TOP MARKS MAMOOL

5 September 2004

Brough Scott watches the back-to-form stayer initiate a 1,349-1 Dettori four-timer

Fears that Kieren Fallon might suffer long-term effects after his early police call on Wednesday were put right when his 21-race losing run was ended with victories in the first two events at Kempton. But Frankie Dettori responded with a 1,349-1 four-timer, including the featured Pentax UK September Stakes on Mamool.

It was only Mamool’s second race since he started favourite and finished a well crocked 23rd in the Melbourne Cup last November. The “Race That Stops A Nation” stopped 15 other horses that day with injuries of one kind or another and Mamool’s problems to both joint and ligament on his near hind fetlock was so severe that it was thought his career was over.

But time and good veterinary work did the trick and after a comeback race in Deauville last month Mamool turned out at Kempton looking superb. Nysaen’s defection meant only a four-runner field but as Dettori flattened Mamool out beside the front-running Bandari in the straight, the race was set up for a tough run home.

Dettori and his partner certainly had to earn their keep for it took them a good furlong to win their duel with Richard Hills and Bandari, and then had to hold off the late challenge of Jimmy Fortune and Alkaased. For a few strides it looked as if Alkaased would profit from having kept his powder dry but Mamool had not gone through all those months of recovery for nothing.

“He’s an absolutely smashing horse,” said Dettori afterwards. “I really love him.” In that final furlong you could see why. Although Mamool holds his head a fraction upright he uses all of himself as he strives to the line and Alkaased could not pass.

It was a 73rd winner of the season for the Godolphin operation who now top the trainers’ table with more than £3,300,000 in prize money. In the Sirenia Stakes they had been expected to add to their remarkable run of two-year-old successes with Council Member. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s strike-rate with his juveniles is some 30 per cent but yesterday Council Member was never able to peg back the Fallon-ridden Satchem over the six-furlong trip.

Satchem’s success briefly extended Fallon’s lead over Dettori to 11 in the jockeys’ title race, but three more winners for Dettori, the gutsy mare Tidal, promising two-year-old Storm Silk and finally Leg Spinner cut the gap to eight. A lot is likely to happen before the season officially closes on Nov 6 but it now seems most unlikely that future events are to include a big race win for last year’s top two-year-old One Cool Cat. At home he clearly impresses Aidan O’Brien but on the track he is all too mortal.

In yesterday’s Group One Stanleybet Sprint Cup at Haydock, he once again started favourite but was in trouble two furlongs out, hanging left and right under Jamie Spencer before dropping out behind a three-way battle between last year’s winner Somnus and the Roger Charlton-trained pair Patavellian and Tante Rose. Somnus looked to have it but Tante Rose just touched him off in the photo. Winner of all three starts this season, Tante Rose clearly has a fine combination of both mind and matter which seems lacking in One Cool Cat.

Coolmore have been admirably patient with One Cool Cat, but unless he can rekindle his talents with medication in America, it might be more sensible to call it quits.

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