Despite not having raced since capturing the G1 Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, Mawj displayed no signs of rust as she went gate-to-wire under Oisin Murphy to take the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup by a half-length at Keeneland on Saturday, 14 October.
The victory was the fourth straight Stakes win for the three-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel, who improved her record to 6-1-1 in nine career starts. Mawj’s victory also provided trainer Saeed bin Suroor with his 500th Group/Graded victory.
Breaking alertly out of the starting gate, Mawj was sent right to the front by jockey Oisin Murphy. They were tracked by Elusive Princess and Mission of Joy in second and third, with outsider Papilio racing in fourth. Mawj continued to have things her own way on the front end as she led the field up the backstretch and through the far turn. Mawj continued to lead in the stretch and had plenty in the tank to hold off the late rally of Lindy, who closed like a rocket but had to settle for second.
Owned and bred by Godolphin, Mawj is out of the out of the New Approach mare, Modern Ideals. She is the dam of three other winners including Champion miler and new Darley stallion, Modern Games (Dubawi) who is the winner of four G1 races including last year's G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains.
A six-time Stakes winner on the racetrack, including two G1s, Exceed And Excel heads the stallion roster at Darley’s Kelvinside property in the NSW Hunter Valley.
The stallion stands for a service fee of $132,000 inc GST.