Two decades after Nayef stormed to victory in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes in the royal blue colours of Shadwell racing, Mostahdaf produced a career-best performance to upstage some classy rivals to add to Dubai’s success at Royal Ascot.
Ridden by former champion jockey Jim Crowley the Shadwell-bred son of the great Frankel changed gears like a well-oiled sports car as he came from the back of the six-horse field to cruise home a four-length winner over favourite and three-time Group 1 scorer, Luxembourg.
Godolphin’s Epsom Derby winner Adayar was third.
Created by the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, former Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, Shadwell was winning the day two showpiece for the fourth time after Muhtarram (1994-’95) and Nayef (2003).
Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has taken over at the helm of the Newmarket-based stable, was present to proudly welcome Mostahdaf into the winner’s enclosure.
It was the second major win for Dubai connections at the historic Royal meeting after Triple Time won the prestigious Queen Anne Stakes (G1) for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum
“John and Thady have done an amazing job with him,” Crowley told ITV Racing of the 10-1 winner. “He bolted in Saudi, he didn’t quite stay against Equinox (in Dubai) when he was probably the only one who served it up to him and went after him and then he got tired.
“John and Thady brought him back, he’s fresh and they’ve trained him unbelievably. He’s bouncing coming into the race today. A mile and a quarter on fast ground is fantastic.
“It’s great for Sheikha Hissa, who’s here with her family.”
Ryan Moore made the running on Luxembourg, but he was no match for Mostahdaf, who was runner-up to Broome in the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot last year.
“The ground has dried out, which he really enjoyed. He’s run a couple of times on soft ground and laboured on it,” said winning trainer John Gosden, a long-time associate of Sheikh Hamdan and the Dubai Royal Family.
“He won in Saudi Arabia in great style and then he took on probably the best horse in the world, Equinox, and we freshened him up for this.”
Gosden said Mostahdaf would be aimed at the Juddmonte International at York in August.
Earlier, Villanova Queen lifted the spirits of Irish trainer Jessica Harrington, who is recovering from breast cancer, in the Kensington Palace Fillies’ Handicap.
Colin Keane claimed his first victory at the meeting aboard the 25-1 outsider.
Harrington was not at Ascot for the victory, but was represented by her daughter Kate who said: “It means an awful lot to the whole team, it’s been a very tough year. It’ll be a good tonic for mum.”
Frankie Dettori, riding at his final Royal Ascot before retiring at the end of the year, was third on Prosperous Voyage as Rogue Millennium and Danny Thudhope won the Duke of Cambridge Stakes
The 10-1 winner was a supplementary entry for the race.
American challenger Crimson Advocate, ridden by John Valesquez for George Weaver, hung-on to win the Queen Mary Stakes by the narrowest of margins.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla were present at Royal Ascot on Wednesday to cheer for their two runners – Reach For the Moon in the Royal Hunt Cup and Circle Of Fire in the Queen’s Vase.
Royal Ascot continues on Thursday, Ladies Day, where the feature race is the Gold Cup run over a gruelling two mile and four furlongs.
Dubai are represented in the staying contest by Godolphin’s Yibir.