Mostahdaf takes Listed feature as two smart juveniles emerge at Sandown
A whopping 19mm of rain the day before may have resulted in a staggering 21 non-runners as the going for Sandown's final Flat meeting of the year went heavy in places, but what it lacked in quantity it made up for in quality with several eyecatching performances.
Among them were a potential Group 1 horse, a Godolphin-owned juvenile who earned quotes of 33-1 for next year's Derby and a John and Thady Gosden-trained debutant who won a race claimed by none other than Palace Pier in 2019.
'We're really excited about next year'
The Shadwell-owned (and bred, this was a meeting branded as Breeders Day after all) Mostahdaf has now won all but one of his career starts – he was 12th of 13 behind Poetic Flare in the St James's Palace Stakes – but he has a Qipco Champion Stakes entry back at Ascot next month and whether or not he turns up Richard Hills suspects he could be operating at the top level next year.
He won the day's feature, the Listed Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes, by a cosy half-length from Escobar to justify 7-4 favouritism.
Hills said: "He had a throat infection after Ascot and it's taken him a while but he's done it really well. We wanted to run over a mile and a quarter but this was the only spot for him. It's worked out as the ground's on the soft side which has played to his stamina. He's an exciting horse for next year."
Asked if he could take up his entry in the Champion Stakes, Hills added: "We'll see how he comes out of the race and go from there, but you only have to look at the half-sister [Nazeef] and how well she did when she went on to four. We're really excited about next year."
Palace Pier won the Blandford Bloodstock Novice Stakes on his second start and Damaar went one better by taking the race on debut.
Mention Palace Pier and co-trainer Thady Gosden does an excellent impression of the eye-roll emoji, but putting it into words he said: "You can't ask more than winning nicely first time out under a hands and heels ride. He's won over a stiff seven so you'd be happy to step him up to a mile and possibly further next year."
William Hill and Paddy Power were impressed with the Charlie Appleby-trained Goldspur – who won by six and a half lengths on debut in the Time Test EBF Novice Stakes over a mile – with the two firms offering 33-1 for next year's Cazoo Derby.
James Doyle was not getting quite so carried away just yet. He said: "I wouldn't like to say [where he'll go next], his work at home is solid enough without us expecting a performance like that.
"It was pretty impressive, time will tell how the form works out but I'm sure Charlie was pleasantly surprised and you couldn't be happier."
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