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Mohaafeth prepares to run at Hampton Court at Royal Ascot | Racing news

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Hampton Court Stakes are likely to compete at Royal Ascot next week after their late withdrawal from the Kazoo Derby.

Frankel Colt was a leading contender for the first Classic, having finished third out of three this season with a very impressive display on the Newmarket Stakes this weekend in Guinea.

However, with rain throughout Friday ensuring the ground was smooth, coach William Haggas made it difficult to make the decision to pull him out of the derby and wait for the royal meeting instead.

Angus Gould, Racing Director at Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, said: “William has always been quoted as saying this horse wanted quick ground.

“We all walked on the track and thought maybe it would have been a good idea to run, but William made it clear that it wasn’t his goal and he felt he wasn’t going to win it on that ground.

“If you run, you risk spoiling the Ascot, it’s mid-season and we need to know where we’re going with this horse.

“If he ran 7th or 8th and had a tough race and didn’t recover in time with Ascot, we’d get to July without knowing what kind of horse we should go to war with, so to speak.

“William felt it wasn’t the right thing to do to manage it.”

Mohaafeth was entered into the King Edward VII Stakes on Friday, but is instead set to run over a mile and a quarter in the third set level the previous afternoon.

“He’s more likely to run the mile and a quarter, I think,” said Gould. “There’s a good deal of opinion on the horse thinking he might end up a mile and a quarter horse.”

“We weren’t sure if a mile and a half was going to the derby. I’ve noticed his groomer has been moved twice now, saying she doesn’t think he’s going to stay – and he has great speed, that’s a horse.

“Maybe you’ll finish a mile and a quarter is his best ride – time will tell.”

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