.

The promise of rain in Paris this week will not shake the confidence of the Gosden-Dettori-Abdullah team, nor will the prospect of facing some of the best colts in Europe on Sunday. Those two elements have still to be addressed by Love, representing the Aidan O’Brien filly and her Coolmore owners. Their three-year-old will have a 6lb weight advantage against her revered rival, but obviously boasts a great deal less experience.

That said, Love did run seven times as a juvenile, winning three. Two of those victories last year were on good ground, the other on good to firm. When she was defeated, three of the four were on good to soft or yielding. All three of her Group 1 successes this year have also been officially on good. Add in that she has yet to meet a colt and, while the margins of her wins have been uniformly eye-opening, this represents a new and deeper test.

At this distance, the big two overseas squads (as far as the French are concerned) of Gosden and O’Brien are garnering high-class back-ups. Gosden can bring another six-year-old, the multiple champion stayer Stradivarius, who has shown on two occasions, admittedly in defeat behind Ghaiyyath and Anthony Van Dyck in the Coronation Cup and Anthony Van Dyck again in Longchamp’s Prix Foy, either side of a third Gold Cup at Ascot and fourth Goodwood Cup, that he is effective at a mile and a half. Soft ground or worse would only add to his competitiveness on Sunday.

He will have Olivier Peslier in the saddle this time as Frankie is understandably ever more welded to Enable. The third Gosden runner is anything but a lightweight too. Mishriff had not been considered one of the stable’s superstars when he travelled over to Chantilly for the French Derby (Prix Du Jockey Club) in July, but he won the 10.5 furlong Classic by a length and a quarter from The Summit. Next time out, in a four-horse field for a Deauville Group 2 over slightly further than 12 furlongs, he more than tripled his advantage over the same rival. No non-entity he!

The ground will finally determine which of the host of potential Aidan O’Brien contenders will form his back-up squad. Mogul is an obvious prime contender after his bounce back to form in the Grand Prix de Paris and the trainer was ready to forgive Japan’s lapses this season by pointing out that he has a good record around Parislongchamp, winning last year’s Grand Prix and finishing fourth to Waldgeist and Enable in the Arc. Derby winners Santiago and Serpentine would be possibles along with Anthony Van Dyck – less likely in the event of soft or heavy – and even Magical. I’m sure the mare herself, still on the upgrade at five, would relish the chance of another nip at Enable.

I think it could be a step too far for Pyledriver, but I feel Willie Muir’s three-year-old was unfairly condemned in many quarters as a non-stayer when third in the St Leger. Had he kept straight he could easily have been right there with Galileo Chrome and was getting back to the leaders again at the finish.

Recent Grand Prix de Deauville winner Telecaster will be aiming to complete his rehabilitation as a Group 1 performer without the services of Christophe Soumillon who guided him to a very easy success on soft ground that day at the conclusion of the August festival. That emphatic six and a half-length verdict on heavy ground at Group 2 level has encouraged Hughie Morrison and the Weinfeld family to take the plunge, with far less downside than the colt’s unfortunate Derby experience caused them last year.

A work-out over the full trip on the testing home gallop convinced Morrison that his four-year-old has the tools needed for a strongly-run Group 1 test and hopes it will keep raining. If Love or for that matter Enable can come through to beat that host of dangers on Sunday, she will deserve the highest accolade. But then, they both have been greatly acclaimed already. I take them in that order, LOVE to beat Enable and I’d be thrilled to see Telecaster get third.

*

Apart from the fact that the two horses I fancied for Saturday’s Cambridgeshire got impossible draws – one of them, Walhaan, won the race on his side and finished 13th of 27, I enjoyed the result. It was nice for Paul Hanagan that at the age of 40 – surely not - he was back in the big time after suffering such a bad injury from a fall at Newcastle when fracturing three vertebrae and having another – the sixth – badly crushed.

How he could come back from that I can barely imagine, but all he could do afterwards was thank everyone, especially Jack Berry House where he did most of his rehabilitation work, and long-term ally Richard Fahey who kept faith with him in the early stages of that recovery and continues to support the former champion jockey.

Now fully fit, and gratifyingly self-effacingly humble as ever, he teamed up with Paul and Olly Cole on Majestic Dawn and their lightly-raced four-year-old surged up the favoured stands rail to win by almost five lengths. This was only his second start of the year, after a last of ten around Kempton three weeks earlier.

At 40-1 it might have looked a forlorn hope, but Olly Cole certainly fancied Majestic Dawn’s chance as he had been fifth in the race last year behind Lord North. Cole junior has grown quickly into his role as co-trainer with his father and it is certain that all those earlier big race triumphs for Paul Cole can be remembered in the context of this revival in the yard’s fortunes.

Paul and Olly Cole were the first of the co-trainers to record a win, quicker even than Simon and Ed Crisford, who were operating under that banner earlier than their Berkshire-based counterparts. The Crisfords have had a brilliant season from their Newmarket yard and so have two much newer operations in the same town.

I remember a few years ago I discovered that George Scott, still working as assistant to Lady Jane Cecil at Warren Place, had a house in Newmarket where Ed Crisford, assistant to his father; James Ferguson, with Charlie Appleby for Godolphin; and George Boughey, Hugo Palmer’s assistant, were his house-mates.

In view of where they all are now, it’s interesting to ponder what they managed to talk about in the evenings when settling down to Coronation Street on the telly. Judging on Scott’s steady progress from his larger premises and support of father-in-law Bill Gredley, and the flying starts made by Ferguson and Boughey, the quartet probably did a little knowledge-exchanging about the business they are now adorning with so much promise.

Talking of promise, I wonder what will assail the ears of young Leo Sangster, christened last week by proud parents Sam and Maddy, over the next week or two. Sam is readying himself for another sales season with his thriving agency, but before that gets too demanding, the Sangsters and their co-owners have a date in Paris, where his late father Robert enjoyed three Arc successes in four years with Alleged (twice) and Detroit.

Sangster senior was one of the first owners that supported Nicolas Clement when he was compelled to take over the Chantilly stable of his father Miguel on his sudden death. Clement struck almost immediately in the 1990 Arc with Saumarez, ridden by Gerald Mosse (still going strong 30 years later) for owners Bruce McNall and Wayne Gretzky, the ice hockey legend, great friends of Robert Sangster.

Sam Sangster has already enjoyed Stakes success with horses trained by Nicolas Clement and they have high hopes of their bargain two-year-old Camelot filly, King’s Harlequin, bought for only €30,000, in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac. King’s Harlequin won the Group 3 Prix d’Aumale, one of the customary trials for the Marcel Boussac, over the course and distance, in impressive all-the-way fashion last time and is sure to be a major contender on Sunday.

- TS

Mogul comes good to claim Group One glory in Grand Prix de Paris

Investec Derby hero Serpentine had to settle for fourth as his stablemate Mogul claimed top honours in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at ParisLongchamp.

Serpentine was a surprise winner of the premier Classic at Epsom under an enterprising front-running ride from Emmet McNamara.

Ridden more patiently on this occasion by Christophe Soumillon, the Galileo colt appeared in a good position rounding the home turn, but ultimately failed to pick up sufficiently, although there was promise in his return.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds Mogul – and he was the chosen mount of Ryan Moore in the Derby, where he finished sixth, despite disappointing at Royal Ascot on his previous start.

Another son of Galileo, he opened his account for the campaign in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, before finishing third behind Pyledriver in last month’s Great Voltigeur at York.

Held up for a late run by Pierre-Charles Boudot, Mogul was nearer last than first at the top of the straight, but made stylish headway against the far rail before extending clear in impressive style.

Speaking at the Curragh, O’Brien said: “We’re delighted with him (Mogul). We always felt that he was only coming (to hand) and I kept saying it.

“He was starting to show so much speed I kind of thought maybe we were going the wrong way and we should be going back to a mile and a quarter. I said to Pierre-Charles today ‘ride him for speed, take your time on him and drop him on the line’.

“He’s obviously a fast horse as he’s able to quicken. I thought we were going too far today over a mile and a half.

“He’s entered in Australia, (or) he can go to for the Champion Stakes at Ascot. He could go to America and Hong Kong, so there’s a lot of options for him.”

Serpentine finished fourth in the Grand Prix de Paris
Serpentine finished fourth in the Grand Prix de Paris (Bill Selwyn/PA)

Of Serpentine, he added: “It was his first run back (after a break) and Christophe was very happy with him.

“He had a good break, which we wanted to give him. I was thinking of starting him today and going back for the Arc, but we’ll see how he is.

“I was very happy with how happy Christophe was with him.”

In Swoop and Gold Trip finished second and third, with the British pair of Highland Chief and English King behind Serpentine in fifth and sixth respectively.