Mohaather bursts through late on to win Sussex Stakes
Marcus Tregoning’s horse saw off Siskin and Circus Maximus in devastating finish
Mohaather ridden by Jim Crowley (right) wins The Qatar Sussex Stakes during day two of the Goodwood Festival, Photo: Edward Whitaker/PA Wire
Mohaather, at 3-1, produced an irresistible burst of acceleration from a seemingly impossible position a furlong out to beat the Guineas winners from England and Ireland in the Group One Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday. The victory gave Marcus Tregoning, the four-year-old’s trainer, his first success at the highest level since Sir Percy’s win in the Derby at Epsom in 2006.
Jim Crowley was in a classic Goodwood “pocket” as a closely-packed field moved well inside the final quarter mile, with Kameko, the 2,000 Guineas winner, also struggling for running room on his inside. Oisin Murphy, on Kameko, was forced to sit and suffer, but Crowley managed to extract Mohaather and pull around horses, conceding momentum as he did so but also giving him a chance to chase down the front-running Circus Maximus.
Siskin, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, also quickened towards the lead but Mohaather’s finishing kick was much the better and he surged past both Siskin and Circus Maximus to win by three-quarters of a length.
Tregoning said: “I’ve had to wait a long time [for another Group One]. We obviously haven’t quite had the horses. When we left Lambourn we didn’t start with very many again.
“But luckily, Sheikh Hamdan has supported me well. I have to say big thanks to Angus Gold – because he found this horse as a yearling, and asked me to go and look at him. I went and looked at him and thought, ‘Oh no, he’s quite small!’. But then I thought Dominica wasn’t even 15 hands, and she won the King’s Stand first time out as a three-year-old – so I thought, ‘Give it a go, he’s a good judge’.”
Reflecting on the race, he said: “It was tactical, and we thought it would be. I don’t blame anyone for that – it’s just racing. He struggled to get out – he’s not the biggest horse – he struggled to find the gap, but Jim kept his calm, in the knowledge he has that massive kick.
“He’s very impressive, you have to say – if he’d got out earlier he’d have won very easily, but he won easily anyway. My 15-year-old daughter rides him out at weekends, so he’s a lovely horse every day. It’s a big thing to come here. We love Goodwood – I love this better than Ascot anyway.” – Guardian