Series stars to stud: Muhaarar
18 Nov 2015
This week's Series stars to stud feature profiles the career of Europe's best sprinter, Muhaarar.
Muhaarar demonstrates his class on Champions Day. Image courtesy of Racingfotos.com.
2015 became the year that Muhaarar shone as a top sprinter in the QIPCO British Champions Series.
After a brilliant three-year-old season that saw him win four Group 1 contests in a row, we take a look back at the incredible season that showed Charlie Hills’ sprinter to be one of the best speedsters of recent years.
As a two-year-old, Muhaarar showed that he was, potentially, a top-class horse with victory in the Group 1 Gimcrack Stakes at York and a very credible third in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket behind Charming Thought and Ivawood.
His Classic year continued brilliant style.
Campaigned for a tilt at the French 2000 Guineas, Muhaarar ran in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury against the fancied QIPCO 2000 Guineas contender, Estidkhkaar. Not overly fancied for the contest, Muhaarar went into a neck-and-neck battle with the Richard Hannon-trained star, but prevailed by a small margin to win the Group 2 race.
A tilt at winning the French 2000 Guineas did not end so well. Pulling hard in the preliminary stages and unable to mount a challenge, Muhaarar had to settle for a lowly eighth place finish at Longchamp.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. The attempt at a mile did not pay off, but the decision to go proved to be the most important of his career.
Now regarded as a sprinter, Muhaarar’s connections targeted the new Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. The decision to do so paid off spectacularly.
Paul Hanagan, Sheikh Hamdan’s number one jockey, disregarded the son of Oasis Dream for Adaay, but soon learned not to do so in the future.
Under Dane O’Neill, Muhaarar cruised past his three-year-old rivals to claim an easy success in the Commonwealth Cup, beating Limato by a comfortable margin.
Group 1 success at Ascot was followed closely by Darley July Cup triumph at Newmarket.
His first venture against older opposition proved to be a tough ask, but an ask that he would answer with success. Clawing back the lead of Tropics, Muhaarar went onto secure a very narrow win.
A trip to France then beckoned. Against the likes of Esoterique and Gordon lord Byron, he further demonstrated his capability at the highest level with success in the Prix Maurice De Gheest.
A final swansong took place on QIPCO British Champions Day.
The newly-upgraded Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, in its short life, has already seen some of the best sprinters be crowned victorious.
It was to be where Muhaarar would show the world really how good he could be.
Always prominent, Hills’ stable star cruised emphatically to a two-length victory at Ascot before retiring.
Regarded as one of the best sprinters of modern times, Muhaarar will now stand at Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stud in Newmarket.
Potential Champions Series stars of his are likely to begin running on the racetrack as of 2019. The future looks bright.