Mukhadram remains a chance of contesting the 2014 Cox Plate after he scored his maiden Group 1 victory in the 2014 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park on Saturday.
Mukhadram finished a slightly disappointing fourth behind The Fugue in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) during the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting, but he returned to his best form to record a surprise victory in the Coral-Eclipse.
The Shamardal entire was positioned just behind the leader in the early stages of the race by jockey Paul Hanagan before he took up the running with 400 metres left to run and stayed on strongly to score a two lengths win over Trading Leather and Somewhat.
Owner Sheik Hamdan’s racing manager Angus Gold was delighted that Mukhadram had finally broken through for a win at the highest level of racing and he confirmed that the Cox Plate was still a possibility for the five-year-old, but would not make a decision until the talented galloper ran in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot later in the month.
“He will head to the King George now and we will sit down and talk about plans after that,” Gold said after the race.
“I do think the Cox Plate is a race that would suit this horse, but it is a long way off yet and the decision would have to be Sheikh Hamdan’s.
“Let’s get his next race out of the way before we start looking at longer-term targets.”
Trainer William Haggas has always believed that Mukhadram was capable of winning at Group level and he was thrilled that the talented galloper had received some luck in the Coral-Eclipse after he was badly hampered in the race when finishing third last year.
Mukhadram will be running over 2414 metres for the first time when he contests the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but Haggas is confident that his star entire has the stamina required to run out the trip.
“He was unlucky last year, he probably wasn’t the winner, but the winner lay over him and it cost him second,” Haggas said.
“He ran great in the Prince Of Wales’s again and we thought he was stronger this year.
“He has stamina in his pedigree, he’s a resolute galloper, and I’d like to ask Sheikh Hamdan if I can run him in the King George.
“We’ve always believed in him and I’m thrilled for everyone he’s gone and done it today.”