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Mawj not for catching in G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup


Classic-winning filly Mawj enjoyed the perfect return from a layoff when making virtually all in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland, USA, on Saturday, 14 October.

The half-sister to Modern Games, having her first start since edging out Tahiyra in a thrilling G1 1,000 Guineas back in May, showed good speed from the gates and disputed the early running before being sent on into a length lead by Oisin Murphy.

Elusive Princess halved Mawj’s advantage leaving the back but the Saeed bin Suroor-trained filly kicked early in the straight, establishing a two-length gap over the field entering the final furlong.

Lindy flashed home but could not challenge Mawj, who held on gamely to score by half a length and provide her trainer with a 500th Group race victory.

Saeed bin Suroor said: “Thank God, it’s great to get 500 Group wins and, to do it in a G1 with a Classic winner is a great result for everybody. Mawj has plenty of speed and stayed nine furlongs today. The mile is her best trip, for sure, but I want to see closer to the Breeders’ Cup as to whether we go for the Filly & Mare Turf.”

Oisin Murphy said: “Saeed had been delighted with Mawj’s work at home. He asked me to sit on her last week before she flew over and she felt brilliant, back to her best.

“We did quite quick sectionals in the first half of the race but she is a superstar filly and found plenty. She has a great heart and mind, and I am delighted to win for Godolphin and Saeed. It’s Saeed’s 500th Group win, so it means the world for me to ride it for him.”