Mostahdaf mobilizes for the test of Gordon Richards | Race News

Mostahdaf offers three wins from as many visits to Sandown when he moves to a mile and a quarter for the first time in Friday’s bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes.

Frankel’s colt was elevated to Group 1 level after clinching the Listed Stakes here last May.

John and Thady Gosden’s charge was eventually well beaten at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace Stakes, but bounced back with a second Listed success at Sandown before picking up a Group 3 prize at Newmarket.

Faced with just two rivals on his seasonal reappearance, Mostahdaf will be a hearty order to pick up a sixth victory in seven starts at the hands of Jim Crowley.

Angus Gold, race director for owner-breeders Shadwell, said: “It’s his first time over a mile and a quarter, which will be interesting, but he has done well and everyone is happy with him until here.

“I think he’s a more mature horse now, so hopefully he continues to progress.”

Mostahdaf’s success in the Darley Stakes means he has to concede 3 pounds to Andrew Balding-trained Fox Tales and Kevin Ryan’s Juan Elcano.

Foxes Tales won a Royal Ascot Handicap and Group Three at Haydock last season and was last seen finishing seventh in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

“He’s the kind of horse that will benefit from a racetrack appearance. He’s a big, heavy horse and quite lazy at home, so he’ll definitely come racing,” Balding said.

“The hope is that there will be a mile and a half to go and that is something we will experience, probably after this race.

The other group three on Friday’s card is the bet365 Classic Trial, in which Goldspur is expected to play a starring role for the scorching combination of Charlie Appleby and William Buick.

The son of Dubawi made his winning debut here in September and completed his youth campaign by finishing third in the Group Un Criterium de Saint-Cloud a month later.

Appleby told Godolphin’s website: “We have been pleased with the way Goldspur has progressed over the winter. He broke his maiden at Sandown and continued to get fine form in the book at Newmarket and St. Cloud. in his juvenile form, he is going to be very competitive.

“Like all three-year-olds at this time of year, everyone is trying to see where they are in the rankings. Hopefully this is a stepping stone to better things, and an increase in distance in time will see further improvements.”

Goldspur is one of two riders owned by Godolphin along with John and Thady Gosden’s rookie winner at Newcastle, Franz Strauss, who is joined by stable mate Frantastic.

The other hopefuls are Irish raider River Thames of Aidan O’Brien, a first Punchestown winner, Cash, the Newmarket goalscorer of David Simcock, and Westover from Ralph Beckett’s yard.

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