Haggas targets golden autumn
William Haggas enjoyed a golden September and is hoping his fine form can continue this month with Mutakayyef to spearhead his team for Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday week.
Mutakayyef could spearhead William Haggas' team at Ascot
The Newmarket-based Yorkshireman operated at an incredible 35 per cent strike-rate last month and is looking to maintain the run with some more big names still to send out.
Summer Mile winner Mutakayyef is targeting the Champion Stakes in a fortnight, with Hathal set to contest the QEII Stakes on the same card as long as the ground is suitable.
Meanwhile, the likes of Tasleet, who has not been seen since winning the Greenham in April, and the promising Executive Force might be out on Friday.
"Mutakayyef is going for the Champion Stakes as I think Sheikh Hamdan (Al Maktoum, owner) wants to run Awtaad in the QEII," said Haggas.
"Tasleet is in really good order and runs in the Challenge Stakes on Friday. He has had lots of niggling problems.
"He worked very well on Saturday. I'm not saying he is going to win, but he is in really good shape and loves fast ground. He is a very genuine horse.
"Executive Force is not ready for the Dewhurst. I've put him in a Listed race at Dundalk on Friday and he might go there. There are not many options for him.
"The plan is to go to the QEII with Hathal and I hope it is heavy for him. I was pleased with his Haydock win but he has got a lot of improvement to do.
"He is very genuine and is a decent horse over a mile when there is cut in the ground.
"I'd have liked to have got another race into him but the timings were not quite good enough. I wouldn't have minded running him in France, but that was only two weeks before Champions Day and I felt that was too much for the horse."
A rare recent disappointment for the Haggas team was Mubtasim, who finished down the field in the Middle Park Stakes, with the trainer at a loss to explain his effort.
"Mubtasim never ran properly at Newmarket. Pat (Cosgrave) didn't think he liked the track, but he was beaten a long way out. He hung left again," he said.
"I don't know what happened but he has not shown it the two times I've asked him in a proper race.
"That will be it for the campaign."