Mustajeeb routs Jersey field
Irish raider Mustajeeb made light work of a massive field in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes, the first race on Day 2 of the Royal Ascot meeting. Dermot Weld’s charge lead home a one, two for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, with the John Gosden trained Muwaary filling the runner up spot having proved to be the only danger among the 23 runner field.
The winner had found the brilliant Kingman too good in the Irish 2000 Guineas on his previous start, but with nothing like that kind opposition here, he was always on top as he won with plenty in hand under Pat Smullen. Smullen had been keen to let his mount get on with it from the start, tracking the pace set by That Is The Spirit in the near side group after the field had split from the off.
Muwaary, meanwhile, was giving jockey Paul Hanagan a tough time of it as he fought for his head, eventually pulling himself to the front of the far group. The pace was even throughout and approaching the furlong pole it was already a three horse race, with the Al Maktoum pair and Aidan O’Brien’s Giovanni Boldini having burnt off the rest of the opposition.
O’Brien’s charge would eventually start to fade, leaving Mustajeeb and Muwaary to battle it out but it did not prove to be much of a battle in the end as Mustajeeb stretched away to win by a length.
Smullen said: “I couldn’t believe how well it worked for us. There wasn’t a great deal of pace early and I just got him to get on the bridle and travel. Once I was there (in front) I was never going to take him back as we knew he’d stay all the way to the line.
“He’s not a slow horse and, to be fair, he had some solid form coming into the race. It’s beautiful good ground, perfectly safe and this horse really relished it.”
Trainer Weld added: “Kingman is an outstanding miler and we were beaten fair and square in the Irish Guineas.
“This colt really appreciated the better ground today, I thought he’d win and he did it well.
“He’s a very genuine, tough, nice colt. It’s nice for Sheikh Hamdan, he’s a home-bred horse and it’s lovely for Sheikh Hamdan to have the one-two.
“This has been a very consistent horse for us. He’s a good Group winner over a mile and he’ll probably go back to a mile in the future. He’s a horse to look forward to.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
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