Molatham denies Monarch Of Egypt in Jersey
Molatham gave Jim Crowley a fifth winner at Royal Ascot this week when rallying to beat Monarch Of Egypt in the Jersey Stakes.
The pair dominated the business end of the race, with Molatham edging out Aidan O’Brien’s runner in the dying strides.
Monarch Of Egypt was last early, but was delivered by Ryan Moore to hit the front and look the likely winner in the final furlong.
However, he veered off a straight line, letting in Molatham (11-2) to get the verdict by half a length for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, giving trainer Roger Varian a double after Mountain Angel in the Wolferton Stakes.
Symbolize was three and a quarter lengths away in third, just edging the gallant maiden Ropey Guest.
Varian said: “His only run on soft ground prior to this was in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, but perhaps that was just too much of a test at that time in his development and maybe it wasn’t the ground.
“We did have genuine concerns about the ground, but he coped fine and I’m delighted with his performance.
He's got a great attitude and to see him fight back shows he's a fighter as well
“He’s got a great attitude and to see him fight back shows he’s a fighter as well.
“To win over seven on that ground he looks like he’ll stay a mile, but he travelled through the race and Jim thought he was there too soon. We’ve got plenty of options going forward and don’t forget the Prix Jean Prat is over seven furlongs this year.
“I’m not going to commit to where we’ll go just yet, I wouldn’t rule anything out, we’ll see how he is and talk to Sheikh Hamdan.
“This is a hard place to get winners so we’re delighted with how the week is going.”
Crowley said: “We were unsure of the ground because he had one run on it last year and didn’t go on it, but he stuck it out well because we got headed and he came back.
“When you look at his pedigree and the way he moves you’d think he’d actually be at home on soft ground, so maybe it was just the track at Newmarket he didn’t like – the undulations.”
He added: “I probably got there too soon, you wouldn’t want to be in front two furlongs out on him.
“He’s a lovely horse, he only does as much as he has to, even there I still think he had something up his sleeve.
“To get one winner here is great so to have a week like this is way beyond expectations.”
Ropey Guest is still searching for a first victory in 11 outings, having been ambitiously campaigned throughout his juvenile campaign.
He did connections proud again, however, outrunning odds of 33-1 with another fine effort in defeat – and upholding the stable form shown elsewhere this week by Caribbean Spring, who has built up an off-beat social media following as alter ego @LifeOfBean.
He gets his head in front at home plenty, so I don’t think he takes it personally
Trainer George Margarson confirmed he will continue to fly high with Ropey Guest.
He said: “He picked up £3,500, which he wouldn’t have done winning a maiden at Wolverhampton.
“It is his first run of the year, so he will come on for it. He has only been working with Caribbean Spring, so no wonder ‘Bean’ ran so well the other day.
“We will probably try to find an opportunity in a mile maiden – the Sussex Stakes might be a nice day out!
“He gets his head in front at home plenty, so I don’t think he takes it personally. When he is getting beaten he is not losing the battle.”