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Mafaaz - Kempton - 18 March 09 - Kentucky Derby Challenge

Mafaaz: is bound for the Kentucky Derby after winning the Kempton trial

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Mafaaz lands Kentucky Derby trial for Medicean

Report: Kempton, Wednesday

Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes (Conditions Stakes) 1m1f
Mafaaz (Medicean-Complimentary Pass (Danehill))

MAFAAZ came out quickest of a fast-finishing pack to land the inaugural runnning of Kempton's Kentucky Derby trial and earn himself a 33-1 quote for the main event at Churchill Downs.

Winning trainer John Gosden said: "It's great that Sheikh Hamdan, who has such a big investment in Kentucky, has the option to go there with Mafaaz.

"I've got him in the Blue Grass Stakes, which is a big Derby trial over a mile and an eighth on the same surface as this, and from there it's only a van drive to Churchill Downs.

Richard Hills: 'They shouldn't have watered it at the start of the week and they are paying the price for it.'

Richard Hills: jetted in from Dubai

  PICTURE:Mark Cranham  

"If he wins there and is in good order he'll go there (tothe Kentucky Derby), and if he runs there that's where I'll be, even though it's Guineas weekend. It's where  I started, and I'd want to be there."

Gosden added: "This is a great concept - very bold - and the more international our outlook the better. Any initiative like this must be supported."

Asked if Hills would stay on the colt in the Blue Grass, he said: "He flew back from Dubai just for this, so I would think so."

Consigned by Croom House as a yearling, Mafaaz made 400,000gns when bought by Shadwell, having previously fetched 230,000gns as a foal. He was bought then by Hugo Merry Bloodstock and was offered by Tweenhills Farm and Stud. 

Last autumn, he finished fifth behind Donativum in the Tattersalls Million on his second start after winning a maiden at Kempton in September.

He is out of the non-winning Danehill mare Complimentary Pass, a daughter of Capo Di Monte who is a half-sister t0 the Group 1 winner Wind In Her Hair.

Complimentary Pass is dam of the Lomitas colt Gweebarra, who finished second in the Acomb Stakes.





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