Haggas’ Mutakayyef doubles up
Mutakayyef produced another impressive display to land the Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile at Ascot for the second year in succession.
The William Haggas-trained six-year-old was a dominant winner of the Group Two contest last July and while he had failed to add to his tally since, he has run several fine races in defeat at the highest level, most recently filling the runner-up spot behind Ribchester in the Queen Anne Stakes at last month's Royal meeting.
He was a prohibitively-priced 4-7 favourite for his return to the Berkshire track and with owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's retained rider Jim Crowley in action at Newmarket, his second jockey Dane O'Neill came in for the plum mount.
Kaspersky took the seven-strong field along for much of the way and for a moment it looked as though he may have slipped the field.
However, O'Neill did not panic and Mutakayyef bridged the gap quite readily before pulling nicely clear.
Kaspersky was a clear second ahead of the winner's stablemate Hathal in third.
Haggas, speaking from Newmarket, said: "He looked to win all right. I was a bit worried about the ground as they had a bit of rain there, but he won well.
"The jockey seemed to be confident that he would catch Kaspersky up front.
"I would like to go to the Sussex (at Goodwood) with him, but I will talk to Sheikh Hamdan."
Mutakayyef was the second leg of a double on the card for Sheikh Hamdan and O'Neill, with the Owen Burrows-trained Laraaib (2-1 favourite) stretching his unbeaten record to three in the Playboy Club London Handicap.
The most valuable handicap of the afternoon, the totescoop6 Heritage Handicap, went to Mick Appleby's Danzeno.
The 4-1 favourite burned up the Ascot turf over the five furlongs, scoring by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.
Speaking from York, Appleby said: "That was brilliant. It was good to see him come back.
"He'll go for the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood now. Hopefully he can keep going."