Horses To Follow » Mutaaqeb


Mutaaqeb did well to finish a close-up second in the King Charles II Stakes, given how keen he was through the early stages of the race.

Dane O’Neill had to take him back to the rear of the five-strong field in order to try to get him to settle early on. He still didn’t settle too well but, even so, he was able to make good progress on the far side from the 2f marker, and he emerged as a real challenger to favourite Purser as they raced inside the final 1f. He couldn’t get past John Gosden’s horse, but he only went down by a head in the end. The winner was well-fancied and well-backed, he was racing for the seventh time and he had race-fitness on side, whereas Mutaaqeb was racing for just the third time in his life and he was making his seasonal debut. And the form of his run in a listed race at Doncaster last October to finish second to Speak In Colours looks even better now than it did then since that horse ran such a good race in a listed race at Navan in April on his debut for Joseph O’Brien, and followed up by finishing third behind Sioux Nation in the Group 3 Lacken Stakes at Naas.

The King Charles II Stakes is usually a strong listed race and this year’s third Aurum has already come out and run a good race to finish second to Lake Volta in the Listed Surrey Stakes at Epsom on Oaks day on a track that he didn’t appear to handle. Mutaaqeb should improve for this run, and he should do better when he learns to settle better. He was entered in the St James’s Palace Stakes, so he is obviously held in high regard, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next. He could be an interesting outsider in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot if he was aimed at that race. This King Charles II Stakes is often a good pointer to the Jersey Stakes. Tariq won both races in 2007 and Jeremy won both in 2006. Also, the 2016 King Charles winner Thikriyaat finished second to Ribchester in the Jersey Stakes, the 2015 winner Tupi finished fourth in the Jersey, beaten a length and a half, the 2012 winner Aljamaaheer finished third in the Jersey, beaten a length, and the 2011 winner Codemaster finished second in the Jersey, beaten a half a length.

Newmarket, 19th May 2018