Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 3 August 2020

'Aeroplane' Mohaather flies to victory in Group 1 Sussex Stakes

The Showcasing colt in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid lands Goodwood festival's most prestigious prize

Mohaather, ridden by Jim Crowley, right, wins the Sussex Stakes during day two of the Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse. PA
Mohaather, ridden by Jim Crowley, right, wins the Sussex Stakes during day two of the Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse. PA

Mohaather produced a sensational turn of foot to overcome heavy traffic en route to winning the Group 1 Sussex Stakes on Day 2 of the Glorious Goodwood festival on Wednesday.

The Showcasing colt in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, for a moment appeared to suffer the same fate as he did in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 16.

On that occasion, his jockey Dane O’Neill waited for a gap to open up which never did as he finished seventh in the 15-runner field.

This time, however, Jim Crowley was atop and the retained jockey for Sheikh Hamdan acted swiftly to steer him clear of the traffic.

Crowley got Mohaather to the outside in the seven-runner field in the nick of time before making a dash to the finish line to clinch a thriller from Aidan O’Brien’s Circus Maximus under Ryan Moore by a three-quarter length.

Irish 2000 Guineas winner Siskin and the English 2000 Guineas hero Kameko were a further half-a-length and three and-a-quarter lengths behind in third and fourth respectively.

“He's an aeroplane,” Crowley said. “This is serious. In that race, you're talking about the best milers in Europe and I wouldn't say he's made them look ordinary but he's won very well.”

Mohaather was boxed behind the O’Brien horses for much of the mile trip. Circus Maximus and Vatican City (William Buick) was in front and Wichita (Frankie Dettori) race on his outside.

Crowley, perhaps, lost a couple of lengths in getting him behind to make his challenge around the wall of horses. Once Mohaather was clear, he was unstoppable.

“It was a tactical race and we thought it would be,” the winning trainer Marcus Tregoning said.

“I don't blame anyone for that; it's just racing. He struggled to get out as he's not the biggest, but Jim kept his calm and the horse has that massive kick.

“He's very impressive and if he'd got out earlier he'd have won easily – he won easily anyway!”

Celebrating Goodwood's most prestigious prize, Tregoning said he had to wait a long time to have the right horses.

“It's a big thing to come here and it's a big day for the team – and for Sheikh Hamdan too,” he added.

“He's a very good owner to train for and he's a lot of fun too. He takes adversity really well when things don't go right and it's instilled something in my training horses.”

Updated: July 29, 2020 08:23 PM

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