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Bahrain contest on Mostahdaf radar

Mostahdaf could have booked himself a ticket for the Bahrain International Trophy on November 19 with his impressive display at Newmarket last week.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained three-year-old took his impressive career record to five wins from six starts in the Darley Stakes.

His sole defeat came in the St James’s Palace Stakes and while Saturday was his first race over further than a mile, John Gosden feels 10 furlongs could bring out even more improvement.

He said: “Mostahdaf hasn’t done a lot wrong. He got boxed in during the St James’s Palace Stakes and that was the end of it.

“We’ve always thought of him as a 10-furlong horse. His half-sister (Nazeef) won two Group One races at a mile. She was by Invincible Spirit, and he is by Frankel, so we are pretty confident a mile and a quarter is his best trip. He is a classy horse.

“There is the Bahrain International Trophy as an option in November, but we will talk about it with everybody, and we will see how we want to play it”

Mostahdaf is one of 78 entries from 10 different countries. Other standouts include Group One winners Thundering Nights, Barney Roy, Desert Encounter and Lord Glitters.

Saeed bin Suroor’s Real World, William Haggas’ Dubai Honour, Jim Goldie’s Euchen Glen and William Knight’s Sir Busker are other familiar names with the option.

Mostahdaf back in the groove with Sandown Listed success

Mostahdaf made the most of having his sights lowered when getting back on the winning trail in the Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes at Sandown.

Having made it three wins from as many starts in the Heron Stakes over the same course and distance in May, the son of Frankel was stepped up to Group One level for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot – where he beat only one rival home.

Dropping back down to Listed class for his latest assignment, John and Thady Gosden’s charge was the 7-4 favourite in the hands of Jim Crowley and ultimately got the job done in good style.

The keen-going Rhoscolyn was in there pitching as things started to hot up inside the final two furlongs, with Mostahdaf travelling strongly and the popular Sir Busker produced with his challenge between the pair.

It was Escobar who emerged as the biggest threat to Mostahdaf, however – and while the market leader carried his rival across the track when coming under maximum pressure, he was well on top as he passed the post half a length in front.

Thady Gosden said: “We were very pleased with him, because he has had a bit of time off. He hit a couple of ridges up the straight, but he handled the track as they had plenty of rain here yesterday. It was soft enough for him, but his class got him through.

“He is a nice horse for next year definitely, but we will see how he comes out of the race and if we do anything with him for the rest of the season.”

Mostahdaf was completing a double on the card for the Gosden team following the earlier success of 2-1 shot Damaar and Robert Havlin in the Blandford Bloodstock Novice Stakes.

Goldspur after winning at Sandown
Goldspur after winning at Sandown (PA)

The Charlie Appleby-trained Goldspur earned quotes for next year’s Cazoo Derby at Epsom following his impressive debut success in the Time Test EBF Novice Stakes.

Sent off the 2-1 favourite under James Doyle, the Dubawi colt looks destined for bigger better things – judged on the way he stretched six and a half lengths clear.

“I was pleased with that run,” said Appleby.

“He is a horse that has got plenty of stamina in his pedigree, so he will be a mile-and-a-half horse for next year.

“Going forward we will look at stepping him up to a mile and a quarter and point him at something like the Zetland Stakes.

“I’m very pleased that he is a big margin winner, but soft ground has come into play for him there.”

Mostahdaf completes hat-trick with Heron success

Mostahdaf made it three wins in as many starts with a narrow victory in a classy renewal of the Casumo Best Odds Guaranteed Heron Stakes at Sandown.

The Listed heat drew seven contenders, including last year’s Coventry Stakes hero Nando Parrado, along with 11-8 favourite Highland Avenue and Bullace, who were both seeking a fourth successive victory.

Nando Parrado set out to make all in the mile heat, with Jim Crowley and William Buick content to sit out the back aboard Mostahdaf and Highland Avenue respectively until the race began in earnest in the straight.

While Buick took Highland Avenue up the inside rail, Mostahdaf (9-2) made his challenge on the outside and Bullace raced between the two, with the trio fighting out a thrilling finish in the final furlong.

Mostahdaf, who was getting 3lb from Highland Avenue, proved half a length too good at the line for trainers John and Thady Gosden, with Bullace a tenacious third, beaten a further half a length.

Paddy Power cut Mostahdaf, who is a half-brother to dual Group One winner Nazeef, to 5-1 for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, while making him a 12-1 shot for the Eclipse back at Sandown in July.

John Gosden said: “I don’t think the ground was to his liking as it was testing out there. He has shown a lot of courage as he has come from last and got in a battle.

“He will have learnt a lot from that as it is the first time he has ever raced on turf. We will see how is in the next couple of weeks and go from there.

“I think it was a gutsy performance from a horse so inexperienced. As Jim said, he had nothing to race with out there and he was slightly looking around.

“It was a great run and we will see whether we stick to a mile, which I think we will for the moment, and we will see where we go from there. He has got some class.

“The St James’s Palace Stakes is not necessarily punching too high as he has got a lot of class. It is nobody’s fault, but he would just like to run on something called good ground.”

Beautiful Sunshine (4-7 favourite) had earlier booked her ticket for Royal Ascot with a comfortable victory in the Casumo Bet 10 Get 10 EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

The Ardad filly came home four lengths clear in the hands of Rossa Ryan, with trainer George Boughey setting his sights on next month’s showpiece in Berkshire.

He said: “She is a lovely filly that is improving with each run. It is hard to win that impressively under a penalty, so it was a good effort really.

“We could have gone straight to Ascot with her, but by doing this we have got to know more about her. At the moment I don’t think she needs that soft ground, she just handles it.

“She looks like she is getting faster and I would say at the moment she will probably go for the Queen Mary, but we will see how she trains into it.”

Ryan also struck gold aboard Ralph Beckett’s Zinc White (11-10 favourite) in the Casumo Horse Racing & Sports Betting Handicap.