By Duane Fonseca
The rail might have done Mostahdaf in on his first taste of Group action at Royal Ascot in June, but Jim Crowley ensured the John and Thady Gosden schooled 3yo Frankel colt’s chances of winning in group company weren’t derailed in the Group 3 Darley Stakes at Newmarket Saturday.
His defeat in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes is the only blemish of his now seven race career and Mostahdaf was badly impaired then when locked in against the far rail 400m from the finish in the 1600m event. He could not recover and Crowley, who rode him to glory in two of his four previous wins, wasn’t taking any chances on his step up in trip to 1800m at Newmarket.
Crowley let him ride midfield and switched gears with 400m left cutting left a bit as he continued to kick clear. Mostahdaf then comfortably held off a late challenge from Saeed bin Suroor’s Frankie Dettori guided Bedouin’s Story to win by a length and three quarters. A further length and a quarter back in third was Simon and Ed Crisford’s Finest Sound with Andrea Atzeni up.
John Gosden said: “He's done nothing wrong during his career. He was boxed in when he ran in the St James's Palace Stakes and never got a run, so that was the end of that.
“His best trip is a mile and a quarter–we've always thought that–and I was going to run him in the Champion Stakes at Ascot next week, but I was overruled and that's why we ran here.
“He’s a classy horse and probably a horse for next year, but we will have a look at the race in Bahrain [the International Trophy]. We’ll have a talk about that with connections. He would go on good-to-firm and good-to-soft, he just wouldn't want it firm. Nazeef did exceptionally well as a four year old. She went from a Chelmsford handicap to winning two group 1s at four and not many do that. You do look at the family trait.”