May 19, 2023 - YORK, Race 5, Alw, GBP £40,000, 7.8F, .0000

Mostabshir (GB), C, 3, 2020 by Dark Angel (Ire)

1st Dam: Handassa (GB), by Dubawi (Ire)
2nd Dam: Starstone (GB), by Diktat (GB)
3rd Dam: Star (GB), by Most Welcome (GB)

Owner: Shadwell Estate Company Limited (GB)
Breeder: Shadwell Estate Company Limited (GB)
Trainer: John & Thady Gosden

Shadwell already knew they had a special broodmare in Handassa (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) before Friday, but the dam of Nazeef (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and Mostahdaf (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) is looking like a genuine goldmine after her 3-year-old colt Mostabshir (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) seized his TDN Rising Star badge at York. Pitched tellingly by John and Thady Gosden into the G3 Craven S. off the back of an impressive debut win at Kempton in November, the grey had finished failed to light any fires when fifth in Newmarket's leading Guineas trial.

Duly sent back to novice company for this latest of Darley's boosted series, the homebred had a penalty and that may have been why he was abandoned by Jim Crowley in favour of the William Haggas-trained Kathab (Ire) (Kingman {GB}), runner-up in Newmarket's Wood Ditton that had gained extra gravitas after Thursday's Dante. Soon in front as William Buick revived his old Gosden link, the 3-1 second favourite was gradually worked over to the rail and kicked into the clear two out. At the line, there was a yawning five-length gap to the fellow Gosden runner Ziryab (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who denied Kathab the runner's-up spot by a short head.

“I'm impressed–he has a lovely nature and had pricked ears in front,” Buick said. “I loved the way he quickened and he hit the line strong. He probably needs decent ground–at the Craven meeting it was sticky.”

Given the failure to shape like a pattern-race performer in the Craven, John Gosden had contemplated the handicap route at Royal Ascot but could be in for a change of direction now. “He's like a lot of ours–the grass gallops were closed in Newmarket, so they had to train on the all-weather and then when they went to the races they ran in a bog and didn't like it,” he explained. “This was the first summer ground we've had this year and it's a different result. What was nice was that William said he quickened twice, and when they do that you've got to take note.”

“He was giving six pounds to the opposition, so it was a decent performance but we're in a complete muddle now as we don't know if we'll go to the Britannia or the handicapper will make it impossible–the other option is to go in at the deep end,” Gosden Sr added. “What he's shown today is that on genuine summer ground he's a decent horse.”

Shadwell's racing manager Angus Gold added, “I'm delighted to see him quicken like that, I didn't expect it. He looked a galloper when he won at Kempton and it didn't work out for him in the Craven for whatever reason–course, ground, needed the run, whatever. You'd love to run him in a listed race somewhere and if that went well then go St James's Palace, but there isn't the time to do it. We ran in the Craven to see if he was a Guineas horse, it fell in a hole so we thought we'd come back down to bring him back up. To do that with a penalty in that style–I was surprised to see the speed.”

Pedigree Note

Handassa, who proved a bargain 100,000gns purchase by Shadwell from Red House Stud at the 2009 Book 1 Sale, went on to be successful in the Listed Garnet S. over a mile having been tried in the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas. Nazeef was her third foal and second runner, and while the homebred took a little while to build into a top-level performer, when she did so it came in style as she racked up a trio of big-race successes in the G2 Duke Of Cambridge S., G1 Falmouth S. and G1 Sun Chariot S. Handassa's fifth foal was Mostahdaf, who stayed further and has so far brought up a sequence of wins in the G3 September S., G3 Gordon Richards S. and G3 Darley S. in his native Britain and this year's G3 Altanfeethi Neom Turf Cup.

A half-sister to the GII San Gabriel S. winner and GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile-placed Desert Stone (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), Handassa is a granddaughter of Star (GB) (Most Welcome {GB}) who gained the rare distinction of producing a pair of group 1-winning sprinters in Pastoral Pursuits (GB) and Goodricke (GB) from matings with Bahamian Bounty (GB). Handassa's next offering is the 2-year-old colt Mutaawid (GB), a full-brother to Mostahdaf, while she also has a yearling colt by Kingman (GB).

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