Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s 2-year-old Mohawk (IRE) steadily moved to front inside the last quarter-mile and held firm to win Saturday’s one-mile $168,750 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket Racecourse over Ballydoyle stablemates Sydney Opera House (GB) and Cape of Good Hope (IRE) and gained an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 85 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 2-3.
Mohawk, a bay son of Galileo (IRE), scored a 1 ¼-length victory in 1:36.12 over a course listed as good to firm under jockey Donnacha O’Brien, son of trainer Aidan O’Brien, who saddled the first three finishers across the wire.
Mohawk becomes the third horse to earn a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, a Grade 1 race for 2-year-old males, which will be run at one mile at Churchill Downs on Future Stars Friday, Nov. 2, the opening day of the World Championships. The first two colts to qualify for the Juvenile Turf were Madhmoon (IRE), winner of the KMPG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2) at Leopardstown in Ireland, and Fog of War, who captured the Summer Stakes (G2) at Wooodbine in Canada.
Mohawk wins the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes to complete a 1-2-3 for Aidan O’Brien ? pic.twitter.com/1NFpJoW4YB
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) September 29, 2018
Breaking from post 2 in a seven-horse field over the straight course, Mohawk was maneuvered to the outside and tracked behind 9-2 Sydney Opera House, ridden by Wayne Lordan, through the first half mile. Victory Command (IRE) challenged Sydney Opera House in the pace battle, while the 7-4 favored Beatboxer was struggling to keep up under Frankie Dettori along the grandstand side.
Inside the final furlong, just as Victory Command began to fade, Mohawk surged past Sydney Opera House and finished prominently through the wire. Sydney Opera House held on well to be second, followed by Cape of Good Hope, 1 ¾-lengths back in third. Victory Command finished fourth, with 11-4 second choice Arthur Kitt (GB) finishing fifth, Duke of Hazzard (FR) sixth and Beatboxer seventh.
Mohawk now has two wins in five starts. He broke his maiden in his second start at Cork on June 17 at seven furlongs, then finished third in the Group 2 Galileo Irish EFB Futurity at The Curragh on Aug. 26. He came into the Royal Lodge off a fourth-place finish, beaten 7 ½ lengths, in the seven-furlong Goff’s Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (G1) at The Curragh-on Sept. 16.
Mohawk was bred in Ireland by Whisperview Trading Ltd.