TurfTalk: Haggas sets Nunthorpe target for Muthmir

Muthmir, ridden by Paul Hanagan (blue and white silks), winning the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap during day four of last year's St Leger Festival.
Muthmir, ridden by Paul Hanagan (blue and white silks), winning the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap during day four of last year's St Leger Festival.
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William Haggas has identified the Nunthorpe at York as the number one target for Muthmir following his excellent effort in defeat at Royal Ascot.

Following a Group Two triumph in France, the five-year-old was one of the market leaders for the King’s Stand and performed admirably to finish a close third behind Goldream in the five-furlong Group One.

Muthmir holds a number of entries for the month of July and Haggas will discuss options with owner Hamdan Al Maktoum before targeting another Group One on the Knavesmire on August 21.

“He’s come out of Ascot well, but I’m not sure where we’ll go next. We need to discuss plans with Sheikh Hamdan,” said Haggas.

“He is in the July Cup, but my own personal opinion is I’m not sure if six furlongs on an undulating track like that would bring out the best in him, so we’ll see. Sheikh Hamdan looked to have a pretty good candidate for that in the horse that won the Commonwealth Cup (Muhaarar).

“He’s in a Group Two in Ireland, the Sapphire Stakes, and also the King George Stakes at Goodwood.

“The main race I want to aim for is the Nunthorpe.”

Another sprinter Haggas targeted at the Royal meeting was Adaay, but he failed to live up to expectations in the Commonwealth Cup.

The three-year-old looked a major contender after beating Limato in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, but while Limato ran a fine race to finish second last week, Adaay toiled back in seventh place.

Haggas said: “He was a little disappointing and I’m not sure why, as we thought he was in cracking form going into the race.

“Paul (Hanagan) felt the ground was a little bit fast for him and, on reflection, I wonder whether he just might not be at his best at Ascot.

“He ran well there in the Pavilion Stakes earlier in the year, but was disappointing in the Coventry a year ago.”

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