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Picture: Ecstatic connections lead in Al Muthana (Wayne Marks).
 
Ricky Maingard rolled back the years and pulled off one of the finest training feats in the history of the country’s most prestigious weight for age mile when his newly acquired Australian-bred Deep Field gelding Al Muthana won today’s Grade 1 L’Ormarins King’s Plate.
 
Jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe joined Anton Marcus as the winning-most King’s Plate/Queen’s PLate jockey this century in securing his sixth win in the big race, although Marcus has won the race seven times overall.
 
Maingard said in a recent interview with Turf Talk, “Al Muthana has one or two issues, but we hope to solve them by the time of the King’s Plate.”
 
To then come out and win this prestigious race despite it being only the horse’s second run for him, and only his second run since the HKJC World Pool Champions Cup on MWOS Gold Cup day, speaks volumes.
 
That is especially in light of Al Muthana beating two world class horses in the hot odds-on favourite Charles Dickens and the twice Queen’s Plate winner Jet Dark.
 
This is Maingard’s third triumph in the big race as he won it twice with the legendary Wolf Power in 1983 and 1984. 
 
Maingard only recently returned to an old stamping ground of his, opening a yard at Milnerton in addition to his yard back in his home country of Mauritius.
 
Al Muthana broke on terms and ended sitting about fourth from last in a one out position with cover.
 
He tracked Kommetdieding in the early part of the straight before the wily Faydherbe switched him right to the outside rail.
 
Charles Dickens was behind Al Muthana in the running and burst through to hit the front on the inside.
 
However, Al Muthana had built up a lot of momentum and got up by to win by 0,30 lengths and cause a massive 80/1 upset.
 
Jet Dark also came from behind Al Muthana and ran on for third towards the outside, beaten 1,55 lengths.
 
Kommetdieding was beaten 0,30 lengths by his old rival Jet Dark into fourth place and another old rival of theirs, Linebacker, was next best, although beaten 5,35 lengths by the winner.
 
Maingard is also a part-owner of five-year-old Al Muthana.
 
The owners are D K Bundhoo, P G Joubert, K Kathapermal, M H Maingard & T R McCrow &  M M M Bundhoo
 
This is the second wfa Grade 1 Al Muthana has won. The former Shadwell owned and bred gelding won the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge last June when trained by Mike de Kock.
 
The other Grade 1 on the day saw the Brett Crawford-trained three-year-old Dynasty filly Make It Snappy achieving a rare Grade 1 WSB Cape Fillies Guineas and Grade 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes double as Luyolo Mxothwa gave her a fine front-running ride to beat hot favourite Captain’s Ransom.