Muthmir wins Qatar King George Stakes at Goodwood
‘He’s fast and they went very fast — he’s got a turn of foot’ - William Haggas
Muthmir ridden by jockey Paul Hanagan on the way to winning the Qatar King George Stakes during day four of the Goodwood Festival. Photograph: John Walton/PA
Muthmir put his flop in the July Cup behind him to win the Qatar King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for William Haggas.
Having progressed through the handicapping ranks last season, the five-year-old landed a Group Two in France at the end of May and was only narrowly denied in Group One company at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand.
He seemed unsuited to Newmarket’s undulations and possibly the sixth furlong last time out, but on Goodwood’s rapid downhill five, he held off last year’s winner Take Cover with Prix de l’Abbaye hero Move In Time running a sound race in third.
All roads now lead to York for the first three, with Muthmir cut to 5-1 from 7s for the Nunthorpe behind the hot favourite Acapulco.
“He’s fast and they went very fast — he’s got a turn of foot,” said Haggas.
“He won in France and he had a (4lb) penalty for this so he was the best horse in the race.
“I would say that (Nunthorpe at York on August 21) is exactly where we’ll go.”
Winning rider Paul Hanagan said: “It’s great to get a nice winner for the boss (Sheikh Hamdan) this week and he’s here today as well.
“I got a lovely tow into the race and he loves it when they go really quick, a strong pace really suits him.”
David O’Meara was surprisingly without a Glorious Goodwood winner before So Beloved (10-1) justified strong market support in the Betfred Mile.
Victorious at York earlier this year, he is another older horse whom O’Meara has transformed into a top-class performer.
Belgian Bill looked the winner for much of the straight but Danny Tudhope drove his mount to a three-quarters of a length success.
“So Beloved has any amount ability. He showed that a couple of starts back at York when he won really well from a bad position,” said O’Meara.
“He settled well today and was given a great ride by Danny.”
Qatar challenger Dubday (11-2) claimed victory under Frankie Dettori in the Betfred Glorious Stakes after The Corsican met trouble in running.
Jassim Al Ghazali’s charge is the star performer in his homeland, notably landing a repeat success in the prestigious Emir’s Trophy at Doha earlier in the year, and he arrived on the Sussex Downs having filled the runner-up spot in Listed events at Newbury and Newmarket.
Dettori said: “It’s the first winner for Qatar (trainers) in the UK.
“I take my hat off to Jassim, he’s done a fantastic job with him.
“In fairness, he picked up really well — he just idled a bit in front.
“It’s a big achievement to take this horse from Qatar to here and win.”
Al Ghazali, who plans to send up to 30 horses to be campaigned in Britain next season and is the dominant force with thoroughbreds in Qatar, said: “I’m very happy — it’s a big, big win for me.”
Malabar gained a deserved success in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes under Silvestre de Sousa.
Mick Channon’s filly was facing her easiest assignment for a while following five straight appearances at Group One level, most recently finishing down the field in the French Oaks.
Kool Kompany tried to stay with her, but Malabar was much too strong, securing the Group Three prize by three lengths.
Channon said: “She ran a cracker in the Guineas and had no luck in Ireland — and the same in France.
“She’s not a big horse and we put a visor on her to make her a bit braver.
“We went into the race, as I saw it, with the best horse.
“We’re thinking of going to America for fillies’ races as there are plenty of options for fillies out there.
“She’s in the Beverly D. (Arlington) but my son is out there and says there are valuable fillies’ races at Saratoga and Belmont and the American fillies aren’t very good.”
Richard Hughes notched his second winner of the week a day before he hangs up his saddle for the final time with a typically confident ride on Belvoir Bay in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Nursery Stakes.
Winning trainer Richard Hannon said: “She ran in the Super Sprint but was taken off her feet a little bit.
“She’s obviously quite decent and we might try for a black type race next.”
There was a shock result to the L’Ormarins Queens Plate as 33-1 French challenger Amy Eria did the business for trainer Francois Rohaut.
Gregory Benoist had the four-year-old in a nice position throughout and she responded well for pressure to run to the lead inside the final furlong.
The Dettori-ridden 5-2 favourite Osaila, like the winner owned by Al Shaqab, was coming at Amy Eria hard as the winning line approached, but Benoist appeared confident his mount had enough in the tank, saluting the crowd as he flashed by the post half a length to the good.
Rohaut said: “She did a tremendous piece of work last week, so we were very confident and she was at her best today.
“She loves the long straight and the ground was perfect. It was fantastic.
“Seven furlongs is her trip, I remember she won at Maisons-Laffitte last year at about the same price!
“She loves this distance and we will prepare her for the Group One on Arc day (Prix de la Foret).”
It was doubles for Dettori and Hannon — and treble for Al Shaqab — when 7-2 joint-favourite Tashaar defied top weight in real style in the concluding Betfred Mobile Stakes, looking the proverbial Group horse in a handicap.
Always travelling well within himself, the Sea The Stars colt was heavily eased for a length and a half success over Rhythmical, taking his record to two wins from as many starts.