Mohaather seeking Summer compensation back at Ascot

Unlucky Royal meeting runner goes for Group Two gold.

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Mohaather bids to consign his luckless run at Royal Ascot to the history books with victory in Saturday’s Betfred Summer Mile.

Marcus Tregoning’s stable star was considered a leading contender for the first Group One of the week at the Berkshire circuit last month, but ended up all dressed up with nowhere to go – finishing almost full of running in seventh place.

The Derby-winning trainer is hoping for compensation back at Ascot this weekend.

“He’s in good form – I think he’s the same as he was going into the Royal meeting, so he should run very well,” said Tregoning.

“It looks like it should be good, fast racing ground, which is fine.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed for a good, clean run and we’ll find out a bit more about him.”

While leading owner Hamdan Al Maktoum enjoyed a tremendous Royal Ascot this year with six winners, Mohaather was one that got away.

Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager, Angus Gold, said: “He was unlucky not to be a lot closer (in the Queen Anne). I’m not saying he would have won it, but he never got a run at them at all.

“He was in particularly good form going into Ascot. I just hope he still is in as good a form now – I see no reason why he wouldn’t be.

“We just hope for a bit of luck and see what he can do.”

Mohaather is the clear favourite to see off 10 rivals in the Group Two feature.

The four-year-old’s opponents include Mark Johnston’s Queen Anne third Marie’s Diamond and the William Haggas-trained Skardu, who was just half a length behind Mohaather in eighth three and a half weeks ago.

The former also had the option of running in the July Cup over six furlongs at Newmarket this weekend, but connections have opted to stick to a mile.

Mike Prince, of owners Middleham Park Racing, said: “We did think about the July Cup, but the weather made up our minds for us really – we just felt if he was going to take on those sprinters, it needed to be on fast ground.

“It was a last-minute decision on Thursday morning. We were actually down in Newmarket at the sales, and it was chucking it down. Looking at the racing at Newmarket on Thursday afternoon, it did look soft ground, so I think we made the right decision.

“Marie’s Diamond sets the standard on recent form. The favourite (Mohaather) was behind him in the Queen Anne, but obviously didn’t get a clear run – and he’s priced up as if he would have run much better.

“We’ve got a nice draw in stall two, and I’d imagine we’ll go forward and get on with it.”

San Donato is a fascinating contender for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni, having been off the track since finishing an excellent third in the French 2000 Guineas in May of last year – his first start since completing a hat-trick at Doncaster the previous October.

Atzeni said: “He obviously runs well fresh, because he hadn’t run for a long time when he ran in the French Guineas – he ran a good race that day behind two very good horses (Persian King and Shaman).

“He has been training well, and his work has been very good. He should like the ground, and we would be very hopeful he will be competitive.

“I’ve sat on him plenty at home and I’ve ridden him in most of his work. His work has been very pleasing, but he is a horse that we have always liked.

“He did have a hold-up last year, which is why he only ran the once in the French Guineas, but he has been in full training for a bit now and he looks great.”

Richard Hannon’s pair of Beat Le Bon and Urban Icon, Lord Glitters (David O’Meara), Zaaki (Sir Michael Stoute), Duke Of Hazzard (Paul and Oliver Cole), Lord Tennyson (John Gosden) and Bless Him (David Simcock) are the other hopefuls.

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