Import Mustajeer has shown his hand early with a superb return to win the Parramatta Cup at Rosehill, putting himself on a Group One autumn path.
The former European was brought to Australia as a Cups horse last spring and while those dreams did not materialise, the gelding appears poised to make amends this preparation.
Appreciating a solid tempo, Mustajeer settled worse than midfield in Saturday’s 1900-metre race and was travelling sweetly when he ranged up to the leading brigade around the home turn.
Hugh Bowman shot Mustajeer ($7) to the front and while Eastender ($19) whittled down the margin to a long neck, the winner showed his class to hold on.
“We probably didn’t expect him to do that but it’s obviously no surprise, he has been bought for weight-for-age racing,” Bowman said.
“He certainly raced well in the spring in the Caulfield Cup, didn’t seem at his best in the Melbourne Cup but he’s certainly a more furnished horse now mentally.”
Lees was rapt with Mustajeer’s effort and said it augured well for the autumn with the Group One The BMW his target.
“He had nothing to take him into the race so he had to do it all himself from the 600,” Lees said.
“He was probably entitled to get a little tired late.
“It was really pleasing to see him track into a race over this distance like that. He’s had no trials, a few nice gallops at home so it’s very pleasing.”
Stablemate and last year’s race winner Red Cardinal ($11) was doing his best work late for third, albeit five lengths behind the first two, while Sweet Thomas also caught the eye finishing fourth.
Red Cardinal will head to the Sky High Stakes in three weeks.
“He was super. His sectionals would be as good as anything’s from where he was,” Lees said.
Story from justhorseracing.com.au