Newbury's Greenham Stakes: Mohaather win sets 2,000 Guineas poser - The Queen visits & Alan King takes the Spring Cup
Mohaather, winner of Newbury’s Horris Hill Stakes last autumn, continued where he had left off on Saturday (April 13) when returning to the track to capture the Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes under Jim Crowley - and stamp himself a Classic contender.
The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt, trained by Marcus Tregoning, put himself forward for a Qipco 2,000 Guineas challenge after quickening to the front over a furlong out to secure the Group 3 prize by three quarters of a length from Great Scot.
“I am very pleased,” said Tregoning. “He had been working great so I was confident. He did his first bit of work on January 29 so we’ve kept him going and there have been no stops. He settles so well, he has a good action and he has speed as well.”
Mohaather, from the family of Accidental Agent, was cut to 16-1 from 33-1 by Ladbrokes for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas over a furlong further than the Greenham: “Personally I think he will get the mile on faster ground. But they go a different pace and with many more runners in the Guineas it is a bit more of a test. It will be entirely up to Sheikh Hamdan’s management but I am thrilled to have got this far.”
A regular visitor to the racecourse, The Queen was at Newbury to watch her three runners. Gold Stick ran in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes (fifth under Frankie Dettori).
And she had to entries in the Dreweatts Maiden Stakes Pianissimo (second under Frankie Dettori) and Space Walk (fourth under James Doyle.)
Andrews loves the Place
Peter and Trish Andrews enjoyed their best moment as owners at Newbury when their popular grey Smad Place won the 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup. Their colours were back in Newbury's winner's enclosure adding a highlight from the Flat when Chateztook the Mansionbet Spring Cup under William Buick.
Like Smad Place (now retired), Chatez is trained by Alan King at Barbury Castle.
“This is sweet because he missed two years with a leg,” said Peter Andrews. “Obviously the Hennessy is the great memory as we are really jumping people. We made the mistake of trying to make Chateza jumper but it’s not really his game.”
"We brought him back to the Flat and he's done us proud. He's a lovely horse, very genuine, but he does need a cut in the ground." The going at Newbury was Good to soft (Soft in places.)
Alan King was at Ayr for the Scottish Grand national - there the ground was good after watering and drying further. King had to withdraw the fancied Dingo Dollar from the National. But he had two second placed horses - Dino Velvet and Potterman.
Dandhu wins in 3-way photo
Dandhuwas cut to 10-1 from 16-1 by Betfair Sportsbook for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas after she edged a three-way photo-finish to the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes.
The first three were separated by short heads as the David Elsworth-trained filly, who was ridden by Gerald Mosse, held off Iconic Choiceand So Perfect.
Elsworth said: “I haven’t really given Dandhua hard preparation. Gerald put her to sleep. He may be French but he and I speak the same language. I am worried about the ground at Newmarket, that’s why I ran her here. Newmarket is an undulating mile - I would rather the Guineas was run here - but we will go there if we can.”
Home from Oz
Marmelohad run more times in Australia than he had appeared at his local Newbury racetrack but back from his travels, he reminded everyone how good he is by reeling in Aspetarto claim the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes, initiating a double for Mosse.
A third tilt at the Melbourne Cup, in which he was runner-up in November, is on the cards but a domestic campaign, possibly including in the Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup, may come first.
Balding at the double
Raise You, beaten a nose by King Ottakar last season, paid a handsome compliment to the winner of the conditions stakes 24 hours earlier by landing division two of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes by six lengths.
His Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding secured both divisions with Fox Chairman landing the first leg, giving him three winners over the two days of Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend.
Lunar Jetgained a neck victory in the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap 12 months but made light of the stiffer challenge set by running off a 5lb higher mark to win it again for trainer John Mackie by five lengths.