Thursday 23 November 2017

Camelot eclipsed by Al Kazeem again in Prince of Wales Stakes

Al Kazeem ridden by James Doyle wins the Prince of Wales's Stakes ahead of Mukhadram
Al Kazeem ridden by James Doyle wins the Prince of Wales's Stakes ahead of Mukhadram

Tom Peacock

Al Kazeem got up in the shadow of the post to deny Mukhadram in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, with Camelot a disappointing fourth.

The race was billed as a match up between Al Kazeem and Camelot, but Aidan O'Brien's dual Derby winner was ultimately disappointing after travelling strongly for much of the journey.

Paul Hanagan gave William Haggas' Mukhadram a bold sight from the front, kicking a good few lengths clear and at one stage appearing like he may hold on.

But James Doyle got stuck into Roger Charlton's stable star and the 11-4 chance was on top just before the line.

The Fugue ran a blinder on her first run of the year back in third.

Doyle said: "I thought Paul Hanagan gave his horse a fantastic ride, he got his fractions right. He got a couple of lengths on me turning in and I had to make them up.

"He's a very tough horse and I'm lucky to be sat on him

"It's magical really, to get a Royal Ascot winner. It leaves you speechless, it's what it is all about. Hard work pays off and when it does it's fantastic."

Al Kazeem has had more than his share of injury problems but was recording his second Group One success following the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, where he also beat Camelot.

Charlton said: "You need to have a lot of patience in this game, it's what Sir Henry Cecil always said, and we've been patient with him but you need the owners.

"We always thought we had a really good horse.

"To be fair we nearly ran him in the autumn, but decided to give him more time.

"I thought for a minute we weren't going to get there, but James seemed confident.

"There are a lot of lovely races and without discussing with the owners I don't know where next.

"Like most people I'd love to have a runner in the Arc and if we go there maybe the King George would be next."

Haggas said of Mukhadram: "I can't begin to tell you how good a ride that was (by Hanagan).

"The horse has run his guts out and the trainer has lost his voice.

"We've always loved him. There's no chance he'll run back in the Hardwicke (on Saturday)."

Hanagan said: "It went to plan, I always had faith in him.

"I just thought he deserved to win that. He fought back against a very good horse all the way up the straight. I couldn't have asked for more from him.

"When I kicked I thought he had it won, that it would take a very good horse to beat me and that's what happened."

John Gosden said of The Fugue: "The first two set a high standard but I was thrilled with her. She travelled really well and loved that ground, which is key to her.

"That (Pretty Polly) will come too soon but we'll look at all the races like the Nassau and the King George."

O'Brien said of Camelot, who was sent off the 5-2 favourite: "He'd had a tough winter (colic) and you've got to bear that in mind.

"We've always been very conscious of what he's been through but maybe now is the time to start chasing him.

"There are a lot of options - the Eclipse and races like that."

Press Association

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