Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, was in attendance at Glorious Goodwood to witness Muthmir win the Qatar King George Stakes.
Having progressed through the handicapping ranks last season, five-year-old Muthmir landed a Group Two in France at the end of May and was only narrowly denied in Group One company at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand.
He seemed unsuited to Newmarket’s undulations and possibly the sixth furlong last time out, but on Goodwood’s rapid downhill five, he held off last year’s winner Take Cover with Prix de l’Abbaye hero Move In Time running a sound race in third.
All roads now lead to York for the first three, with Muthmir taking his place for the Nunthorpe behind the hot favourite Acapulco.
“He’s fast and they went very fast — he’s got a turn of foot,” trainer William Haggas said.
“He won in France and he had a (4lb) penalty for this so he was the best horse in the race.
“I would say that (Nunthorpe at York on August 21) is exactly where we’ll go.”
Winning rider Paul Hanagan said: “It’s great to get a nice winner for the boss (Sheikh Hamdan) this week and he’s here today as well.
“I got a lovely tow into the race and he loves it when they go really quick, a strong pace really suits him.”
Betfred Mile So Beloved by O’Meara
David O’Meara was without a Glorious Goodwood winner before So Beloved justified strong market support in the Betfred Mile.
Victorious at York earlier this year, he is another older horse whom O’Meara has transformed into a top-class performer.
Belgian Bill looked the winner for much of the straight but Danny Tudhope drove his mount to a three-quarters of a length success.
“So Beloved has any amount of ability. He showed that a couple of starts back at York when he won really well from a bad position,” O’Meara said.
“He settled well today and was given a great ride by Danny.”
Dubday and Dettori victorious
Qatar challenger Dubday claimed victory under Frankie Dettori in the Betfred Glorious Stakes after The Corsican met trouble in running.
Jassim Al Ghazali’s charge is the star performer in his homeland, notably landing a repeat success in the prestigious Emir’s Trophy at Doha earlier in the year, and he arrived on the Sussex Downs having filled the runner-up spot in Listed events at Newbury and Newmarket.
“It’s the first winner for Qatar (trainers) in the UK,” Dettori said.
“I take my hat off to Jassim, he’s done a fantastic job with him.
“In fairness, he picked up really well — he just idled a bit in front.
“It’s a big achievement to take this horse from Qatar to here and win.”
Al Ghazali, who plans to send up to 30 horses to be campaigned in Britain next season and is the dominant force with thoroughbreds in Qatar, said: “I’m very happy — it’s a big, big win for me.”
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @NatSportUAE