Thursday 22 March 2018

Mustajeeb sprints to it

Mustajeeb shows a fine turn of foot to score
Mustajeeb shows a fine turn of foot to score

Mustajeeb marked himself out as the emerging force on the sprinting scene with victory in what looked a strong renewal of the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.

Settled in mid-division in the Group Two contest as Astaire blazed a trail and Sole Power was held up by Richard Hughes, Pat Smullen got a real tune out of Dermot Weld's four-year-old when he pressed the button.

Picking up Majestic Queen a furlong out after that one had taken over, he stayed on powerfully to hold the late charge of Maarek by a length.

The 4-1 winner was having his first try at six furlongs since his two-year-old debut, having finished third in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last season.

Smullen said: "He could be a very, very good sprinter this year, he has so much pace. I've thought for a long time he was a sprinter, he's been showing so much pace. Back to this trip I think he's got a proper career ahead of him this year."

Weld added: "He's a very talented horse and won a very good renewal of the Jersey last year. He showed a lot of pace in the Breeders' Cup and Pat said six furlongs was worth a try.

"There are limited opportunities in stakes races over seven. We went a mile with him and now back to six. We decided to try it today and he's won a Group Two, so we'll stick to six.

"The obvious race for him is the Diamond Jubilee over six at Royal Ascot and he's also in the July Cup. He travelled last year to England and America and travels well.

"It was a lovely ride by Pat. They were going very quick and it was his first time running at that pace against those horses. We purposely took him back early to get him balanced and travelling within himself.

"He knew his job today. He's a professional sprinter and those type of horses keep themselves pretty right. He beat some very good horses here today.

"I just have two horses by Nayef. He is one and the other is Forgotten Rules, who is favourite for the Gold Cup!"

Press Association

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