Sprint king Muhaarar strikes again in Gheest

Muhaarar created history at Deauville by emulating the brilliant Dayjur and making the Prix Maurice de Gheest a third Group One sprint victory.

Sprint king Muhaarar strikes again in Gheest

The Charlie Hills-trained colt did so in style, readily outpointing Esoterique and Gordon Lord Byron in the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum silks worn by Dayjur.

The Commonwealth Cup and July Cup winner tracked early pacesetter Noozhoh Canarias and when asked to take the race by the scruff of its neck he did so as soon as Paul Hanagan gave him the office.

Esoterique tried hard on his inside, but in the end it was a dominating display that more or less assures Muhaarar of the sprinter of the year accolade. Hills has enjoyed a memorable summer with his sprinters in particular, this triumph coming hot on the heels of Magical Memory’s success in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.

The half-length winner has a number of options, with Sheikh Hamdan sweet on a further step up in distance to contest the seven-furlong Prix de la Foret on Arc day, although the Haydock Sprint Cup over six furlongs will also be considered. The Faringdon Place trainer explained: “Sheikh Hamdan mentioned the Foret and I imagine his next race will be either that or Haydock.

“Obviously we need to see how he comes out of this but whatever happens, looking further ahead I wouldn’t mind having a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile.”

Hills has already tasted success Stateside with the ill-fated Chriselliam and he envisages Keeneland as the probable venue for his champion’s swansong.

He added: “Reading the papers this morning it was quite flattering to see him being compared to Dayjur and if he did stay in training I think there could be more to come next year.

“However, Sheikh Hamdan has his principles and he stays with them. I’m sure this horse will make a fantastic stallion.”

Asked how he would compare Muhaarar and Dayjur, Sheikh Hamdan said: “This is a different type of horse. Of course he is very good, but I think over six furlongs there is nothing between them. But over five I think Dayjur was the best.”

Gordon Lord Byron’s trainer Tom Hogan paid tribute to the seven-year-old’s great record in France, saying: “He loves France. He hasn’t been out of the first three in five Group Ones here and I fancy having another go at the Foret.”

Frankie Dettori explained that Ivawood lost his chance at the start. He said: “He’s lost a bit of the speed he had last year and we missed the break and met trouble.”

The Aga Khan’s Loresho took the other Pattern race on the card, the Group Three Prix de Reux. Christophe Soumillon’s mount proved too strong for Glaring and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget intimated he would come back for the Grand Prix de Deauville. Ed Dunlop’s Red Galileo was sixth.

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