Neck second for Mystic Guide on US comeback in G2 Suburban Stakes
Mystic Guide was edged out in the closing stages to go down by a neck to Max Player in the 10-furlong G2 Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park, USA, on Saturday, 3 July.
Making his first start since capturing the G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline in March, the Michael Stidham-trained colt broke smartly on a sloppy track and raced in third of the six runners behind Moretti and Max Player.
Mystic Guide took closer order leaving the back straight and moved up on the inside rail to press Moretti for the lead turning in, with Max Player also making his challenge on the outside.
The Godolphin homebred established a narrow advantage at the top of the straight and rallied under Luis Saez as Max Player laid down a strong effort a furlong from home.
Mystic Guide continued to battle after being headed entering the final half-furlong but could not get back on terms with Max Player, who was receiving 4lbs. Last season’s G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Happy Saver took third, a further two and a half lengths back.
Godolphin USA President Jimmy Bell said: “Luiz Saez felt that Mystic Guide simply got tired in the lane, which is understandable considering it was his first start for three months after going halfway round the world.
“Even though he was beaten, Mystic Guide never stopped trying and was game all the way to the wire, so he lost little in defeat. You can only do so much training with horses and they need to get that extra level of fitness from racing. Hopefully, this will tighten him up.
“Nobody likes finishing second but there was certainly no disgrace in getting beat with the way Mystic Guide went about it and we were very pleased with his effort.”