In one way, Muthmir and Out Do, two of the main protagonists in today’s King George Stakes, a furious Group Two five-furlong dash down Goodwood’s hill, could not be more different.
On the one hand, Muthmir has been lauded as a future champion sprinter this past year and is now having his sights lowered a little after just missing out at the very highest level, beaten half a length when third in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on his penultimate start.
On the other, there is Out Do, working his way up to the top of the handicap ladder on the northern circuit until now, at the age of six, when a first crack at a Group prize can be resisted no longer.
In another way, the two are similar, both at their best coming off a fast pace, something absolutely assured this afternoon. Several of their rivals, including last year’s winner Take Cover, have only one way of running – as fast as they can for as long as they can – and when there are enough trailblazers they tend to cut each others’ throats and set it up for the finishers.
It is not such a great jump from top handicapper to Group performer in sprints and Out Do has the vital ingredient to make that leap, a real turn of foot. His trainer, David O’Meara, confesses that he had not realised just how good the gelding was, while jockey Phillip Makin – now replaced by the fit again Daniel Tudhope – predicted there was significantly more to come after a recent victory over several of today’s rivals at York.
Much has been made of the draw for the Betfred Mile and, although it is obviously best not to be berthed out in the car park, a double-figure draw, within reason, is not necessarily a bar to success. Two years ago the winner came from stall 13 and there is a decent chance it might happen again, with Robert Eddery’s bottom weight Donncha having a lot going for him.
Third in another ultra-competitive and valuable handicap over seven furlongs at Ascot last Saturday, Donncha has proved just as effective over today’s extra distance in the past and is in the form of his life.
This is a quick reappearance, but Eddery said yesterday: “He came back from Ascot as bright as a button so I don’t think it’s too much of a worry. He’s a tough horse and takes his racing well.”Reuse content