Gheest goal for Aljamaaheer

  • Last Updated: July 15 2014, 14:33 BST

The Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville is the likely next objective for Aljamaaheer, with connections believing a change of tactics "backfired" in last weekend's Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

Aljamaaheer (l) could be set for France
Aljamaaheer (l) could be set for France

The Roger Varian-trained five-year-old, who has reverted to sprinting this season having shown top-class form over a mile in previous years, ran an excellent race in defeat when third behind Slade Power in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.

However, having been ridden more forcefully by Paul Hanagan in Saturday's Group One feature, he finished well-beaten by the same rival on the July Course.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "We tried to ride him a bit differently and I think it backfired. Paul tried to ride him a bit closer to the pace to try to use his stamina and it didn't really work out as the horse probably prefers being allowed to do his own thing.

"We'll probably revert back to the old tactics next time. There aren't that many options for him and the obvious one looks to be the Prix Maurice de Gheest.

"Anything between six and seven furlongs is fine and six and a half furlongs at Deauville would seem a good place to go."

Another Hamdan runner set to go down the sprinting route is Ertijaal.

After winning a valuable race on Lingfield's hugely popular Good Friday card in April, the three-year-old took his chance in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but finished down the field.

Making his first appearance since in Saturday's seven-furlong Bunbury Cup, Ertijaal cut out much of the running before weakening late on to finish fifth.

Gold said: "He was a bit too keen early on, which didn't help, but he stayed going quite well and it wasn't a bad run. I think we're going to come back to six furlongs with him."