If Mohaather was unlucky at Royal Ascot, then Jim Crowley could be forgiven for feeling the same during a hotly competitive Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The pair were last and behind six rivals on the South Downs with no way through up the inside. Instead of waiting for a gap to appear that never did as in Berkshire, Crowley took Marcus Tregoning’s new stable star wide.
Coming around the outside of a classy if select field of seven, Mohaather travelled powerfully and got up. He was a cosy three-quarters of a length winner over fellow four-year-old Circus Maximus who again settled for second place in the Sussex Stakes.
The hard luck story of the race was 2000 Guineas scorer Kameko, a couple of lengths down on 9/4 favourite Siskin, who landed the Irish equivalent on his last start, in fourth.
Oisin Murphy is a former champion Flat jockey, but there was nothing clever about his ride up the inside down a blind alley.
To the credit of Kameko’s rider, he fronted up after the Sussex Stakes. The day belonged to Mohaather, however, who was always prominent in the betting with bookmakers and returned at 3/1.
After an interrupted 2019 campaign, he has more than made up for lost time now. In just two weeks, Mohaather has progressed through the grades from a past Group 3 winner to elite success. It is some story.
Analysis: No obvious UK path to autumn targets for Mohaather
Jamie Clark, Horsebetting.com Editor
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day and the Breeders’ Cup Mile could be where Mohaather ends up. How he gets to them with no obvious top mile race at home for older horses before the autumn is more of a mystery.
Tregoning does have the option of dropping his charge down in grade and running under a penalty. Mohaather was good enough to give 8lb weight-for-age to Classic winners Siskin and Kameko, so bear that in mind.
While the UK programme can’t provide anything at Group 1 level until Ascot in October, France offers opportunities. Mohaather holds an entry in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on 16 August.
Alternatively, there is the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp held in Paris on 6 September. Mohaather’s owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum has plenty of horses trained on that side of the Channel too. This particular miler has proven himself as top class now.
Another thing of note emerging from the Sussex Stakes was Murphy’s post-race comments concerning Kameko. He feels Andrew Balding’s charge is a true miler, despite being a half-brother to Roaring Lion.
I very much have him in mind for the Juddmonte International during the Ebor Festival. Kameko’s late sibling relished tests over 10 furlongs and won the race at York two years ago.
Murphy may have influenced the betting as bookies like Betfair have pushed him out to 10/1 for it. Kameko completed his luckless passage up the far side rail in the Sussex Stakes still full of running.
He is surely worth a crack in the Juddmonte International, on breeding if nothing else. The Knavesmire is a more straightforward track for jockeys to ride than Goodwood.
Mohaather has all the headlines, though. He became the fourth older horse to land the Sussex Stakes in its last six renewals. You have to wonder what 2024 Classic form is worth.