Tag Archive for: Addeybb

Haggas issues Addeybb warning ahead of Brigadier Gerard return

William Haggas may be in a rich vein of form at present, yet that has not stopped him warning punters about the fitness of Addeybb as he makes his seasonal debut in the Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on Thursday evening.

The Pivotal gelding, winner of three Group Ones in Australia as well as the 2020 Champion Stakes at Ascot, has taken time to come to hand following a hock infection, which means he will be returning from a seven-month absence.

The eight-year-old, who will be ridden by Tom Marquand, takes on five rivals in a strong renewal of the 10-furlong Group Three contest, with Haggas hoping he can build upon the race and book his ticket for Royal Ascot.

“He is a good horse and he has taken a bit of getting fit,” said Haggas. “He needs this race in preparation for Ascot, but he is as fit as we can get him without killing him.

“I just want to see a bit of spark from him. He loves racing and it is a decent race.”

His rivals include the John and Thady Gosden-trained Mostahdaf, who opened his four-year-old campaign with success in the Group Three Gordon Richards Stakes over the same course and distance, and Sir Michael Stoute’s Bay Bridge, who is unbeaten in his last four starts and also makes his seasonal bow.

Haggas continued: “There are two very smart horses against him and I guess we will all be in the same boat. John’s horse has had a run but he has a 3lb penalty.

“The other horse is a typical Sir Michael improver and he will be very hard to beat as well.

“But as long as Addeybb runs a good race and looks like he still has plenty of ability, I will be happy.”

Thady Gosden says Mostahdaf, the mount of Jim Crowley, has taken his pipe-opener well, and hopes he will be able to concede 3lb to main market rivals Addeybb and Bay Bridge.

Mostahdaf (centre) took the three-runner Gordon Richards Stakes over course and distance last time
Mostahdaf (centre) took the three-runner Gordon Richards Stakes over course and distance last time (John Walton/PA)

He said: “He had done well since he won the Gordon Richards. He won that well enough on the same track. He does carry a 3lb penalty in what is a very competitive Brigadier Gerard, as Addeyeb, as we know, is a good horse with a serious record.

“Mostahdhaf is a horse with a very good action and obviously won’t want any extremes of ground, so the ground should not be a concern.

“We hope he will run nicely and not find any trouble in running which can sometimes happen at Sandown.”

After an unbeaten three-year-old campaign, Stoute hopes Bay Bridge can continue to climb the latter on his first start since winning the James Seymour Stakes over a similar trip at Newmarket in October.

Bay Bridge makes his seasonal bow after an unbeaten three-year-old campaign
Bay Bridge makes his seasonal bow after an unbeaten three-year-old campaign (John Walton/PA)

“He is climbing into Group Class,” said Stoute. “It is a very tough contest. He will run well but he has been off a long time and it will just put an edge on him.

“I’m not worried about the ground and we don’t need any rain. He will take it soft and it will be good to firm at Sandown I think, which will be fine for him.”

Nine-year-old Lord Glitters shoulders top weight of 9st 7lb, having landed the valuable Group Two Singspiel Stakes at Meydan in February, and is asked to concede 5lb to both Addeybb and Bay Bridge.

Winner of 10 of his 42 races, the globetrotting grey has amassed over £2.2 million in prize money and his trainer, David O’Meara, says anything he does now is a bonus.

“Life is gong to be pretty tough for him for a bit with that penalty for winning the Singspiel Stakes, the Group Two in Dubai,” said O’Meara.

Gallant grey Lord Glitters has proven to be a real money-spinner for connections
Gallant grey Lord Glitters has proven to be a real money-spinner for connections (Adam Davy/PA)

“He has had a brilliant winter and he won the Bahrain International Trophy as well as the Singspiel.

“For all we have a little moan about the penalty, he has won a lot of money this winter and we have to get him started somewhere.

“I didn’t think he was quite up to the Queen Anne this year as he is getting on and he probably wants nine or 10 furlongs nowadays. So, we’ll start here.

“He feels great at home and he seems in good form – he is working well, but it just seems a big ask to give that weight away to some good horses.”

Should all go well for Lord Glitters at Sandown, O’Meara could stay closer to home for his next start.

“There are a couple of races at York – the York Stakes and the Strensall in August,” said O’Meara. “These are the type of races we will look at.

“He has won over £2million in prize money and I’m not sure there are too many horses racing at the moment who have done that.”

Though Saeed bin Suroor is likely heading to Ripon to watch exciting prospect Shining Blue run in a novice race, he will have more than one eye on Dubai Future and Passion And Glory, who round out the field.

Saeed bin Suroor hopes Passion And Glory can book his ticket to Royal Ascot
Saeed bin Suroor hopes Passion And Glory can book his ticket to Royal Ascot (John Walton/PA)

Dubai Future has plenty to find with Lord Glitters on his run in the Bahrain International Trophy, but was not disgraced despite being unplaced in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic when last seen in March.

Passion And Glory has similarly not had a run since finishing a close-up fifth to Stay Foolish in the Dubai Gold Cup and drops back in trip after that run in the two-mile Group Two contest at Meydan.

“It is a very tough race with some very good horses,” said Bin Suroor. “This will be a preparation to get them to get them ready for Royal Ascot.

“Dubai Future has a Hardwicke Stakes entry, but I want to see them both run well, otherwise I won’t run them at Ascot. They have both had a couple of months’ break after running in Meydan.

“The ground will be fine with them and the the horses are running well.”

Marquand excited to renew Addeybb partnership at Sandown

Tom Marquand is “absolutely buzzing” at the prospect of being reunited with Addeybb in the Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on Thursday.

The William Haggas-trained eight-year-old has played a key part in the rider’s rise through the ranks, with the pair teaming up to win three Group Ones in Australia as well as the Champion Stakes at Ascot in 2020.

The Pivotal gelding was due for another trip to Australia earlier in the year, but a blood clot on his hock became infected and for a while there were genuine concerns about whether he would survive.

Thankfully, Addeybb has made a full recovery and he is due to make his first competitive appearance in just over seven months in Thursday evening’s Group Three feature.

“He looks fantastic and I’m absolutely buzzing to get back on him,” Marquand told Sky Sports Racing.

“He’s an absolute star and you couldn’t find a better ride. It’s great to have him back and wonderful to see him in one piece and happy.

“Hopefully he comes back on the track and shows what he can do and shows what he’s shown in the past.”

Marquand admits only time will tell how much ability Addeybb retains as he is not the flashiest of horses on the Newmarket gallops.

He added: “It was a tough time at the end of last year when at one point it looked like we were going to lose him. Just to have him back is the important thing and whatever he does now, he doesn’t owe anyone anything. I think we can just enjoy him now.

“I think this will certainly decide what he’s going to do at (Royal) Ascot, but because he doesn’t overdo himself at home we don’t really know quite what form he’s in.

“He looks great and is showing all the right indications, but until he gets on track we won’t really know.

“Thursday is going to be an interesting day and I’m just looking forward to getting back on board him.”

Mostahdaf (centre) in action at Sandown
Mostahdaf (centre) in action at Sandown (John Walton/PA)

Addeybb is one of six horses declared for the Brigadier Gerard, with John and Thady Gosden’s Mostahdaf the likely favourite following last month’s course-and-distance success in the Gordon Richards Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Bay Bridge steps up in class on his seasonal debut after winning each of his four starts in 2021, while David O’Meara’s Lord Glitters returns to British action after winning in Bahrain and Dubai during the winter.

Saeed bin Suroor’s pair of Dubai Future and Passion And Glory complete the line-up.

Addeybb all set to return to action in the summer

William Haggas has issued a clean bill of health to Addeybb following a serious health scare at the end of last year.

Now an eight-year-old, the globetrotting gelding is on course to return to action in the summer.

Having enjoyed great success in Australia for the past coupe of years, a blood clot on his hock, which then became infected, prevented the son of Pivotal from returning this time around.

Tom Marquand celebrates Champion Stakes glory with Addeybb
Tom Marquand celebrates Champion Stakes glory with Addeybb (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Haggas was fearful for his future at one stage but thankfully Addeybb, a four-time Group One winner, including the 2020 Champion Stakes at Ascot, has made a full recovery.

“He’s marvellous, he’s in good shape,” said Haggas.

“We had a real scare, we thought we were going to lose him in November but he’s fine now.

“Hopefully we’ll have him ready to return in the summer.”

Haggas eyeing more air miles for Dubai Honour

Dubai Honour has opened the door to a wealth of international options with trainer William Haggas suggesting the ‘world is his oyster’ after finishing a close-up fourth against older rivals in the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin.

Fourth in the Britannia Handicap off a mark of 91 at Royal Ascot in June, the rapidly-improving gelding won a pair of valuable French Group Two events before finishing runner-up in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on his previous outing.

The Mohamed Obaida-owned four-year-old backed that up when finishing a length and a half behind Loves Only You in the valuable 10-furlong Group One event in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Having been held up, Tom Marquand’s mount was short of room approaching the final furlong, but when eventually finding a gap, he finished off his race nicely and answered a few questions for his Newmarket handler.

Haggas said: “He ran a good race – a very good race. He seemed fine afterwards. I saw him trot up this morning (Monday) and we are very happy with him so far.

“So, I think the world is his oyster, really, and he he has shown he can go on quicker ground, which is important for international races. It means if it rains he can cope with it and if it doesn’t he can also cope with it.”

With the likes of stablemate Addeybb plundering the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in Australia earlier this year, Haggas is no stranger to top-level success abroad, where prize money is often significantly higher.

And Haggas may well be tempted to plot an overseas campaign for the son of Pride Of Dubai, who could follow a similar path trodden by Addeybb, currently recovering following an infected blood clot in a hock.

“I haven’t got a clue where we go next, really, but there are so many options,” admitted the trainer.

“We have got to decide whether we campaign him in England or whether to campaign him internationally – and that brings in all sorts of races, including the Dubai Sheema Classic.

“It is possible we could go back to Hong Kong in April for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

“The big races in Hong Kong are pretty valuable and it is important with him, because he is gelded, and there is no residual value, so he has got to chase the money.

“I am delighted with the way he ran and performed and the way he took it, so it is exciting going forward.”

Addeybb suffered a blood clot on his hock that became infected
Addeybb suffered a blood clot on his hock that became infected (Mike Egerton/PA)

Haggas also had positive news about Addeybb, who beat subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant in landing the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the last of three Group One victories in Australia, before two domestic appearances this season.

The son of Pivotal finished sixth in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October, but was subsequently found to be lame.

However, Haggas says the seven-year-old gelding is over the worst.

“He is going okay,” said the trainer. “I think we will turn him out shortly if he is okay.

“He will need a month off and there are absolutely no targets for him yet.”

Setback scuppers Australian plans for Addeybb

Addeybb has been hit with a setback that has ruled him out of a third successive trip to Australia for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

William Haggas’ talented seven-year-old suffered a blood clot on his hock that became infected and warranted Addeybb spending two weeks in an equine hospital.

He is now back at Haggas’ stables in Newmarket to complete his recovery. The trainer expects Addeybb to race next season, but he will not be ready to head to Australia in February.

Addeybb has had a successful time the last two years there, winning the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick twice and finishing first and second in the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill.

Trainer William Haggas
Trainer William Haggas (Nigel French/PA)

Haggas said: “He came back home from hospital on Monday. I think and hope he’s going to be OK. He’s definitely made some improvement but that’s going to scupper him (going to Australia). He won’t be able to leave England next February.

“His infection markers have improved, we’re not out of the woods, but I think we’re making good headway.

“Those sort of things can be nasty. They can be no good and it’s good he’s better.

“I very much hope he’ll be OK for next season. He owes us absolutely nothing and we won’t take any risks with him. From an Australian point of view this is a bad time, but from any other point of view it’s a good time to have a bit of a setback.”

Dubai Honour set to go on his travels after Champion Stakes second

Gallant Champion Stakes runner-up Dubai Honour has several options abroad after his meteoric rise through the ranks.

Beaten in a nursery at York off a mark of 90 this time last year, he has subsequently won three of his five outings including two Group Twos in France.

Having been supplemented for Saturday’s race, he showed he belongs at the highest level when just failing to peg back Sealiway.

“He ran a fantastic race. It got a little bit messy early, but then he got into a nice rhythm. I thought he came to win but the other horse outstayed him in the end,” said his proud trainer William Haggas, who also ran last year’s winner Addeybb and Al Aasy.

“He’d done a lot of running from three (furlongs) out to one out and these are good horses. He gave them a bit of a start on soft ground.

“They’d gone really hard. The plan was for Tom (Marquand) to go forward with Addeybb, but he was a bit fresh and William’s (Buick) horse (Adayar) never left him alone. They got racing and paid for it in the straight.

“The French horse (Sealiway) got a lovely tow into it, but he’s obviously a very smart colt. I thought we were going to get him but his run just petered out.”

As a gelding, Dubai Honour could have a long career ahead of him, with his next start likely to be abroad.

“He’s come such a long way, Dubai Honour. He was fourth in a soft ground nursery at York in October last year and while it was a little unfortunate, he wasn’t desperately unlucky, so you couldn’t envisage the progress he’s made,” said Haggas.

“I’m not trying to say I’m clever at all but that’s the way we train them, to get them to improve – we nurse them at two to try to get them to get better as they get older.

“He’s in the Bahrain race (Bahrain International Trophy) and I had hoped to go there to support it, but he had quite a hard race. He may not run anywhere and may be trained for Dubai.

“He’s a gelding now so has no residual value apart from what he can win on the track. He’s won some decent money already but Hong Kong is very valuable, so is Bahrain and so is Dubai – so they are the options for him.”

As for his other two runners, Haggas said: “I don’t know what happened with Al Aasy.

Addeybb could not repeat his victory of 12 months ago
Addeybb could not repeat his victory of 12 months ago (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He’s fine but I thought it was tailor-made for him. Good gallop, soft ground but whether going right doesn’t suit him, I don’t know. He never travelled at all so it’s back to the drawing board with him, he is a talented horse.

“As for Addeybb, he’s now rising eight and simply needed a run which I couldn’t get into him. At Ayr the forecast let me down when they said it wasn’t going to rain and it did. It would have been a long way to go and not run. Then we wanted to run at Goodwood but it didn’t rain and was too firm.

“We gave him a serious racecourse gallop at Newmarket which he had a good blow after, but it’s not the same. He was just enthusiastic through the race and Adayar never left him alone.

“I need to discuss his plan with the owners. There’s only one race left for him which is the Premio Roma in Italy and isn’t very valuable, a Group Two race, but he might well run as we’ll find out if he’s as good as he was or if he’s showing his age.

“No disrespect, but if he can’t win that then he doesn’t want to be flogging across the world to Australia. So while it wasn’t my plan, he could go there.”

Addeybb heads 14 contenders for Champion Stakes glory

Last year’s winner Addeybb, Derby and King George hero Adayar and the brilliant Mishriff are among 14 confirmations for the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

The William Haggas-trained Addeybb bagged his first Group One victory on home soil in the Champions Day feature 12 months ago, but has made just three appearances since.

The seven-year-old returned to Australia to defend both the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Randwick, having to make do with the runner-up spot in the former event but successfully defending his QEII crown.

Addeybb made a promising return from a break when splitting St Mark’s Basilica and Mishriff in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in early July, but has missed multiple engagements since due to unsuitable ground conditions.

Tom Marquand will be on board and told Sky Sports Racing: “Whether the ground will be quite in his favour – I can’t see how it will dry out too much at this time of year as the dew in the morning keeps the moisture in.

“I was informed the other day he galloped very well, but I don’t get near him too often at home as he’s not usually the best work horse and William likes me to keep my confidence in him by riding him in races instead!

“It sounds like he’s in great form and everyone is happy. There are no chinks in his armour, he’s danced every dance and been to the other side of the world a couple of times and proved himself here in the Champion last year.”

Haggas, who will be praying for as much as rain as possible ahead of his bid for back-to-back Champion Stakes triumphs this weekend, reports Addeybb to be in “as good a shape as we could possibly have him.”

He said: “We are very pleased with Addeybb’s condition. We’d like rain for him, and the more the better, but it doesn’t look as if we are going to get it. I’d be surprised if it was quick ground though, as it was so wet there at the last meeting, and he’ll run.

“I’d have loved him to have had a run, as it’s a top, top race, but he goes well fresh and he can win off a lay-off. His last two weeks have been really good.”

The Somerville Lodge handler looks set to launch a three-pronged assault, with Al Aasy and the supplemented Dubai Honour also in the mix.

Connections of Dubai Honour have stumped up the required £75,000 to add him to the field off the back of his impressive display in the Prix Dollar at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.

Dubai Honour after winning the Prix Dollar
Dubai Honour after winning the Prix Dollar (PA)

“Dubai Honour is a nice young horse who has won two Group Twos. He’s doing very well physically and he’s a pretty useful horse,” Haggas added.

“This will be a big rise in class for him, but we’ve got nothing to lose. I’m running Al Aasy too, and he’s not without hope, dropping back in trip. Everyone questions him bar me, but he’s a very, very talented horse.”

Charlie Appleby confirmed over the weekend that Adayar would be left in the Champion Stakes at the confirmation stage, with a final decision on his participation to be made later in the week.

If the three-year-old does take his chance, he will be turning out just 13 days after finishing fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Adayar remains in contention for the Champion Stakes
Adayar remains in contention for the Champion Stakes (Nigel French/PA)

The marginal favourite with most bookmakers is John and Thady Gosden’s Mishriff, who has been saved for this race since his dominant display in the Juddmonte International at York in August.

The Saudi Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic winner had previously finished third in the Eclipse and runner-up to Adayar in the King George.

Gosden said: “We’ve been happy with Mishriff since York and we are looking forward to running him again.

“It’s always one race at a time, but we wanted to space his races in case we go on to run later in the year, possibly at the Breeders’ Cup.

“It looks like being a good race and we should get better ground than last year, when he really didn’t like it. He can handle soft, but last year it became specialists’ ground. Full marks to all of the winners that day, but it’s hard to quicken on that stuff.”

Snowfall winning the Yorkshire Oaks
Snowfall winning the Yorkshire Oaks (Nigel French/PA)

Aidan O’Brien has left in Love, Bolshoi Ballet and Snowfall, with Jim Bolger’s Mac Swiney and the Noel Meade-trained Helvic Dream the other Irish contenders.

Cedric Rossi’s Arc fifth Sealiway could represent France.

Euchen Glen (Jim Goldie), Lady Bowthorpe (William Jarvis) and Foxes Tales (Andrew Balding) are the other hopefuls.

Rous Stakes under consideration for Hurricane Ivor

William Haggas has ruled out supplementing his improving sprinter Hurricane Ivor for the Prix de l’Abbaye next weekend – with an appearance at Ascot more likely if he runs again this season.

The four-year-old followed up his victory in this month’s Portland Handicap under top-weight when handling the step up in class to Group Three company at Newbury seven days later.

He showed plenty of speed over the five furlongs, and Haggas may therefore have been tempted to aim high. But for this year at least, he prefers to stay closer to home.

“I don’t think we’ll go for the Abbaye. He’s not in it, and it’s a big supplement,” he said.

“They have such a draw bias there. He’s now a hold-up horse, and usually what happens is they all clamber over to the inside rail and you don’t get a run, so I think we’ll leave that.

“We’ll have a look at the Rous Stakes (Ascot, October 2). It’s only a Listed, and he’ll have a penalty, but he’s in good shape.

“He’s gelded now, so he’s running for money, and I don’t know how long he’ll stay in good form. He ran a good race at Ascot the last time he went there – so if he goes anywhere he might go there.

“He’s not in anything smart, but we’ll be putting him in a few smart races next year. I don’t see any reason why he can’t continue next year to run like he is at the moment.”

Addeybb (left) won the Champion Stakes last year
Addeybb (left) won the Champion Stakes last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

While stablemate Addeybb is also heading to Ascot but for Champions Day on October 16, how he gets there has been complicated by the weather – with an outing at Goodwood this week shelved because of fast ground.

“The weather has been a real nuisance, and now we’re under a bit of pressure,” said Haggas.

“The next suitable race is the Prix Dollar on Arc weekend. But that’s getting a bit close to the Champion Stakes if we have a setback, so it looks like a racecourse gallop or two.”

Addeybb set for Goodwood ahead of Champions Day

William Haggas is tuning up his two big guns for Champions Day, with Addeybb set to run at Goodwood on Wednesday should conditions allow.

The current Champion Stakes title holder has not been seen since running with credit behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Eclipse in July, finishing in front of subsequent Juddmonte International winner Mishriff.

While he was entered at Ayr and Newbury on Saturday, Haggas felt the ground would be too quick, and with the prospect of rain this weekend and the Foundation Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday available, he has decided to wait.

He will be joined at Ascot next month by the unbeaten Baaeed, who is set to have a mouthwatering clash with Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

“The ground wasn’t soft enough for Addeybb this weekend but he needs a run, so we’ve put him in at Goodwood on Wednesday,” said Haggas.

“He’ll almost nearly have to run there, but I didn’t want to flog him up to Ayr when the forecast I saw said the rain, which they thought was coming on Friday, has dissipated now.

“It’s a shame but Goodwood will be fine, hopefully. They are due some rain at the weekend and I’m hoping they get plenty.”

Baaeed has emerged as one of the best horses in training
Baaeed has emerged as one of the best horses in training (Tim Goode/PA)

Baaeed handled the step up to Group Once company when winning the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp, beating the Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Order Of Australia to stretch his winning run to five.

“Baaeed is in good shape and aiming for the QEII,” said Haggas.

“We’re planning to run at Ascot, but if it’s bottomless we may have to think again.

“He’s been fine since the race and the I think that race will have done him good and I’m happy with him.”

Fearby firing on all cylinders for Mill Reef test

Trainer Ed Bethell reports Fearby in fine shape for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

A Listed winner at Sandown earlier in the season, Fearby has subsequently finished second in the Molecomb and fourth in the Gimcrack.

“After the Gimcrack, this looked the next logical target really,” said Bethell.

“We could have gone to France but we thought we’d stick around in England.

“It’s going to be a competitive race, as you’d imagine for a Group Two. But he’s going there in good form after a little freshen-up after York, and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I would imagine he’d be one of the more fancied runners, and he’s in very good order.”

Dhabab, last seen finishing third to National Stakes winner Native Trail, also features among 17 possibles on Saturday.

John and Thady Gosden’s youngster was a debut winner at Leicester before claiming sixth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Clive Cox has three contenders at this stage in Crazyland, Dark Swansong and Wings Of War, while Michael O’Callaghan could once again bring Twilight Jet over from Ireland after solid runs in the Gimcrack and Champagne Stakes.

Last year's Champion Stakes winner Addeybb could run this weekend
Last year’s Champion Stakes winner Addeybb could run this weekend (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gis A Sub, Gubbass and Khunan bring top form to the table – while Hugo Palmer has supplemented Hierarchy, after he was third in the Sirenia Stakes.

The Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup, previously known as the Arc Trial, sees William Haggas’ Addeybb top 12 entries.

On this weekend last year he won the Doonside Cup at Ayr, and he has also been entered in that same race once more, with Haggas no doubt aiming him at the most suitable going.

Haggas has two more contenders in Al Aasy, gelded since last seen, and Ilaraab, a huge disappointment when favourite for the Ebor.

Khaadem was impressive at Doncaster last week
Khaadem was impressive at Doncaster last week (Mike Egerton/PA)

Derby also-ran John Leeper has the same two options as Addeybb – and Andrew Balding has entered Bangkok, Foxes Tales and Fox Tal.

Solid Stone and Star Safari are also possibles – while in the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes, Haggas’ Portland winner Hurricane Ivor could be out again quickly.

Charlie Hills’ Khaadem, another winner at the St Leger meeting, Balding’s King’s Lynn and Tis Marvellous, the Beverley Bullet winner, are among 11 entries.

Haggas targeting Champion Stakes defence for Addeybb

William Haggas has the defence of Adeyybb’s Qipco Champion Stakes crown very much in mind for his globe-trotting gelding.

Having struck gold in Australia in the early part of last year, the son of Pivotal landed a cherished first domestic Group One at Ascot in October, beating French ace Skalleti by two and a quarter lengths.

He went to Australia again this year – and again landed the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He made his seasonal British return with a very creditable runner-up finish to St Mark’s Basilica in the Coral-Eclipse.

The Newmarket trainer said: “It was great to win the Champion Stakes last year, fantastic. Addeybb was really on his game that day, too. If we can get him like that again that would be great.

“Right now he is in a field, but he will have a run before the Champion Stakes. He was a little bit rusty in the Eclipse and the ground wasn’t really slow enough for him, but I thought he ran well and he kept going up the hill as usual.

“I am sure we will meet St Mark’s Basilica again at Ascot. It’s called the Champion Stakes for a reason. It’s where the good ones go.”

He added: “Qipco British Champions Day is a huge and momentous occasion. It’s the culmination of a long season in Britain. Everyone wants to win there.

“The purists may think it is too late, but it’s fantastic racing and it’s not always heavy (ground).”

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, St Mark’s Basilica is one of a host of Ballydoyle entries for the jewel in the crown of Qipco British Champions Day.

St Mark’s Basilica won a high-class renewal of the Eclipse
St Mark’s Basilica won a high-class renewal of the Eclipse (Nigel French/PA)

O’Brien said: “St Mark’s Basilica is in at York and Leopardstown and is entered on Champions Day as well.

“We will get a little bit down the road before we really commit. Snowfall has the two entries (Champion Stakes and Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares). We are looking at the Yorkshire Oaks at the moment for her.”

Another O’Brien contender, Love, was last seen finishing third in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

O’Brien said: “The King George was a little bit of a funny race. Our other horse Broome got left five lengths and he still ended up being able to make the running easily. Ryan (Moore) had to wait to make his run a lot later than he would have preferred and in the end she probably had no race at all.

“Where she goes next I am not sure, but we will give her a little bit of time before we decide that. She seems to be in good form.

“Bolshoi Ballet is in America at the moment and he is going to run in Saratoga at the weekend in a Group One there. Santa Barbara (entered for Champion Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) is going back to America the following weekend for the mile-and-a-quarter fillies’ race. They will come back to Europe after that. Neither of them are soft ground horses.”

Skaletti has been in fine form this season, being in unbeaten in four outings – the last two of those at Group One level.

His trainer Jerome Reynier said: “As a gelding the most prestigious race he could win is definitely the Champion Stakes, so we’ve been planning his season to bank on it.

“He will probably have one or two races before it and we really hope he will be able to have his ground on the day. He will probably go back to the Prix Dollar for a third time if he is in good form and the ground is soft enough, but we are aiming much for the Champion Stakes. If the ground is not soft enough for Arc weekend, he will be skipping the Prix Dollar.

“He had never run in a Group One prior to the Champion Stakes last year. The opposition was very high with Mishriff, Magical and Addeybb, but we were quite confident he’d run well.

“We really wanted to see how competitive he was going to be against those horses, and now we know we have one of the best horses in Europe on turf at a mile and a quarter.”

Mishriff was an excellent second in the King George
Mishriff was an excellent second in the King George (Nigel French/PA)

John Gosden, who enjoyed wide-margin Champion Stakes wins with Cracksman in 2017 and 2018, has two obvious candidates in Mishriff, who was third in the Eclipse and a fine second to Adayar in the King George, and Lord North. He has also entered Palace Pier here, as well as in the QEII.

He said: “Mishriff goes to York first for the Juddmonte and will then probably run in the Champion Stakes. Lord North is a possibility, too. He had a throat infection and couldn’t run in the Eclipse, so he hasn’t run since Meydan in March, so he’ll be coming fresh for the autumn.”

The race is also a possibility for last week’s Qatar Nassau Stakes winner Lady Bowthorpe.

Trainer William Jarvis said: “She’s had a long season, but she’s very tough and has an amazing constitution, so if she’s still enjoying her work we’ll definitely consider the Champion Stakes. In the meantime though we’ll keep her against her own sex for as long as we can, and there’s the Prix Jean Romanet and the Prix de l’Opera to look at before Ascot.”

Monday Musings: St Mark My Words!

The sports pages yesterday were dominated by a certain football match in Rome and, much earlier on Saturday, the 18-year-old world number 338-rated female tennis player wowing the home crowd at Wimbledon, writes Tony Stafford. At least on a par, ten miles down the A3 in Esher, St Mark’s Basilica was deservedly making his own headlines.

There is winning a Group 1 race, indeed one completed in slower time for the Sandown Park ten furlongs than the two handicaps over that trip on the card, and then there’s winning it like a potential champion.

You can list a big winner’s credentials but when it gets into the top level it is rare to find a horse running past fully tested Group 1 performers in a few strides and drawing away. That is what St Mark’s Basilica did in swamping Mishriff and Addeybb for speed once Ryan Moore unleashed him.

Afterwards there was the inevitable qualifying of the performance, commentators suggesting Addeybb, who battled back to wrest second off Mishriff, and the third horse may have both come to the race a little under-cooked.

Well here’s the rub. Both horses had already won Group 1 races this year, Addeybb continuing his Australian odyssey with another defeat of the brilliant mare Verry Elleegant in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April while Mishriff earned his owner Prince Abdulrahman Abdullah Faisal just about £10 million when annexing his own country’s Saudi Cup and the Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night.

Those wins illustrated his versatility, the former over nine furlongs on dirt and the latter a mile and a half on turf, so Sandown’s mile and a quarter will have fitted comfortably within his parameters.

When Mishriff drew alongside Addeybb in the straight on ground possibly a little less soft than ideal for the leader, he looked set to win, but St Mark’s Basilica was poised in behind in this four-horse field and, when given the signal by Ryan, he sailed serenely clear.

Sandown’s tough uphill conclusion often provides sudden changes in momentum. By the line St Mark’s Basilica was, either from loneliness or simply feeling the effects of the sudden change in velocity that took him clear, definitely if marginally coming back to the rallying Addeybb.

But William Haggas’ seven-year-old is a battle-hardened winner of 12 of 23 career starts. Mishriff, handled skilfully by the Gosdens, has won six of 11, but until Saturday his only defeat in the previous six had been in Addeybb’s Champion Stakes where he appeared not to appreciate the very testing ground.

Saturday’s success makes St Mark’s Basilica the winner of four Group 1 races in succession starting with the Dewhurst. That normally is the race that signals the champion juvenile of his year and then he went on to hoard both French Classics open to males, the Poulains and Jockey Club, where his electric burst heralded the type of performance we saw on Saturday.

In a year where four-fifths of the Aidan O’Brien Classic winners have been four different fillies and none of them Santa Barbara, the fifth has been going a long way to eradicate the overall disappointing showings – so far, and remember it is a long season – of the other colts.

A son of Siyouni – also the sire of Sottsass, the 2020 Arc winner, now standing his first-year stallion duties for €30k a pop at Coolmore Stud – his two French Classic wins made him an obvious object of admiration for French breeders as previously mentioned here.

Unfortunately, their pockets will need to have become much deeper than anticipated with each successive Group 1 victory and if the speed that has characterised all his wins remains or, as is more likely, intensifies with experience, he will easily outstrip his sire’s appeal – and stud fee.

Any thought that he will end up anywhere other than Co Tipperary is fanciful and with all those mares needing partners he will have an enviable stream of potential mates. One slight difficulty is that his dam, Cabaret, is by Galileo.

Cabaret was an unusual product of Galileo on the racetrack, atypically precocious enough to win twice including a Group 3 by mid-July of her two-year-old season but never nearer than seventh in four more races. Sold for £600k at the end of her four-year-old season – double the yearling price at which she joined Coolmore – she has been the dam not only of St Mark’s Basilica but also Aidan O’Brien’s 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, by Invincible Spirit.

Post-race quotes of 6-4 for the Juddmonte International look just about spot on in a year when you get the impression that Aidan is being more confident in narrowing down his candidates for the biggest races to the single most deserving.

Of course, there’s still Love as a possible for the Juddmonte as she won reverting to ten furlongs at Royal Ascot, but why wouldn’t O’Brien prefer to keep her in her comfort zone for a second Yorkshire Oaks at a mile and a half? Then it is the small matter in three weeks of the King George, for which in a vastly over-round market, Love and the Derby winner Adayar are vying for favouritism at around 2-1 or 9-4, with St Mark’s Basilica moving in close at 4-1 if Aidan wants to stretch him out to 12 furlongs as soon as that.

And what of Snowfall? A 16-length Classic winner is not one to ignore wherever she runs. It’s great having a lot of good horses: the trick is knowing where to run them.

One trainer who never seems to be at a loss in choosing the right target for his equine inmates is William Haggas. With 67 wins from 266 runs, but more pertinently having won with 49 of the 106 individual horses he has run this year, the Newmarket trainer operates at a better than 25% strike rate despite many of his horses having to run in high-class handicaps.

If they sometimes are not raised as rapidly as those of his fellow trainers who might have a much less healthy strike rate, the economy with which they often win is at least a contributary factor.

But they are invariably well bet, so for Haggas to be losing under a fiver to level stakes for those 266 runners is miraculous. I saw Bernard Kantor, a patron of Haggas, again last week and we were musing as to whether his Catterick winner Sans Pretension – remember she was DROPPED 2lb for that! – would ever be reappearing.

The next day, Bernard excitedly told me, “She is in at Yarmouth on Wednesday,” about his Galileo filly. I’m sure he will have seen a later and much more high-profile entry in a fillies’ race at Ascot on Friday. I could be tempted as there’s another horse on the same card I really ought to go to see. I had planned to wait until post July 19, so possibly the King George, but maybe I will try to go this week. I bet Sans Pretension will not be too far away in whichever race the shrewd Mr Haggas decides upon.

There are some jewels that one’s eye will often pass over when looking for something in the Racing Post records. While Haggas has had nine winners from 41 runs in the past fortnight there is another area where he has plenty to prove.

Like Ryan Moore, who won a hurdle race first time on the track for his dad before ever riding on the Flat and who has not revisited that discipline since, Haggas had a go at jumping. I know he had at least one winner over jumps, Fen Terrier on October 20, 1995, at Fakenham, but possibly only one.

The 6-4 second favourite, a daughter of Emerati owned by Jolly Farmer Racing, won narrowly with the 5-4 favourite Dominion’s Dream, trained by Martin Pipe, ten lengths behind in third.

William has had a further seven runners over jumps in the intervening 9,389 days without another win. I wonder if he considers he has something to prove. Probably not!

Another of my favourite meetings will come and go without my attendance this week. Whenever I think of Newmarket July I go back to the day when Hitman broke the track record in the competitive ten-furlong three-year-old handicap for owners the Paper Boys, and Brough Scott insisted I do an interview for the telly.

My then wife was blissfully unaware of my association with the Henry Cecil colt, that was until a colleague on a day off who was interested in racing congratulated her on the win in the office the next morning. Other similar offences were digested and clearly taken into account before the eventual inevitable domestic rupture!

- TS

Fabulous four take Eclipse challenge

French Guineas and Derby winner St Mark’s Basilica will take on older horses for the first time in Saturday’s enthralling renewal of the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown with a small but select field of four set to line up.

The 10-furlong Group One is always one of the highlights of the season as it is generally the first time the Classic generation tackle their elders in one of the showpiece races.

While there may not be many runners, the race lacks little in quality with Mishriff and Addeybb setting a very high bar for St Mark’s Basilica to aim at.

Having won the Dewhurst last year as Aidan O’Brien’s second-string, St Mark’s Basilica has continued to progress and has enjoyed two successful forays to France this season.

He is on his travels once more this weekend but slightly closer to home.

Mishriff has been a revelation for John and Thady Gosden, proving his versatility over different trips and surfaces.

He was a big price to beat his stablemate Waldkonig when racing resumed last June but since then his progress has been – bar one blip – phenomenal.

Mishriff won the French Derby on his next outing, returned to France to win a Group Two in August and his sole defeat came in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Mishriff goes through his paces on the Newmarket gallops on Friday morning
Mishriff goes through his paces on the Newmarket gallops on Friday morning (Joe Giddens/PA)

Since then he has won a valuable pot in Saudi Arabia on dirt – beating some of the best Americans – and then returned to turf to prove he stays twelve furlongs in the Sheema Classic in Dubai.

David Egan keeps the ride on Mishriff in his role as retained rider for owner Prince Faisal and he is targeting the the latest leg in the middle distance category of this year’s Qipco British Champions Series.

“He’s a fresh and enthusiastic horse who can be ridden any way you want,” said Egan.

“I rode him very differently in the Saudi Cup and at Meydan, and having been able to lay up over nine furlongs on dirt, for which you need a lot of speed, he then switched off at the back of the field over a mile and a half on turf at Meydan.

“Not many horses can win at the highest level on dirt and turf, let alone over trips as varied as that, so it was a tremendous achievement. I think the stiff 10 furlongs at Sandown will be ideal for him. He’ll enjoy that climb and he should be doing his best work at the end, so I’m very excited.”

The winner of the Champion Stakes, though, was William Haggas’ Addeybb, another globetrotter.

While that was his first Group One in Europe, he does have three in Australia to his name and despite being seven, retains all his ability.

Roger Varian’s El Drama, winner of the Dee Stakes at Chester but unplaced behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Prix du Jockey Club, completes the field.

As expected David Menuisier did not declare Wonderful Tonight while O’Brien chose to take out Armory and Japan, also.

Haggas eager for Addeybb to take Eclipse chance

Addeybb is set to run in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday whatever the ground conditions.

Trainer William Haggas is keen to get the seven-year-old track for the first time since he returned from another successful stint in Australia.

The Newmarket handler took Addeybb out of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot due to the fast ground, but will not be swayed by conditions on this occasion.

“He’s fine and he’s ready to race. We’ve had this in mind since he got back from Australia so we’re pleased to be there,” Haggas told Sky Sports Racing.

“He’s quite durable, but the ground on both occasions in Australia was not as soft as he’d like.

“He ran on good to firm and a soft five which is on the slow side of good, if that. He never got heavy ground and subsequently he had to fight harder, certainly in the second one (Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick), than he did the previous year.

“I don’t know yet whether he’s just losing it a bit or whether it was simply the ground. We know that soft ground is for him and better ground he’s not quite effective on, but he’s still pretty good.

“I’d be pretty loath to take him out because he needs to race. You can’t keep practising on the (Newmarket) Heath and in the nets and not get out in the middle. He needs a run.

“My forecast says there’s a chance of rain on Friday and on Saturday, Maureen’s (wife) forecaster says the opposite so who knows, but what will be will be.”

Haggas believes this year’s Eclipse is living up to its billing as the first big showdown between the three-year-olds and older horses.

“This is what this race is all about. It’s the clash of the generations,” he said.

“Here you’ve got a really top-class speedier three-year-old (St Mark’s Basilica) who’s won two Classics and won the Dewhurst last year, so he’s obviously a very good horse.

“You’ve got Mishriff, who won a French Derby and really excelled in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, and then our fella who keeps battling away and bashing away. He’s as reliable a yardstick as you can get.

“If the ground came up soft, heavy in places, our chance would increase and maybe St Mark’s Basilicia’s wouldn’t, so who knows what’s going to happen.”

Classic Trial winner Alenquer set to reappear in King Edward VII

Alenquer has Royal Ascot on his agenda having been forced to miss the Cazoo Derby and the German equivalent.

A surprise winner of the Sandown Classic Trial, William Haggas was contemplating supplementing the lightly-raced colt for Epsom but a minor problem scuppered that plan.

“He won’t be supplemented, he had a little blip before the Dante but is on his way back, he’s going to miss the Derby,” said Haggas.

“We have the option of supplementing for the Irish Derby.

“I had my heart set on the German Derby because he’s by the German-bred stallion Adlerflug, but Germany have basically said they don’t want us as England is on the red list in Germany surprisingly.

“I would like to think he will go for the King Edward VII.”

Ilaraab, who helped put Haggas’ Derby hope Mohaafeth through his paces on the Rowley Mile on Wednesday, will aim to stretch his unbeaten run to seven in the Hardwicke Stakes.

“I think he’ll go, he’s a dude,” said Haggas.

Ilaraab winning his sixth successive race, this time at York on his reappearance
Ilaraab winning his sixth successive race, this time at York on his reappearance (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He’s got a lot to find, but the handicapper seems to think all my handicap winners are exceptional and stuffs them up and gives me no choice but to go for a race of better quality.

“France is so difficult to get to, Ireland is pretty competitive so there’s no other option, but I’ll be delighted to take him there. I think he’s better left-handed, but you can’t have everything.”

Stable stalwart and Champion Stakes winner Addeybb is also likely to be Ascot-bound, as long as the ground is suitable, having again struck Group One gold on his visit to Australia.

“He’s marvellous. He needs rain. He ran twice in Australia on good ground, but was really unfortunate,” said Haggas.

“The championships were called off on the first weekend because of a monsoon when the Ranvet was supposed to be run so it would have been heavy.

“They then put everything back a week and when they ran the Ranvet it was good (ground). The week the Queen Elizabeth should have been it was heavy, but a week later it was back to good again.

“I won’t run him again on good and certainly not in blinkers, but he’ll go for the Prince of Wales’s or the Eclipse. He’s on schedule for the Prince of Wales’s.”