A year is a long time in racing. Melbourne Cup day last year, a 5YO Mustajeer was winning a listed race at Naas Racecourse in Ireland by a dominant 6.5 lengths recording his best career Timeform rating of 116+.
Fast forward a year and it’s likely we will be seeing Mustajeer going around in a 24-horse Melbourne Cup field after Australian Bloodstock purchased a majority share interest in the horse this week.
Mustajeer is to be aimed at the Ebor handicap this weekend (ran an unlucky 4th in the race last year) before heading out to Australia to be trained by Kris Lees in late September targeted at the Caulfield Cup and then the Melbourne Cup.
— Gaelic Bloodstock (@GaelicBs) August 25, 2018
Mustajeer has run four times this season with a Group 1 third (beaten a very long way) on the record, but it was his close second behind Master of Reality at Navan, beating home Southern France, Capri and Twilight Payment that suggests he has the ability to be competitive in a Melbourne Cup. Southern France franked this form over the weekend winning the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh.
Mustajeer is a sound horse that handles every racetrack condition which is a big bonus and there is no question about the horse staying the 3200m distance based on previous performances. Being a 6YO placed in Group 1 company and having never won a Group race, he won’t be penalised beyond his ratings for the race.
Improvement will need to be found somewhere with the change of scenery and a move to Australia, but as Kris Lees has shown time and time again, he can find a length or two with these good horses when it’s needed most.