Aldaary bounds to Balmoral victory

Aldaary capped a Champions Day treble for jockey Jim Crowley and owners Shadwell with an emphatic victory in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot.

The progressive three-year-old defied a 6lb penalty for winning over seven furlongs on this course two weeks ago, to win for the first time at a mile on his second attempt at the trip and complete a double for trainer William Haggas.

Crowley bided his time on the well-backed Aldaary as Marie’s Diamond made the running on the far side of the track.

Aldaary (7-2) travelled strongly and quickly put the race to bed after plenty looked to be in with chances, including the market leader Sunray Major.

Striding away, Aldaary won by a length and a half from Symbolize (40-1). Magical Morning (66-1) was third with Nugget (9-1) fourth.

Crowley’s earlier successes came on Eshaada in the Qipco British Champion Fillies & Mares Stakes, and on Baaeed in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, both Group Ones.

Crowley said: “Aldaary is very tough. He won here at the last meeting. Those handicaps are not easy to win and William has done a great job with him.

“Hopefully he can make him into a Pattern horse next year. I think he absolutely loves that ground, that’s key. It’s a big plus this time of year.

“It’s been a great day, you have to savour the moment really.”

Hot favourite Sunray Major was eased when his chance had gone, finishing 14th of the 20 starters.

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