The application of blinkers had the desired effect for Mutasaabeq as the talented miler led from pillar to post in the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Joel Stakes at Newmarket.
A winner at Thirsk on his seasonal reappearance in April, the Charlie Hills-trained four-year-old went on to be placed in the bet365 Mile at Sandown and the Diomed at Epsom before being beaten a nose by Chindit in the Summer Mile at Ascot.
Mutasaabeq’s frustrating run continued when only fourth as a hot favourite for the Celebration Mile at Goodwood on his most recent outing, but he came good on the Rowley Mile under Jim Crowley.
A smart start took the 5-2 chance straight to the lead and he was able to control the pace throughout.
El Drama was always his pursuer throughout and ran a fine race on his first competitive appearance in 13 months, but Mutasaabeq found enough for pressure to prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Tempus, the 5-4 favourite to notch a fourth successive win, could be counted a shade unlucky in third having missed the break and been caught in a pocket before staying on late in the day.
Hills said: “He’d worked twice in the blinkers, we were happy with him so why not try it?
“He had a nice easy time of it in front and he has won here twice before, so he obviously likes it.
“He’s in the Challenge Stakes in a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how he is.
“He’s run two mediocre races at Goodwood so probably won’t go back there again, while at Sandown he was a little unlucky. He’s run some solid races this year.
“He’s a very sound horse and it’s nice to win a race like this with him. He just seems to enjoy it here, he’s won here three times now and is a horse with a nice action.”
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