Dubai: It was a case of so-near-yet-so-far for Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour at York Racecourse on Saturday when Red Galileo, his globetrotting veteran, narrowly missed winning the £1 million Ebor Handicap, the feature race on the final day of the four-day Ebor Festival.
Ridden by Cieren Fallon, the son of retired multiple champion British jockey Kieren Fallon, Red Galileo closed strongly in the 2,700 metre contest but could not reign in the winner: Mustajeer.
Bin Surour was looking for a third success in the Ebor, the most valuable handicap in Europe, following wins by Willing Foe in 2012 and All The Good in 2008.
A product of Shadwell, the global breeding operation of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, Mustajeer was ridden by 2017 Irish Champion Colin Keane. Previously trained by Owen Burrows, when raced by Shaikh Hamdan, Mustajeer went three places better than last year in a race won by stable companion Muntahaa.
Keane told Racing TV: “It was a very good performance. It was pretty smooth and I probably got there a bit sooner than I wanted to.
“His aim at the start of the year was to be here and it’s a brilliant training performance by Ger. I’m just grateful to be riding him.”
Mustajeer entered the Melbourne Cup picture where he was given a 16-1 quote by leading British odds makers.
Desert Skyline was third for David Elsworth while Raymond Tusk finished fourth of the 22-strong field.
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s James Doyle completed a smart meet double, winning the Melrose Heritage Handicap aboard Hamish and Shine So Bright in the Group 2 City of York Stakes.
Anna Lisa Balding, wife of winning trainer Andrew Balding, said: “I dreamed he was going to stay on and he did, he’s run a hell of a race and James has given him a fantastic ride.”