Jim Crowley is banking on reports of an imminent heatwave proving accurate to enable Mostahdaf to take his chance in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 21.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained five-year-old has taken his form to a completely different level this season, winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and ending Paddington’s winning sequence in the Juddmonte International at York.
The next logical step for a horse excelling over 10 furlongs would be the Champion Stakes, but his connections have been cautious to make too firm a plan given his liking for good ground.
They do have the Breeders’ Cup Turf in reserve, but that would mean stepping back up to a mile and a half so Crowley would love the weather forecasters’ predictions of a dry week leading into Champions Day to prove correct.
“If the ground is nice I’m sure he will take his chance,” he told Sky Sports Racing.
“The weather can change in between now and then but he’d go on good to soft, he has done in the past.
“I think if it came up very testing then he might reroute to a Breeders’ Cup or something, so that’s in the pipeline, but we’d love to get him there (Ascot) on good ground because it’s a great race and it would suit him, obviously, as a course and distance winner. It’s a very important race.
“We’ll take one step at a time and see if he goes to Ascot first, but that would be exciting if he went to America. It would be over a mile and a half, but he’s won over that distance and it’s over a tight two turns.
“He won out in Saudi and that is a similar sort of tight track to Santa Anita and he loves fast ground, so he’s got options and it’s great he’s been able to show us this season how good he really is.”