Edited Breeders’ Cup Release ― Shadwell Estate Company Ltd’s Mostahdaf (IRE) was a tenacious front-running winner of Wednesday’s 1 1/4-mile Juddmonte International (G1) at York, bringing an end to Paddington’s (IRE) run of seven straight victories. Mostahdaf is guaranteed an automatic starting position into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In. The son of Frankel (GB) already secured a place in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) after winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 80 Graded/Group stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
Frankie Dettori, deputizing for the suspended Jim Crowley aboard John and Thady Gosden-trained 5-year-old, opted for a change of tactics. Mostahdaf, off at odds of 3-1, had previously been ridden patiently, but he was pressed on under Dettori to his latest victory. Paddington, the odds-on favorite, settled 2 lengths off the lead through the first mile. Dettori was keen to ensure any stamina doubts in Paddington were exposed and Ryan Moore began to send out distress signals as Mostahdaf quickened in the straight.
Moore switched to Mostahdaf’s outside as they approached the final furlong, with the 4-year-old filly Nashwa (GB) also mounting her challenge under Hollie Doyle toward the inside rail. But Mostahdaf repelled them both, ultimately beating stablemate Nashwa by 1 length, with 3-year-old Paddington a further neck back in third.
It was a record-breaking sixth win in the race for Dettori in his final ride in the Juddmonte International. Afterward, he paid tribute to the whole team involved with Mostahdaf, saying: “It was a team effort. I’m very sorry for Jim (Crowley), who is suspended, as this is his ride. He helped me out a lot with the characteristics of the horse. I spoke to John (Gosden) at length and studied his replays and I thought there’s only one way to beat Paddington and that’s by making it a proper gallop, so I did. Full credit to the horse, he was superb today. You’re giving a champion 3-year-old seven pounds, you want to be in front of him not behind him because when they’re going to sprint it’s going to be more difficult to pass him.”
Mostahdaf completed the race in 2:06.40 on ground listed as good to firm.