Dual Group One winner Addeybb set himself up for a second tilt at next month’s Qipco Champion Stakes with a battling victory in the Jordan Electrics Doonside Cup at Ayr.
The William Haggas-trained six-year-old found only the brilliant mare Magical too strong on Champions Day at Ascot last October – and an Australian adventure earlier this year yielded back-to-back wins at the highest level.
Having filled the runner-up spot behind Lord North on his latest appearance in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot three months ago, Addeybb was the 11-10 favourite for his Listed assignment in Scotland – despite conceding 7lb to each of his six rivals.
Supporters of the market leader will have been sweating early in the home straight, with last weeks’s St Leger-winning jockey Tom Marquand hard at work aboard Addeybb while several of his rivals travelled smoothly.
However, the Pivotal gelding dug deep to grab the lead to grab the lead inside the final furlong and galloped all the way to the line to repel the late thrust of the grey Lord Glitters by three-quarters of a length.
Speaking from his home in Newmarket, Haggas said: “I’m chuffed to bits with him.
“He came good at the end of the race. He’s such a genuine, kind horse. He’d prefer softer ground, but he dug in and I’m thrilled.
“I thought it was a pretty smart performance as the penalty he had to carry was big.
“Hopefully he comes out of it well and we’ll head to the Champion Stakes.”
The Kevin Ryan-trained Magical Spirit was an emphatic winner of the QTS Ayr Silver Cup.
A winner at Beverley in early June, the four-year-old had since struggled to make a major impact in successive starts at Newcastle and most recently at Haydock a fortnight ago.
However, the 18-1 shot looked a class act in this fiercely-competitive handicap – bounding clear on the far side of the track under Kevin Stott for a three-and-a-half-length success over Admirality.
Hot favourite King’s Lynn led for much of the six-furlong contest before weakening out of contention.
Cosmo Charlton, racing manager for owners Hambleton Racing, said: “We’re delighted with that.
“He’s a horse Kevin has always had a lot of faith in and he’s kept on improving.
“He had a bit of a wind issue, which was resolved, and we came into today full of confidence he would run well, although I can’t say I expected him to win like he has!
“I would say Kevin will be looking at Stakes race for him after that.”
Umm Kulthum finished with a flourish to secure top honours in the Scotty Brand Firth of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes.
A narrow winner on her racecourse debut at Thirsk, Richard Fahey’s youngster then finished a fine third behind Irish challenger Miss Amulet and the high-class Sacred in last month’s Lowther Stakes at York.
On the strength of that form, the daughter of Kodiac was the 9-4 favourite for this Group Three test in the hands of Paul Hanagan – and eventually cut down Scarlet Bear to prevail by a length.
Following the victory of Nahaarr in the Ayr Gold Cup, Haggas and Marquand completed a treble on the card with 9-2 chance Johan in the Luxury Staycations At Western House Hotel Handicap.