Drinks are on Mojito at Sandown

Dane O'Neill and Battaash come home clear to win the Coral Charge at Sandown Park.

The rest of the news from Sandown on Saturday, where Battaash scored in a course record time under Dane O'Neill.

Mojito got favourite backers off to a flyer at Sandown with an authoritative success in the coral.co.uk Handicap.

The William Haggas-trained colt had finished third on his two previous appearances this season and was the 9/4 market leader to open his account for the campaign in Surrey.

William Buick positioned Mojito in second place for much of the seven-furlong journey as Sultan Baybars took the field along at a decent clip.

He looked a little green when Buick first asked his mount to extend, but eventually got his act together and kicked clear in the final furlong to score by a length and three-quarters.

Sultan Baybars just held on to second place from Firefright.

Haggas said: "He is going to be a nice horse but I have made a pig's ear of him so far. He misfired at Haydock and I was trying to get him ready for the Britannia at Royal Ascot but he was handicapped high enough.

"He ran a week later at Doncaster and that was a mess. It has been back to basics.

"I don't think ground bothers him. He is immature mentally, but he will be a fine horse next year.

"He will get a mile, but we will keep him at seven furlongs for the time being. There are no plans for him yet."

Battaash dominated from the front when running out an impressive winner of the Coral Charge.

Although the apparent second string of two runners for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, with retained rider Jim Crowley preferring Muthmir, Battaash was the 5/2 favourite under Dane O'Neill as he aimed to followed up his victory in the Scurry Stakes over the course and distance three weeks ago.

While he was slowly into stride that day, this time he burst out of the stalls and quickly opened up a lead he never looked like relinquishing.

Mirza did his best to bridge the gap inside the last of five furlongs, but Battaash passed the post three and a quarter lengths the good. Goldream was third ahead of Muthmir in fourth.

O'Neill said: "He's got a lot of ability and we've always liked him.

"He's a typical sprinter – he either does things slowly and quietly or at full tilt. He's pretty impressive when he settles and accepts it."

Winning trainer Charlie Hills said: "He's improving. He was a pretty useful two-year-old who just had a few problems.

"He went back to Shadwell, they gelded him and he's now going the right way for us.

"I think the obvious race for him would be the King George at Goodwood. We'll look to that Group Two there."

Battaash could also potentially test the water at Group One level in the Nunthorpe at York next month.

Hills said: "It was quite handy being able to come back here after a couple of weeks ago and he was much better drawn today. We didn't think there was too much pace on and we thought we would just let him run in Dane's hands.

"I think we will maybe look at the King George at Goodwood. He has got an entry in the Nunthorpe and we would be taking on a good filly (Lady Aurelia) there that we have got to be wary of.

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"We were always trying to get him settled this year as last year he was like a bull in a china shop as he tried to do everything at once. Hopefully he will improve with more racing.

"I don't think we will be looking to stepping him up to six furlongs."

Mirza's trainer, Rae Guest, said: "He ran a great race as a 10-year-old. We just met one that is probably a Group One horse in waiting given the way he won that.

"Our horse has won two Group Three's in France and two Listed races there. He is a good horse and he has never been better.

"I don't think Goodwood suits him so we might go back to Deauville for the Listed race he has won twice. If he is on that sort form he will be bang there."

El Hayem lunged late to claim top honours in the Coral Challenge. Dane O'Neill and Muntazah led for much of the competitive one-mile contest and briefly looked to have cut loose.

However, having been ridden patiently, El Hayem and Gm Hopkins both flew down the outside of runners late on and it was 8/1 shot El Hayem in the hands of Ryan Moore that won the argument.

Gm Hopkins was only a neck away in second and Muntazah boxed on admirably to finish third.

Moore said of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained winner: "He's a fine big horse and travelled nicely in the middle of them. We just had to wait for a bit of room, but he stayed on well."

El Hayem was bouncing back to form following a disappointing effort at Newbury in May.

Stoute said: "The ground at Newbury was not his surface. It was a bad decision to run him rather than pull him out.

"He ran very well the time before at Chester and he ran very well at Newbury the time before that as well. He is a very big horse.

"He has not had a lot of miles and they (Al Shaqab Racing, owners) should enjoy him. I think he will get a little further.

"He has been in good shape and is tough and honest. I don't know off the top of my head where he will go but we will be looking at a valuable prize."

Silvestre de Sousa was at his brilliant best as he steered Tisbutadream to victory in the Coral Distaff. David Elsworth's filly was soon dictating matters at the head of affairs, but challengers were queuing up to have a pop at the 7-2 winner racing inside the final three furlongs.

Paco's Angel was the first to be seen off, before Dancing Breeze and 5-2 favourite Queen Of Time arrived on the scene. Queen Of Time proved the biggest challenger as the post loomed, but under a power-packer drive Tisbutadream would not be denied and clung on to claim the Listed prize by half a length.

De Sousa said: "She gets further and she was tough. She's been placed in a Listed race at Epsom before and she deserves to get her head in front.

"I was going the speed I wanted to and she was very game."

Elsworth said: "She's well related as she's a half-sister to Persuasive. She is still on an upward curve.

"It's pleasing as I thought she got snookered in the last 100 yards or so but she's tenacious and she stuck her neck out."

Tisbutadream carries the colours of King Power Racing, the owners of Leicester City Football Club.

"The owner came to Ascot, but unfortunately he couldn't be here today," Elsworth continued. "It was a tricky draw that day on the far side at Ascot. She did a lot of running in the first two or three furlongs, but she was still there a furlong out.

"Under those circumstances it was not on, but today she had a soft lead and kept going. She is a tenacious little thing.

"We will step her up in opposition and probably go for a Group Three. We will take small steps."

Hughie Morrison and James Doyle combined to land the Coral Marathon with 6-4 favourite Nearly Caught.

Alyssa and Oriental Fox rounded the home turn with a healthy advantage over the other four runners, but Doyle did not panic and switched Nearly Caught to the far rail in the final two furlongs.

He had to be switched again after having the door shut in his face by Alyssa, but it did not stop him powering home to score by three-quarters of a length. Alyssa was beaten to the runner-up spot by the strong-finishing Montaly.

The concluding Download The Coral App Handicap went to Simon Crisford's top-weight Archetype.

The 5-1 shot, ridden by Oisin Murphy, made much of the running and had enough in reserve to see off Seafarer by three-quarters of a length.

The Queen's Frontispiece was the 10-11 favourite but lost his unbeaten record and had to make do with third place.

Crisford said: "He's always been a lovely horse to be around. He is just developing and getting better. Oisin Murphy gave him a lovely ride from the front. Hopefully there is more to come.

"A mile and a quarter is as far as you'd want to go with him. We must not forget his French premiums and I am sure we will be looking at the French circuit at some stage.

"Goodwood is definitely an option for the mile-and-a-quarter three-year-old handicap. We will see how he comes out of it."


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