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Mawj refuses to be denied in titanic G1 1,000 Guineas


Mawj outfought Tahiyra as the duo served up an epic battle in the G1 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, UK, on Sunday, 7 May. Heading into the fillies’ Classic on the back of two victories at Meydan this year, Mawj was towards the fore throughout the mile contest and led a group of nine that raced up the centre of the course. Matilda Picotte made the running in the section that stayed on the far rail and looked to hold the overall advantage at the halfway point, with Sweet Harmony also making a bold bid as she ploughed a lone furrow down the stands’ side. Mawj travelled strongly into the race for Oisin Murphy passing the two-furlong marker and was tracked through by last season’s G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Tahiyra, with the duo quickening away from the rest of the field with a furlong and a half to race. Both fillies battled for the lead all the way to the line. Tahiyra appeared as though she might get the measure of Mawj close home, only for the Saeed bin Suroor-trained filly to find more for a half-length success. Matilda Picotte finished third, some seven and a half lengths adrift. Mawj, a homebred half-sister to last season’s G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains victor and US Champion Modern Games, becomes Godolphin’s fourth winner of the 1,000 Guineas following Cape Verdi (1998), Kazzia (2002) and Blue Bunting (2011). Saeed bin Suroor said: “Mawj had been doing well before the race. She is a tiny filly but has a big heart. She was a G2 winner as a two-year-old and was unbeaten in Dubai earlier this year. “I talked to Sheikh Mohammed before we ran her over a mile in Dubai as there is plenty of speed in her pedigree, being by Exceed And Excel, but she won well over the trip. I talked to Sheikh Mohammed again before we declared her for this and he agreed to run her. It was a great decision from him and the filly won well, so we are very happy. “We will keep the options open as I want to see how she comes back after the race. She is entered in the French Guineas, but that is too close, and the Irish Guineas. We will talk to Sheikh Mohammed and decide in a week or two. “It means a lot as it has been a long time since Godolphin Stables won a Classic race in England. It means a lot to myself, Godolphin and the sport also. It has taken us a long time to win another 1,000 Guineas. It is a great boost for the stable and everybody at the yard will be really happy.” Oisin Murphy added: “She’s a champion. Thanks very much to Saeed and to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for the opportunity. Mawj was very tough. It was a brilliant training performance from Saeed, who has been exceptional and so good to me for 10 years. He’s had lots of superstar horses. Thank you to the trainer and his staff – they did all the hard work.”