Horses To Follow » Mitraad


It was a fine training performance by William Haggas to bring Mitraad back to the track and produce him fit enough to win the one-mile handicap that concluded proceedings at Newmarket last Friday after a total of 651 days off the track, but it was also a fine performance by the horse to actually win it.

It was not ideal on the face of it that Sheikh Hamdan’s colt was settled at the back of the field through the early stages of the race, given that the July meeting was a meeting this year – as is often the case on Newmarket’s July Course – at which the prominent racers were favoured. Also, Spiriting was allowed set an easy enough pace in front against the stands rail. That said, it is understandable that Paul Hanagan chose to settle his horse at the back, pick his way through, given that he hadn’t run since he won on his racecourse debut in September 2013. He travelled well in behind runners, and he started to make his ground from the four-furlong pole. He was obviously travelling well, but he was behind horses, and he showed a lot of courage to engineer a gap for himself. Once he did, Hanagan waited for a few strides, then asked him to go and win his race, which he duly did, coming a length clear of Express Himself, with the runner-up nicely clear of the rest of the field.

This was a very nice performance by the winner. Visually, it was impressive, and the runner-up Express Himself came into the race with a progressive profile. He was well-backed and travelled through the race well.

Mitraad himself was also well-backed, he has obviously been impressing of late at home. He has also obviously had his issues though, given that he has been off the track for so long. His trainer said afterwards that his issues were many and varied, among them two fractured tibias. He has him back now, however, and he could go about making up for lost time. The fact that he holds an entry in the Group 2 Celebration Mile at the end of August gives an indication of the regard in which his astute trainer holds him, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

10th July 2015