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Derby absentee Mohaafeth on course for tilt at Hampton Court

Mon 7 Jun 2021

Mohaafeth is likely to contest the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot next week following his late withdrawal from the Cazoo Derby.

The Frankel colt was considered a leading contender for the premier Classic, having made it three from three this season with a hugely impressive display in the Listed Newmarket Stakes on Guineas weekend.

However, with rainfall throughout Friday ensuring the ground was on the soft side, trainer William Haggas made the difficult to decision to pull him out of the Derby and instead wait for the Royal meeting.

Mohaafeth impressed at Newmarket in May

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, said: “William has always been quoted as saying this horse wants fast ground.

“We all walked the track and we thought it was probably fine to run, but William made the point that it wasn’t his ground and his feeling was that he wasn’t going to win it in that ground.

“If you did run you’d risk messing up Ascot, it’s the middle of the season and we need to know where we’re going with this horse.

“If he’d run seventh or eighth and had a hard race and hadn’t recovered in time for Ascot, we’re getting to July without knowing what sort of horse we’ve got to go to war with, so to speak.

“William just felt it wasn’t the right thing to do to run him.”

Mohaafeth is entered in the King Edward VII Stakes on Friday week, but is set to run instead over a mile and a quarter at Group Three level the previous afternoon.

Gold said: “It’s most likely he’ll run in the mile-and-a-quarter race, I would think. There is quite a body of opinion around the horse that thinks he might end up a mile-and-a-quarter horse.

“We weren’t sure about the mile and a half going into the Derby. I’ve noticed his breeder has been quoted twice now, saying she doesn’t think he’d stay – and he has got a lot of speed, this horse.

“Maybe it will turn out a mile and a quarter is his best trip – time will tell.”

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