Malhub Wins Golden Jubilee; Retirement of Johannesburg Possible

Malhub Wins Golden Jubilee; Retirement of Johannesburg Possible
Johannesburg, shown preparing for the Derby at Keeneland. "It's very possible he won't run again," said trainer Aidan O'Brien following Saturday's race.
Malhub, a homebred racing for Shiekh Hamdan al Maktoum, won Saturday's Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot. Kevin Darley had the mount for trainer John Gosden. Among the colt's competitors was Johannesburg, who earned an Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old colt in the United States in 2001. Johannesburg, the 3-1 favorite in this event, finished ninth. He has not won in three attempts this year.

Aidan O'Brien, who trains the Ireland-based Johannesburg, said the colt may have run his last race.

"We gave him a break after Kentucky but when he came back ready to start working again our ground was so bad I was afraid to risk working him, to see whether he was the same horse" O'Brien said, referring to prolonged wet weather in Ireland.

"I'm being realistic. When you bottom a horse like him, it's hard to get him back. It's very possible he won't run again. Why would you ask him to go and do that again when he's just not the horse he was last year?"

Malhub was the second straight winner on the card for Darley, who also celebrated a win in the Hardwicke Stakes (Eng-II) on Zindabad. Darley and Malhub won the Golden Slipper by 1 1/2 lengths after leading for the entirety of the six-furlong race.

"I just sat on him for a bit, and the way the race panned out, it suited him," Darley said.

The winner went off at odds of 15-1. Danehurst, a Danehill filly racing for her breeder Cheveley Park Stud, finished second. Danehurst was England's champion 3-year-old filly last year at five-to-seven furlongs. The Godolphin-owned Three Points was third.

Malhub is a son of Kingmambo and the stakes-winning mare Arjuzah. He won his last start on June 13 at Great Yarmouth. Last year he won the Milcars King Charles II Stakes at Newmarket. Malhub came into the Golden Jubilee with three wins in six lifetime starts. He is the third foal and the first stakes winner Arjuzah, who won the 1993 Kyoto Sceptre Stakes for Sheikh Hamdan. The mare was previously boarded in Kentucky at Shiekh Hamdan's Shadwell Farm near Lexington, but she has been in Great Britain since 1998.

The field was reduced to 12 earlier Saturday after four horses were scratched, including Caller One due to a throat infection. The others were Bahamian Pirate, Orientor and Feet So Fast.

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