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Champions Series Stars To Stud – Mohaather

9 Dec 2020

In the second of our Stars to Stud series, we take a look at arguably the best miler of 2020, Mohaather

MOHAATHER

Trainer: Marcus Tregoning

Owner: Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum

Regular Jockey: Jim Crowley

Group 1 Wins: 1.

Highest Official Rating. 123

Prize-money: £287,756

Form in Champions Series races: 571

OVERVIEW

Was Mohaather the best miler of 2020? It’s open to debate but he would have to be high on any shortlist after his stunning success in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in late July.

That Group 1 success – a first for his popular trainer, Marcus Tregoning, since the Derby victory of Sir Percy in 2006 – came after a similarly striking display in the Group 2 Betfred Summer Mile Stakes, plus a luckless run in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot – a race which his supporters and connections were left to reflect on what might have been.

Tregoning took the result with typically good grace but, privately, must have gone home wondering if his colt was ever going to get the rub of the green. After all, he had been a leading fancy for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas the previous year after a convincing comeback win in the Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes at Newbury only for a late setback to rule him out of the colts’ Classic. He suffered bone bruising on his off-fore and ended up missing the whole summer.

When he returned in mid-October, he was possibly not seen to best advantage when fifth to King Of Change in the QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day.

After his dazzling Qatar Sussex Stakes triumph, hopes were understandably high that Mohaather would continue to put his stamp on the mile division. However, in late August it was reported he had suffered “significant bone bruising” in his near hind fetlock and he was retired.

As a two-year-old, he lost his maiden tag at Nottingham before scooping the Group 3 Molson Coors Stakes (Horris Hill) 17 days later. The 110,000gns paid for him as a yearling certainly proved a shrewd but of business.

 

HIS FINEST MOMENT

July 29, 2020, Qatar Sussex Stakes, Goodwood.

The day when it finally all came right for Mohaather at the highest level.

He was up against first two home in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas (Kameko and Wichita) plus the first pair home in the Irish equivalent (Siskin and Vatican City), not to mention two-time Royal Ascot winner Circus Maximus, who had prevailed in the Queen Anne Stakes the previous month.

Siskin, unbeaten on five starts, went off 9/4 favourite, with Mohaather (3/1), Kameko (5/1), Circus Maximus (6/1) and Wichita (13/2) next in the market. Circus Maximus dictated at an average tempo and when things hotted up over two out his pursuers started getting in the way of each other. Kameko got hemmed in on the rail, while Mohaather was shuffled back to last after getting a bump from Wichita and having to switch.

It seemed the fates had again conspired against him but he then produced a scintillating turn of foot for Crowley to pass each of his rivals and win going away by three quarters of a length from Circus Maximus. Siskin was another half a length behind in third, having had no excuses, with Kameko another two lengths back in fourth. The last-named did not get a chance to show his true colours but Mohaather himself had to do things the hard way and would have been a most unlucky loser.

WHAT THEY SAID

“It’s a blow, but the horse retires intact – that’s the main thing. The Goodwood win was fantastic. If he couldn’t get the win at Royal Ascot, to beat two Guineas winners and the Queen Anne winner in the Sussex Stakes was brilliant. He had to pull round them all, giving away three lengths – and he still absolutely hammered them.

“We were incredibly lucky to have had him. I don’t think I’ve seen one – in my time anyway, including my time with Dick Hern – with two bursts of electric speed. I haven’t seen that before. He also got the mile really well, yet he had a sprinter’s turn of foot.

Marcus Tregoning after Mohaather’s retirement

 

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM HIS OFFSPRING?

Mohaather’s pedigree is more about speed than stamina and he himself had so much pace that Tregoning was open to suggestions that he might end up reverting to sprinting at the start of the 2020 season.

As it transpired, the 16 hands dark bay was clearly brilliant over a mile. But he was more of a speedy miler, than a staying miler. As a consequence, it would be no surprise if his progeny excel at all trips up to a mile.

Look out for them as two-year-olds, too. Like several in his family he made his mark as a juvenile. He will stand at Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud in Thetford, Norfolk, with his initial covering fee set at £20,000.