Horses To Follow » Moohaajim


Although he couldn’t get past Reckless Abandon, Moohaajim emerged with a lot of credit from the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Marco Botti’s colt was strong in the market, and he travelled like a winner for much of the race. Adam Kirby did just have to squeeze him briefly coming down to halfway to keep him close enough to challenge behind the strong pace that Gerald Mosse set on Reckless Abandon, but Moohaajim came right back onto the bridle three furlongs out, and when he came there between the leader and Hototo a furlong and a half out, it looked as though he would go on and win. He probably even hit the front 100 yards out, but he just drifted a little to his right and allowed Reckless Abandon to come back at him with the stands rail to help him and win.

Moohaajim made his ground away from the favoured near rail, on ground that was probably softer than ideal and over a trip that, time may show, was inadequate. He may not have had the pace of Reckless Abandon late on, he may have just got out-speeded on the run to the line, and experience probably played a big part too, this was his fourth run while Reckless Abandon had had one more previously and has developed into a really professional juvenile, having looked a little quirky earlier in the season. Either way, Moohaajim is a more likely 2000 Guineas candidate than the winner, who is likely to be a sprinter, especially given that Godolpin have bought Clive Cox’s colt and that they already have Dawn Approach for the Guineas.

The evidence suggests that this was a strong Middle Park, certainly stronger than we have been used to in recent years. There may only have been half a length separating the first three – Gale Force Ten was right behind them in third – but the three of them were well in front of Cristoforo Colombo, and there was a big break back to Parliament Square and Master Of War. The winning time was the fastest of the day, marginally faster, comparatively, than the Dewhurst over a furlong longer. Also, it is surely significant that Adam Kirby chose to ride Moohaajim over Reckless Abandon here.

Moohaajim had looked really good when winning the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on his previous run, but he was not all speed that day either. He did tank through the race and he showed a good turn of foot when in the clear, but he was really strong at the finish, drawing further and further clear all the way to the line. That performance, as well as Saturday’s, suggests he will stay further, and that is not surprising given that he is by Cape Cross out of a Kingmambo mare. Best odds of 25/1 about him for the 2000 Guineas look more than fair at this stage.

13th October 2012