Botti enjoys Reef encounter at Newbury
Saturday 22 September 2012
1 Moohaajim (A Kirby) 5-2 Fav
2 Master Of War (R Hughes) 9-2
3 Taayel (P Hanagan) 10-1
By Ashley Wishaw
Moohaajim shrugged off the poor stable form of Marco Botti to record an impressive victory in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
Moohaajim had made the step up from maiden company when fifth to Reckless Abandon in the Prix Morny on his second start last month and was sent off the 5-2 favourite to prove that run was no fluke.
Adam Kirby took the ride having already partnered Black Spirit to success in the previous Dubai Duty Free Arc Trial, and the pair held off Master Of War by a length and three-quarters.
"He's special, as long as he keeps his head he is going to be a really top-class horse," Kirby said.
"We were going very slow and I didn't want to set him alight and get him racing early.
"When he got out he picked up real good and very fast. He's got a high cruising speed and can really pick up off that.
"He'll stay further and I'm chuffed with him."
Zafeen, Excellent Art, Lord Shanakill and Awzaan have all used this race in the past decade as a launchpad to subsequent Group One success.
Awzaan went on to take the Middle Park Stakes, and Botti confirmed that Future Champions Day at Newmarket next month was indeed a target for the son of Cape Cross.
"He was a bit unlucky in France and we thought he deserved another chance in good company,” Botti, who was having his first win in September, said.
"Adam said it was straightforward, they didn't go quick but he showed a tremendous turn of foot.
"He's in the Dewhurst and the Middle Park, and the ground will be key as he wouldn't want it too heavy.
"I imagine he will stay over here to run in the top races next year and I think he should stay a little bit further."
Richard Hannon said of runner-up Master Of War: "I think the winner is pretty good as Richard (Hughes) said he thought he had got them all beat.
"But he has run well and he is a nice little horse."