Mohaather in top shape for Qatar Sussex Stakes assignment

Wed 22 Jul 2020

Marcus Tregoning is under no illusions as to the calibre of opposition Mohaather is set to tackle at Goodwood next week.

The Qatar Sussex Stakes is shaping up to be one of the races of the season, with British and Irish 2000 Guineas winners Kameko and Siskin set to face off over a mile on the Downs, and unbeaten dual Group One winner Earthlight another possible challenger for the Classic generation.

The older horse division is also set to be more than well represented, with Queen Anne winner Circus Maximus a likely contender along with Tregoning’s Mohaather, who had a luckless passage behind that rival at the Royal meeting but has since returned to Ascot to claim a bloodless victory in the Summer Mile.

 Tregoning has high hopes for Mohaather  (Focusonracing)
Tregoning has high hopes for Mohaather (Focusonracing)

Siskin’s trainer Ger Lyons has already singled out Mohaather as his biggest concern on Tuesday – and Tregoning certainly reciprocates that healthy respect.

He said: “It does look like being a very good race with the two Guineas winners as well as the others – it’s certainly not going to be an easy task.

“Ger’s horse is unbeaten which is really something in itself, he’s obviously a very good horse who has got lots of speed.

“Then you have Kameko there as well and there’s a couple of others to look at, too. It’s not going to be easy, but all I can say is that he’s going there with a good chance.”

Mohaather will be conceding 8lb to the three-year-old contenders in Wednesday’s Group One feature, which represents the first real clash of the generations over a mile this term.

Tregoning said: “It’s weight for age, which has stood the test of time, and it can make it difficult against an improving three-year-old, but he’s going there in very good order, although there’s still a week to go. We’re very happy with him and we’ll see what happens I suppose.

“I think he has definitely improved this year and has quite a bit more strength about him. When he was a two-year-old, he was a bit immature, we gave him a break, he went back to Shadwell for a month and strengthened up then, too.”

The ground at Goodwood is currently reported to be good, but with Mohaather having won the Greenham on good to soft last year, Tregoning is unperturbed by conditions or the possibility of rain.

He added: “Some of these horses have got a lot of speed and he’s shown he can pick up on good ground and also handle soft ground. One forecast I’ve seen has up to an inch of rain on Tuesday, but whatever happens, the track at Goodwood will be in very good shape, I’m sure.

“It’s a lovely place, we love going racing there and it really is quite something. Horses that train on downlands usually seem to handle the track, so hopefully he will.”

Oisin Murphy is looking forward to being reunited with Kameko, who was last seen finishing fourth in the Derby at Epsom.

He said: “I sat on him this (Wednesday) morning and he is in great shape. It is great that Siskin is coming over as they are the best three-year-olds around at the moment. I can’t wait to get back on board.”

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