Mukhadram camp tempted to give King George a go

Mukhadram’s connections are to give the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes serious consideration after the five-year-old gained a first Group One success in the Coral-Eclipse.

In the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s triumph at Sandown, trainer William Haggas said he would love to give Mukhadram a try over a mile and a half in the Ascot midsummer highlight on July 26 if he can get the blessing of owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

The question will certainly be asked after Mukhadram took the 10-furlong contest by two lengths from last year’s Irish Derby hero Trading Leather, with other top-notch performers like Kingston Hill, The Fugue and Night Of Thunder well beaten.

“I haven’t had a proper chat with Sheikh Hamdan, but William is very keen to go to the King George. That’s a very obvious target,” said Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager, Angus Gold.

“William himself has always felt he wanted to give him a go at a mile and a half. I have no doubt he will stay a mile and a half.

“On his pedigree I’d be surprised if he doesn’t stay. Whether he will be as effective as he is at a mile and a quarter is another matter.

“We’ll just have to see how the horse comes out of it and then ask Sheikh Hamdan if he wants to go up to a mile and a half or if he wants to keep him for the Juddmonte International (at York next month) and other top mile and a quarter races.

“He’s an older horse that’s had a few niggly problems and you have to run them when they are in good shape and going forward. At the moment he’s in a good place and will have got some confidence now.

“He’s a horse that gives everything every time and only ever goes down fighting. If he’s in good form leading up to the King George, it’s going to be a huge temptation.

“It’s a fabulous race to win. Let’s see what shape it looks like taking, see who’s going to turn up and talk to Sheikh Hamdan.

“This horse seems to like going right-handed and has run his best races at Sandown and Ascot. He nearly nicked a Prince of Wales’s there last year.

“The King George is certainly under consideration.”

Meanwhile the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood is the likely next objective for The Fugue following her disappointing showing in the Eclipse.

John Gosden’s filly was sent off favourite for the Sandown showpiece having clinched her fourth Group One victory with a brilliant display in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but having been ridden with restraint by William Buick, she failed to reel in the leaders.

The five-year-old passed the post sixth as the admirable Mukhadram secured his first top-level triumph and connections of The Fugue feel the rain that fell earlier in the day played a major part in her demise.

The mare could now take on her own sex and go for a second Nassau after being successful in 2012.

Simon Marsh, racing manager for the owners Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, said: “I haven’t spoken to John today but the filly was absolutely fine last night and I’m pretty sure there is nothing wrong with her.

“It was a shame we had the shower earlier in the day, which made the ground a bit loose on top.

“We just have to move on and we’ll look at the Nassau for her next.

“Yesterday was just one of those days.”


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