The winner was one of a batch of 12 two-year-olds the Aga Khan sent
to Luca Cumani this year at the end of his self-imposed exile following
his dissatisfaction over Jockey Club drug-testing procedures in the
wake of the disqualification of his 1989 Oakswinner, Aliysa.
Mandilak was the pathfinder for the Aga Khan's British-trained battalion
when he made his debut at Ascot last month. But the son of El Gran
In yesterday's Ranworth Maiden Stakes the bay colt knew what was required
and came with a strong late run under Oscar Urbina to beat the Henry
Cecil- trained Street General by a length.
Cumani, who trained Kahyasi to win the Derby for the Aga Khan in 1988
said: "Its marvellous to see these colours win again. It's been a
long wait but it's great to be back in business. We have had to wait
"I've had a dozen two-year-olds sent to me by the Aga Khan but most
are bred to be three-years-olds. They are slow-maturing types and
the firm ground this summer didn't help. Mandilak jumped a path at
Ascot and I was expecting a much better performancefrom him today."
Happy Valentine earned a 20-1 quote for the Derby from Coral after
making an impressive winning debut in the Herringfleet Maiden Stakes.
The Godolphin-owned colt made all the running under Frankie Dettori
to win by five lengths and the pounds 3,980 he collected stretched
Saeed Bin Suroor's lead over Cecil in the battle for the trainers'
championship to pounds 31,368. Cecil had to makedo with pounds 2,
210 in place money from the exploits of Street General, Florid and
Bin Suroor said that he has a possible 10 further runners this season
and that the possibility of Halling running in the Japan Cup next
month has not yet been ruled out. "We will see if he can stay a mile
and a half. He is still in training and if he'sstill in good form
then we'll see."