Al Mubhir shortened for John Smith's Cup after Gala win

Al Mubhir earnt quotes of 10/1 with Paddy Power for the John Smith’s Cup at York, following his victory in the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown on Friday.

Trainer : William Haggas
Trainer : William Haggas Picture: Racing and Sports

It was a first Listed victory for the William Haggas-trained gelding, who had placed in the Listed Prix Tantieme and the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes in 2023. Gelded over the winter, the son of Frankel had struggled to find his best form on the first three outings of the season over shorter distances and appeared to relish the return to twelve furlongs.

Taking keen hold in the early stages of race under Tom Marquand, the gelding was clearly travelling well with two furlongs to run and took up the lead in the closing furlong from the promising Prague. He finished well to secure a one-and-three-quarter length success from Savvy Victory, with favourite Lion's Pride back in third.

"He is definitely better with a bit of dig and when I drove in today I was worrying it was a bit dry, but they've obviously had a bit and it was kind ground," said Maureen Haggas, William's assistant trainer and wife.

"He looks happy over a mile and a quarter, he was fresh and well today and there was a good pace on which suited him and he did it nicely. The second horse pushed him all the way."

"He's five now and we've looked after him long enough, so we could possibly (go to York) if conditions suit," she added.

"He's also in the July Sale, so hopefully Sheikh Juma (Dalmook Al Maktoum) will take him out. When he ran last time, he hadn't come in his coat and he looked better today. He was in good form and is a tough horse.

"If it was wet next week, I'm sure we would have a look at it. We will see how he is and he's old enough now to be working for his living."

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