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Mutakayyef has Ascot aim if ground is in his favour

18 Sep 2016

The William Haggas-trained five-year-old will run on Champions Day provided the going suits him

Connections of Mutakayyef are hoping for a sound surface on Champions Day. Picture:

Mutakayyef could run  on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 15 provided underfoot conditions are deemed suitable.

An impressive winner of the Summer Mile at Ascot in July, the William Haggas-trained five-year-old stepped up to Group One level for the first time in the Juddmonte International at York last month and finished a fine third to Postponed despite being hampered late on.

He again distinguished himself in Canada on Saturday night when under a length third to brilliant mare Tepin, the Queen Anne Stakes winner, in the Woodbine Mile.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “I thought he ran a very good race. I haven’t spoken to Dane [O’Neill] yet, but it looked as though the ground wasn’t as fast as we were expecting and he also fluffed the start.

“Having said that, he travelled very well through the race, but he just looked a bit one paced on the ground.

“He was only beaten a length or so by one of the world’s great mares, so we can’t be too disappointed.

“It just didn’t quite work out for him on the day, but hopefully he’ll have his day at that level.”

Mutakayyef will be considered for the QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot, but Gold says he will only line up if fast ground prevails.

“He needs fast ground,” Gold added. “I’ve spoken to William briefly this morning and we’ll see what Ascot looks like, but if the ground isn’t right, we’ll have to wait and we’ll probably save him for Dubai.

“Everybody has a different opinion on what his best trip is. When he beat Dutch Connection in the Summer Mile at Ascot, he certainly didn’t look short of pace.

“However, apart from the International, he hasn’t run over a mile and a quarter on fast ground since he’s been gelded.

“A mile and a quarter might end up being his best trip, but we’ll see. He’s in both races at Ascot.

“What he really needs is fast ground and a fast pace.”