Mun­ta­haa com­pletes a spe­cial week for Gos­den

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RACING - KEITH HAMER

MUN­TA­HAA led home sta­ble­mate Week­ender to pro­vide John Gos­den with a one-two in the Sky Bet Ebor at York. It has been quite a week for the Clare­haven han­dler, hav­ing seen

Roar­ing Lion dom­i­nate his ri­vals in

Wed­nes­day’s Jud­dmonte In­ter­na­tional be­fore star stayer Stradi­var­ius landed a £1mil­lion bonus with vic­tory in the Lons­dale Cup on Fri­day.

He sad­dled two run­ners in yes­ter­day’s £500,000 fea­ture and both were to the fore as the field ap­proached the fi­nal two fur­longs.

Top-weight Week­ender, rid­den by

Frankie Det­tori, com­mit­ted for home early, briefly rac­ing into a clear lead.

How­ever, Mun­ta­haa (11-1) could be spot­ted trav­el­ling omi­nously well in be­hind in the hands of Jim Crow­ley and he came home best to win de­ci­sively by three and a quar­ter lengths.

Ir­ish chal­lengers filled out the places, with Jar­lath Fa­hey’s Sea The Lion third ahead of the Ger Lyons-trained Mus­ta­jeer in fourth. Wil­lie Mullins sad­dled the first two in the bet­ting, but both Whiskey Sour and par­tic­u­larly 3-1 favourite Stra­tum suf­fered trou­bled pas­sages and never threat­ened to land telling blows.

An­gus Gold, rac­ing man­ager to Mun­ta­haa’s owner Sheikh Ham­dan Al Mak­toum, said: “His abil­ity was never in doubt. It was just a case of get­ting him in good form men­tally. John said to me last week he had never had this horse bet­ter.”

Asked whether a tilt at the Mel­bourne Cup could be con­sid­ered, Gold added: “If en­tries haven’t closed yet, we’ll put him in. Whether he’d take to it men­tally with the hus­tle and bus­tle, I don’t know.”

Former cham­pion jockey Crow­ley said: “We could have had egg on our face. It was Mr Gos­den’s plan to stay out wide be­cause he’s quite a keen horse and he works very well on his own and he prefers to have his own space.

Mean­while, An­thony Van Dyck is the star at­trac­tion in the Galileo Ir­ish EBF Fu­tu­rity Stakes at the Cur­ragh to­day. Ai­dan O’Brien has sad­dled 11 pre­vi­ous win­ners of the pres­ti­gious ju­ve­nile prize, with Gi­ant’s Cause­way, Hawk Wing, Gle­nea­gles and Churchill all on the roll of hon­our. An­thony Van Dyck ap­pears the trainer’s chief hope this year un­der Ryan Moore, hav­ing fol­lowed up a run­away vic­tory in a Kil­lar­ney maiden with a dom­i­nant dis­play in the Ty­ros Stakes at Leop­ard­stown.

Seamie Hef­fer­nan takes the ride on dual win­ner Christ­mas, while Don­nacha O’Brien part­ners the third Bal­ly­doyle run­ner Mo­hawk, who was last seen win­ning at Cork in June.

Klute is an in­ter­est­ing con­tender for Jes­sica Har­ring­ton, hav­ing beaten a sub­se­quent win­ner in Guar­an­teed when mak­ing a suc­cess­ful debut over this course and dis­tance last month.

“He’s in good form and the form of his maiden has worked out well,” said Har­ring­ton. “We’ve been happy with him since and we’ ll find out where he stands in the peck­ing or­der.”

Jim Bol­ger’s Guar­an­teed re­news ri­valry with Klute. Like O’Brien, the Cool­cullen han­dler also has a fine record in the Fu­tu­rity, with St Jovite, Te­ofilo and New Ap­proach among his six win­ners.

Pa­trick Prendergast’s Could Be King, who was third on his Leop­ard­stown in­tro­duc­tion, com­pletes a six-strong field.

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