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Maftool is set to battle it out for even bigger prizes

By Tom Peacock

Maftool takes high enough rank at Saeed bin Suroor's stable to be given the target of an end-of-season Group One after his first strike at Pattern level in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket.

History states previous winners of this seven-furlong event do not graduate to a much higher level, although there have been exceptions like Milk It Mick and Grand Lodge, who went on to take the Dewhurst Stakes later on in their juvenile year.

While Maftool (7-2) only boasted a Pontefract maiden victory in his previous three starts, he was second in the Sirenia at Kempton and his trainer was pleased to see progress as the Hard Spun colt quickened two and a half lengths away from the Hamdan Al Maktoum pair Markaz and Mubtaghaa.

Bin Suroor said: "He's improving all the time and has done really well, even from his last race.

"We'll keep our options open for him and see what the owner thinks, but he could go for a Group One, either the Dewhurst or the Racing Post Trophy.

"I spoke to Richard (Hughes) and he said seven furlongs or a mile is no problem. He'll go on any ground or surface."

Hughes remains five behind Ryan Moore in the jockeys' title race.

Pallasator won the Jockey Club Rose Bowl.

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