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Sky Bet York Stakes: Mohaafeth bids to stay unbeaten this term

Fri 23 Jul 2021

Mohaafeth bids to make it five wins from five starts this season in an intriguing renewal of the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes.

The son of Frankel emerged as a leading Cazoo Derby contender after his first three victories of the campaign but was taken out of Classic reckoning on the day of the race because of unsuitable ground.

Trainer William Haggas instead sent his exciting colt to Royal Ascot, where he ran out an impressive winner of the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes.

 The Mohaafeth camp have been waiting for the Sky Bet York Stakes, says Shadwell racing manager Angus Gold (Photo: Focusonracing)
The Mohaafeth camp have been waiting for the Sky Bet York Stakes, says Shadwell racing manager Angus Gold (Photo: Focusonracing)

Mohaafeth will be a hot favourite to successfully graduate to Group Two level on the Knavesmire this weekend – but his task is far from straightforward with fellow Royal Ascot winner Juan Elcano and high-class Irish raider Armory among the opposition.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, said: “I’m very much looking forward to seeing Mohaafeth run. It’s the next step up. We’ve waited for this race particularly, and William and his team have been very happy with him. Let’s see if he can take the next step and go from there.

“He’s an exciting horse and one to look forward to, and obviously he’s done everything right this year. It will be very interesting to see him on Saturday. Hopefully there will be no excuses, and we can see how we get on.”

The Shadwell colours will also be carried in the five-strong field by stablemate Montatham, of whom Gold added: “William wants to make sure there’s a bit of pace. We don’t want a falsely-run race.

“He’ll be there or thereabouts. He’s a lovely horse and a real star for us, so hopefully he can run a good race.”

While Mohaafeth is stepping up in class, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Armory is dropping down in grade – having finished a close-up third behind esteemed stablemate Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on his latest outing.

Armory is 7lb clear of Mohaafeth on official ratings, but does have to concede 12lb to his younger rival.

“We thought this looked a nice race for Armory,” said O’Brien.

“It’s 10 furlongs on hopefully good ground, and that is what he wants. Hopefully he’ll run well.”

Kevin Ryan’s Juan Elcano bids to follow up victory in the Wolferton Stakes, with Andrew Balding’s Bangkok completing the field.

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