x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Horse racing: Mukhadram camp not happy after Eclipse Stakes ruling

Winning jockey banned for five days after incident as Mukhadram racing manager says interference determined result in the Eclipse Stakes, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Al Kazeem, left, rode by jockey James Doyle, won the Eclipse Stakes on Saturday. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Al Kazeem, left, rode by jockey James Doyle, won the Eclipse Stakes on Saturday. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

London // Mukhadram's connections are adamant that Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's colt should have been placed second rather than third in Saturday's Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park.

Al Kazeem had denied Mukhadram by a neck in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and the pair duelled down the Sandown straight until Al Kazeem hampered Mukhadram badly in the final furlong.

After a stewards' inquiry Al Kazeem was pronounced the winner, two lengths ahead of Declaration Of War with Mukhadram in third.

William Haggas, Mukhadram's trainer, was too incensed in the immediate aftermath of the race to speak to journalists but in private was ruing the decision of the stewards to let the result stand.

It was left to Angus Gold, the Minister Of Finance's racing manager, to issue a diplomatic response for connections.

"I thought he ran a fabulous race," Gold said of Mukhadram. "I think without the interference we'd have been pound for pound with the winner, as it was at Ascot."

The stewards did ban James Doyle, Al Kazeem's rider, for five days for his involvement in the incident, however.

After two brutal races against Al Kazeem, Haggas will not make any plans for Mukhadram for the next 10 days.

"He's fine and he's pulled up well," the trainer said yesterday. "I've no idea what we will do. I need to discuss it with Angus and Sheikh Hamdan."

Al Kazeem will also enjoy some time off, also, and will be taken out of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, staged at Ascot on July 27.

The five-year-old bay is likely to be next seen in the Irish Champion Stakes in September before a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triopmhe in Paris in October.

In America late on Saturday, Little Mike had to settle for fourth in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park, New Jersey, won by Big Blue Kitten, on his first start since running poorly in the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night in March.

"In Dubai, he never really picked up," Dale Romans, Little Mike's trainer, told the Daily Racing Form.

"Today, you could tell he was back to his old self."

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