Shadwell’s number one jockey, Jim Crowley, is optimistic that the scintillating victory of Mostahdaf, trained by John and Thady Gosden, on the Saudi Cup undercard could herald a prosperous season for the team with their older horses, without the mighty Baaeed who was retired at the end of last season.
The homebred 5yo entire son of Frankel ran right away from his opposition in Riyadh to record an emphatic defeat of Godolphin's Dubai Future over 2100m in the Group 3 Neom Turf. Could he develop into a Group One horse was the question on many lips afterwards and Crowley said: "I hope so. I was delighted with the way he won and I didn’t expect him to put in a performance like that.
Clearly he loves fast ground and he’s matured. He looks exciting and is very well bred. “He’s physically a very strong horse and he put in some smart performances last year in Group Threes. I’m hoping that he can step up to Group One company and I would imagine, if he has returned from Saudi in good shape, we’ll go to Dubai.
LOADS OF OPTIONS
"There’s lots of nice races for him and he’s very versatile in races over 1m2f up to 1m4f. I was surprised with how much boot he showed in Saudi because we went slow and clocked a good time having shown a real sharp turn of foot from the turn." Crowley is also looking forward to two more potential stars among the older brigade, both in the care of Owen Burrows.
"It’s nice now Baaeed has retired to have a few nice older horses for this season," added Crowley, who begins a seventh season as a retained jockey to Shadwell. "We might not find another Baaeed but we still have plenty of good ones. "I can’t wait for my old mate Hukum, who is Baaeed’s brother and is back this year, as well as a lovely horse I won the Prix Dollar on last year in Anmaat.”
Hukum has not been seen since winning a first Group One in last season's Coronation Cup, while Anmaat progressed throughout the year, defying worries about the very soft ground at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.