Elarqam bounces back to form with Legacy win

Elarqam got his career back on track with a front-running victory in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury.

A son of Frankel out of the yard’s brilliant racemare Attraction, Mark Johnston’s has largely upheld family honour well, with Group Three and Group Two triumphs featuring among his five previous career wins.

However, since a promising start to the season when touched off by Lord North at Haydock, the five-year-old has disappointed in both the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and when bidding for back-to-back successes in the York Stakes.

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Jim Crowley’s mount was a 2-1 shot for his latest assignment and led his three rivals from the off.

Admirable veteran Desert Encounter – winner of this Group Three contest in 2017 and 12 months ago – emerged as the biggest threat in the final furlong, but Elarqam dug deep to see him off by a length and a half.

Market leader Extra Elusive (6-4) was third, with Gifts Of Gold last of the quartet.

Elarqam (centre) proved too good at Newbury
Elarqam (centre) proved too good at Newbury (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Johnston said: “It is great to see him back winning. It’s a shame it hasn’t been on a big day this year.

“If you look at his form last year, you would have said he should be winning a Group One this year and unfortunately it hasn’t fallen his way. We were running out of opportunities and that is why we came here, as there wasn’t really anywhere else to go. Everything has gone his way today, so it was good to see.

“It has been a frustrating season. When you look at his run in the Juddmonte last year, you would have said he showed there he was well and truly a Group One horse.

“With a pedigree like his, you would expect to see him get a Group One for a good stud job. I’m sure he will get a good stud job, but we want to see him get a good one, that is why it has been frustrating.

“I don’t think it matters where you run him. He is a bit lazy. If you think back to his best run this year at Haydock, given another 100 yards he would have got back up. He just gets a bit idle in front and needs something to aim at. If they sprint at him too quickly, it doesn’t give him time to respond.

“I don’t know what we do now to be honest. I just wanted to get another win back under his belt, but we are running out of opportunities.”

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