Al Qareem shows guts and class in Cumberland Lodge victory

Al Qareem could have earned a shot at the Prix Royal-Oak having rallied bravely to make it two from two for the season in the Jim Barry Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot.

Karl Burke’s four-year-old was a progressive performer last term, entering the winner’s enclosure on three occasions, and having been off the track since taking a shot at the Dubai Gold Cup in the spring, denied the useful Bluestocking in gutsy fashion on his return at Chester last month.

The 100-30 second-favourite here in the hands of Clifford Lee, it was a similar story to his Roodee triumph in this Group Three event and having looked booked for second place when passed by John and Thady Gosden’s Israr, Al Qareem’s stamina came into play as he fought back in the closing stages to edge to the front in the shadow of the post.

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“We’re delighted to see him win again,” said Nick Bradley of owners Nick Bradley Racing.

“I think we got it tactically spot on when Cliff sat second. When he’s led before he has been a bit free so I think Claymore going on has helped us and made it a right stamina test.

“The other horse passed us showing more speed, but then stamina kicked in and as soon as I saw Israr not go away I thought Al Qareem would come back based on what he did at Chester.

“We are probably running him over his minimum trip at the moment. I’m delighted and delighted for all his owners as well. He’s just a tough, hardy stayer.”

Al Qareem leaves the stalls at the start of the Jim Barry Cumberland Lodge Stakes
Al Qareem leaves the stalls at the start of the Jim Barry Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Steven Paston/PA)

The strong-staying son of Awtaad was a Group Two winner at ParisLongchamp in the Qatar Prix Chaudenay last autumn and could now be given the chance to better last year’s fifth-placed finish in the French St Leger on his next start.

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“He has two options and one is the St Simon Stakes at Newbury on October 28,” added Bradley.

“That’s a mile-and-a-half Group Three again and I’m not going to say it’s a penalty kick, but it is the easier option.

“Otherwise we go for the Group One Prix Royal-Oak which is nearly two miles at Longchamp. Entries for that are next week. I need to speak with Karl, but I think we’ll enter for both and then decide during that week.”

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