Al Kazeem Pips Mukhadram in Stunning Prince of Wales’s Finish
Al Kazeem defied a pre-race drift in betting to run down brave front-runner Mukhadram and win the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the 2013 Royal Ascot Festival.
A brilliant tactical ride from Paul Hanagan on Mukhadram saw the Shamardal colt open a sizeable gap on the rest of the field as they entered the finishing straight and if it wasn’t for the awareness of James Doyle on Al Kazeem would have stolen the race.
Doyle sensed the danger and starting working on Al Kazeem well before the rest of the field and the classy five-year-old responded with a big effort to run down Mukhadram and score by a head in a thrilling finish.
Doyle, who was celebrating his first ever Royal Ascot winner, admitted he was concerned Mukhadram might have pinched the race and paid credit to the fighting qualities of Al Kazeem.
“I had a moment’s worry turning in because Paul Hanagan gave his horse a fantastic ride,” Doyle said.
“He got the fractions right and filled him up at the right time, but he digs so deep and I’m very lucky to be sat on him.”
Trainer Roger Charlton was clearly delighted that his patience with the injury-plagued galloper had finally paid off but was already looking forward to Al Kazeem’s future.
“The name of the game is patience, as Sir Henry Cecil proved, but for that you need the owners,” Charlton said.
“We’ve always thought he was a very good horse so we were happy to do that but you can’t do it without the horse and as he’s showed, he’s so tough and genuine.
“There are lots of lovely races for him, I’ve not spoken to the owners but I’ve always wanted a runner in the Arc.
“Soft ground would not inconvenience him and if we went that route then we could go for the King George and then there, we probably wouldn’t go anywhere else as you don’t want to look at prize-money and get too greedy.”
The Coral Eclipse, which is run in just over two weeks’ time, is another option for the son of Dubawi and he is the clear favourite in the betting market at Bet365.
John Gosden-trained The Fugue flashed home late to finish third while Camelot, who was backed into favouritism in the lead-up to the race, was never in the contest and finished fourth.
The action at Royal Ascot continues today with some of Europe’s leading stayers doing battle in the Gold Cup.