Commonwealth Cup
Group 1, Ascot 15:40
£405,315 added,
6f, Class 1  
Friday 19th June 2015

Free Racing Tips

1 Muhaarar 10/1
2 Limato 9/2
3 Anthem Alexander 8/1
4 Salt Island 33/1
18 ran Distances: 3¾l, ¾l, shd
TIME 1m 12.05s (fast by 0.55s)

Muhaarar is a second Royal Ascot winner of the week for Charlie Hills as he comes clear to lift the Commonwealth Cup under Dane O'Neill

© Racehorse Photos


The first running of the Commonwealth Cup proved a solo tour de force for 10/1 shot Muhaarar, who turned what had looked a competitive race into a rout. The Oasis Dream colt, trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Dane O'Neill, came home three and three-quarter lengths clear of Limato, with Anthem Alexander third.

The £405,315 six-furlong contest provided O'Neill with his biggest-ever payday on Sheikh Hamdan's home-bred three-year-old. "He did it so easy," he said. "Rarely does a race work out so easily, especially here. He travelled so well and picked up exceptionally.

"I was getting a nice lead and when I asked him to pick up I was surprised by the reaction I got. His work at home had been good and he was beginning to feel like a sprinter, but they've got to prove it on the track, which he has done, and how. He has a great attitude and he's grown up a lot."

It was a second Group One victory for O'Neill, after Bold Edge in the Prix Maurice De Gheest in 2000, and a fourth at Royal Ascot. He has been riding for three seasons as number two for Sheikh Hamdan, and wore the second colours today. The owner's first string was seventh-placed Adaay, ridden by Paul Hanagan.

"It was tough for Paul, but good for the team," said O'Neill. "It's a great team to work with, with input and communication and hard work from everyone."

Muhaarar, winner of the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in April before an unplaced run in the French 2,000 Guineas, will now face all-age sprint competition, with the July Cup at Newmarket a first possible target. "We knew he had a lot of pace, we knew they'd go hard today and that six furlongs on this track would be ideal," said Hills.

"It was all going to suit him and once he hit the front we knew he'd stay. He was so convincing, and he's still improving. He's also a beautiful looking horse with a wonderful temperament. He's very exciting and there's a lot to look forward to.

"Chriselliam was very good but this is horse is just improving and improving. He is very versatile as well. He showed a lot of speed today and has got better and better with racing - he is still improving. He ran over a mile last time and was in the Jersey Stakes as well. Sheikh Hamdan made the decision to come here for all the right reasons.

"This is a Group One and it looked a proper race as well - any one of eight or 10 could have won. But he did it in such great style and he's not really ground dependent either; he's a very nice horse. We will have a look at all the nice races now. He has got the world at his feet."


Trainer Henry Candy was happy with Limato after the gelding finished second, beaten three and three-quarter lengths.

"I thought he ran a wonderful race," said Candy. "James (Doyle) said he was slow into his stride which is unlike him but after that he was as good as ever. I don't think we'd have beaten the winner whatever but they were quite far apart across the track. His engine is still the same, which is what matters."

Eddie Lynam, trainer of third-placed Anthem Alexander, said: "I think on his day the winner is pretty special, he looked very good. Our filly has run very well and we'll keep having a go with her.

"We've got lots of options. We're in the July Cup but we might step back to five and could go for the King George at Goodwood."


Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)
£405,315 added, 3yo only, 6f, Class 1
18 ran
Going: Good to Firm

  Dr Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (8) Muhaarar 10/1 Dane O'Neill
C Hills 3
2nd (12) Limato (IRE) 9/2 James Doyle H Candy 3
3rd (9) ¾ Anthem Alexander (IRE) 8/1 P J Smullen
E Lynam 3
4th (1) s.h Salt Island 33/1 J P Spencer
C Hills 3
5th (18) ¾ Profitable (IRE) 50/1 A Kirby
C G Cox 3
6th (2) 1 Home Of The Brave (IRE) 18/1 James McDonald
H Palmer 3
7th (6) hd Adaay (IRE) 8/1 P Hanagan
W J Haggas 3
8th (4) 1 Goken (FR) 50/1 O Peslier
H A Pantall 3
9th (16) Tendu 14/1 L Dettori
J H M Gosden 3
10th (10) ¾ Kool Kompany (IRE) 33/1 P J Dobbs
R Hannon 3
11th (14) Hootenanny (USA) 9/4f R L Moore
Wesley Ward 3
12th (5) ½ El Valle (FR) 100/1 A Hamelin
Mlle V Dissaux 3
13th (7) ½ New Providence 25/1 Jim Crowley
H Palmer 3
14th (11) 1 Cyclogenisis (USA) 33/1 John Velazquez
George Weaver 3
15th (15) 10 Ahlan Emarati (IRE) 66/1 S De Sousa
P W Chapple-Hyam 3
16th (17) 1 Tiggy Wiggy (IRE) 6/1 R Hughes
R Hannon 3
17th (3) nk Pastoral Girl 100/1 T Eaves
J G Given 3
18th (13) 12 Jungle Cat (IRE) 33/1 W Buick
C Appleby 3