Mukhadram shades Eclipse for Hanagan
Mukhadram landed his first Group One by benefiting from a great Paul Hanagan ride in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown yesterday.
A slightly unlucky third last year, Hanagan sat just behind True Story’s pacemaker Somewhat before kicking on with fully two furlongs to run on the William Haggas-trained five-year-old. Irish raider Trading Leather was another to sit close to the pace and, while he made some headway on the impressive winner, two lengths separated the pair at the line.
The 100/1 shot Somewhat stuck on for third. Derby runner-up Kingston Hill stayed on to finish fourth with trainer Roger Varian not using the ground as an excuse, but The Fugue disappointed in the race for the second year in a row.
“We went a nice gallop and it just suited perfectly,” Hanagan said. “If there is a horse that deserves that, it’s him. He’s been second in the Dubai World Cup and could have been second in this last year, I’m just so pleased for the horse. Everyone at the yard has done a fantastic job.”
Haggas said: “We’ve always believed in him and I’m thrilled for everyone he’s gone and done it. I hope the King George is next.”
The Fugue’s rider William Buick pointed firmly to ground conditions as a reason for her effort, but Jim Bolger was much happier with the run of Trading Leather after he was beaten in a messy affair at the Newmarket Guineas meeting.
He said: “I’m delighted with his effort after the Newmarket debacle. The winner wasn’t stopping, but he was happy where he was. We’ll look at the King George and, later on, the Arc and the Irish Champion Stakes.”
English 2,000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder was another disappointment, never getting into the race and beating only Aidan O’Brien charge Verrazano home.
Elsewhere, John Gosden dominated the Bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock as Pomology beat stablemate Sultanina.0