Tag Archive for: Aldaary

Aldaary advertises big-race credentials at Haydock

William Haggas’ Aldaary made a pleasing comeback to win the Listed Pertemps Network Spring Trophy Stakes in the manner of a top-class horse.

Sent off the 2-5 favourite, he was held up in rear in the early stages, before swooping into contention approaching the final furlong and drawing clear to record a three-and-a-half-length win.

The Territories gelding holds entries for both the Lockinge Stakes and Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, with the four-year-old a three-time winner at the Berkshire track in the handicap ranks last season and a respectable fifth when sent off favourite for the Britannia Handicap at the Royal meeting.

Betfair cut Aldaary into 8-1 for the Queen Anne Stakes and big-race jockey Jim Crowley is hoping he can keep on progressing throughout the summer.

He said: “He was entitled to do that on the ratings, but I think the key to this horse is he has to have cut in the ground and when he gets it he’s a fair horse. The only time he’s really disappointed was on good to firm and he won two big handicaps last year, so hopefully he can progress into Group company.”

There was a shock in the Grade Three Swinton Hurdle as N’golo (28-1) got on the scoresheet for the first time since switching to Ann Duffield.

The seven-year-old was a Grade Three winner over hurdles when trained by Willie Mullins in Ireland, but a second at this track last month is the closest he has come to troubling the judge since being housed in North Yorkshire.

The Leyburn handler is perhaps best known for her exploits on the Flat, but this mixed card was the perfect time for her star jumper to make a statement, pulling six and a half lengths clear of 4-1 favourite Severance at the business end of the race.

Overseeing the Gavin Sheehan-ridden winner’s preparation as Duffield’s assistant has been Paddy Neville – a Grade Three-winning trainer in his own right in Ireland – who is hoping to become joint-trainer alongside Duffield before to long.

“I’m delighted for everyone and it’s a pity Ann didn’t come, she’s got a runner at Thirsk so she’s probably gone there. He’s owned by a syndicate of a few lads from Ireland and Gavin gave him a great ride. We knew coming into this that the horse was in super order and we were hoping for the best.

“I came over from Limerick with a handful of horses and teamed up with Ann, who is looking after us very well and we’re a great team. She’s been very good to us and long may it continue.

“I started in Ireland in 2006 and I’ll either join with Ann on her licence or take my own out. It’s a bit more complicated a process than I thought, but I came over last year and had a few winners so we said we’d stay with a few – there’s more of a variety of races here.”

Haydock Park Races – June 8
Brad The Brief, here winning in the hands of Richard Kingscote last year, continued his love affair with Haydock in the Pertemps Network Conditions Stakes (David Davies/PA)

Fresh from saddling two winners at Chester’s May Festival, Hugo Palmer was in the winner’s enclosure in the north west once again when his Brad The Brief proved much the best in the Pertemps Network Conditions Stakes.

Archie Watson’s front-running Glen Shiel was sent off the 5-4 favourite, but the Group One winner had nothing else to give once Palmer’s five-year-old made his challenge approaching the final furlong.

The son of Dutch Art stormed clear to record a commanding three-and-a-quarter-lengths victory with Glen Shiel second and Final Song claiming the final spot on the podium.

Anna Bunina bidding to back up Scottish Champion triumph

Anna Bunina will face some familiar rivals in the Grade Three Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.

The John McConnell-trained Irish raider was a one-length winner of the Scottish Champion Hurdle when last seen in early April, defeating Dan Skelton’s West Cork in the final strides under jockey Sean Bowen.

She races off a 5lb-higher mark, but her trainer has engaged the services of conditional jockey Mark McDonagh for the six-year-old mare.

“She’s in good form, this has been her target since the Scottish Champion Hurdle,” said McConnell.

“We’ve claimed off her this time just to try to negate the 5lb she went up, it’s going to be a very competitive race for a big prize but we’re hopeful.

“There’s a lot of horses with chances, but she goes there in good form and I think she’ll like the track – we’re hopeful she’ll run a big race.”

West Cork reopposes, as does Neil Mulholland’s Milkwood who was fifth at Ayr and heads to Merseyside as part of a field of 17 runners.

McConnell sends another runner to Haydock from his County Meath stable with Bronson In Blue lining up under 7lb claimer Cian Walsh in the Pertemps Network Long Distance Handicap Hurdle.

McConnell is hopeful he will hold his own based on his prior form over the trip.

“He’s been great stepped up to three miles for us on his last couple of runs, he’ll like the ground and he’ll like the track,” he said.

“Obviously it’s a big step up in class for him, but he’s not without a chance.

“Cian was won on him twice so he knows him well, hopefully he can get a good clear run round and if he’s in touching distance up to the home straight he’ll stay very well.”

William Haggas’ Aldaary leads the field for the Listed Pertemps Network Spring Trophy Stakes, a race in which he will run for the first time since signing off last season with back-to-back Ascot victories.

Both successes came in valuable handicaps, but the four-year-old is now required to step up in grade for a first tilt at Listed level.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owners Shadwell Stud, said: “He’s been in good form this spring, we’ve waited for the ground and we’ve got it now.

Aldaary winning at Leicester
Aldaary winning at Leicester (Tim Goode/PA)

“He went away and worked with (unbeaten miler) Baaeed on Tuesday and seems in good shape.

“They’re all very happy with the horse, he hasn’t run in a stakes race yet but he was mighty impressive in his last two starts so hopefully he’ll be up to making that step up in class – which he’ll need to do.”

Group One-winning sprinter Glen Shiel begins his season in the Pertemps Network Conditions Stakes for trainer Archie Watson and jockey Hollie Doyle.

The chestnut won the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at 16-1 in 2020 and was beaten just a length in the same race when last seen in October.

The eight-year-old is owned by Hambleton Racing, who have another chance in the race in Magical Spirit, trained by Kevin Ryan to finish second in the Listed Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster on his last outing.

Glen Shiel and Hollie Doyle
Glen Shiel and Hollie Doyle (Dan Abraham/PA)

Simon Turner, racing manager for Hambleton Racing, said: “Glen Shiel’s in really good order, he’s gearing up for Royal Ascot and we’re really looking forward to getting him started for the year.

“Magical Spirit has been waiting for some nice ground and this looks a lovely race to kick his season off.

“He’s another horse that hopefully has some nice aspirations for the season ahead.

“They both ended last year with great efforts, they’re two lovely horses and I’m looking forward to getting them both started.”

The two geldings make up a small field of five for the race, with Hugo Palmer’s Brad The Brief, Lawrence Mullaney’s Snazzy Jazzy and Saeed bin Suroor’s Final Song also engaged.

Monday Musings: Champions

An epic Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday definitely settled one major argument and all but decided another, writes Tony Stafford. In all honesty though, Murphy versus Buick and Appleby contra the Gosdens were the sideshows to an overwhelming afternoon for the Shadwell Estate Company, Jim Crowley and William Haggas.

There was a tinge of irony in the fact that in the week after the announcement of an admittedly expected but still shocking major reduction in the number of horses in the blue and white colours of the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Shadwell won half the races.

Most – me at the head of that particular queue – expected a John and Thady Gosden benefit. But in the opening stayers’ race, Stradivarius suffered another defeat at the hands not only of Trueshan but 50-1 shot Tashkhan who came through late to give Brian Ellison a scarcely credible second place.

So once again Hollie Doyle was the nemesis for Frankie Dettori. He had accused racing’s favourite and most talented female rider of setting an inadequate pace on a pacemaker when the pair were riding for Aidan O’Brien in the Prix Vermeille on Arc Trials Day.

Dettori was on the unbackable Snowfall that day, previously a triple Oaks winner in the summer, including at Epsom under the Italian, but was turned over by Roger Varian’s Teona. Frankie reckoned Hollie got the pace wrong, but horses are supposed to run on their merits and in the event La Joconde was only a half-length behind the superstar in third. If that smacked of sour grapes, on Saturday it was more a case of sour face.

Riding his favourite horse the now slightly faltering multiple champion stayer Stradivarius, Dettori came back boiling, now blaming young Irish rider Dylan Browne McMonagle for twice blocking his run. My view of the closing stages was that any inconvenience could hardly have been of the order of four lengths – the margin by which he was behind Trueshan. McMonagle, far from bowed by the old-timer’s complaints, quite rightly called it “just race-riding”.

The fastest finisher of the front three was undoubtedly Tashkhan, who started out in 2021 having joined Ellison from Emmet Mullins on a mark of 70. He was already up to 106 by Saturday and no doubt will have earned another hike. For Trueshan and his owners, who include Andrew Gemmell, his exploits entitle him to be the year’s top stayer.

I felt it worth starting out on Grumpy Frankie, who in a magical career of well over 30 years has had more than his fair share of good fortune – and leniency from the authorities - notably that day with the seven winners on the same racecourse. That was the year when I had just finished writing his “autobiography”, a Year in the Life of Frankie Dettori. Come off it Frankie, imagine how many times you’ve got in someone’s way when they thought they had a race in the bag!

But we move back to Shadwell. Two of their three winners on the day were home-breds. These were Baaeed, emphatic winner of the QE II Stakes and Eshaada, another Roger Varian filly to lower the colours of Snowfall, again below par in third in the Fillies’ and Mares’ race. After the brilliance of her trio of summer Group 1 wins at Epsom, The Curragh and York Snowfall may just be feeling the cumulative erosion caused by those efforts – not least her sixth in the Arc just two weeks previously. Varian must be thinking she’s his Patsy!

The third Shadwell winner was like the other two, a progressive three-year-old. William Haggas had not even revealed Baaeed to the racing public until June 7 of his three-year-old career but in the intervening 18 weeks he had won four more times including at Longchamp. Here the son of Sea The Stars was faced with the Gosdens’ Palace Pier, the highest-rated horse in Europe last year.

That status has been usurped by last weekend’s Arc hero Torquator Tasso. Baaeed was a most convincing winner and must have a massive future. Whether it will be that much more glorious than what we will see from Haggas’s other winner in the same colours cannot be certain. Aldaary, by Territories, had won a handicap on the same track two weeks earlier, the 6lb penalty for which brought his mark in Saturday’s closing Balmoral Handicap to 109. No problem as he proved to be the proverbial group horse running in a handicap by galloping away from 19 others under an exultant Crowley in a time only 0.07sec slower than the Group 1.

If there was an element of sadness around Hamdan’s colours winning half the races on that massive day, for me there was just as much poignancy about Aldaary’s success. The breeder is listed as M E Broughton, slightly disguising the identity of a man who equally hid behind the name of the Essex-based company he built, Broughton Thermal Insulation, in his many years as an enthusiastic owner-breeder.

Michael died last year – as did his wife Carol – and that after a career where the Racing Post Statistics reveal more than 100 winners in his sole name. He won races in all but two of the 33 seasons for which the Racing Post carries statistics, and in his final days actually won four to get him past the century.

He was a one-trainer owner, relying on the always-reticent Wille Musson and when the trainer retired five years ago, he stayed on as Broughton’s racing manager. Clever man that Willie Musson.
Michael was a jovial red-faced enthusiast and for a few years he used to ask me to go through the Cheltenham card on the days when he entertained a table of friends. These included his loyal PA, Maggie and Michael’s brother Roger as well as the Mussons, in the main restaurant at the Cheltenham Festival.

All his horses carried the prefix Broughtons (sometimes with an apostrophe before the “s”) and Broughtons Revival won three races of the four she competed in on turf as against a winless five appearances on all-weather, of course for Musson.

Retired to stud she had six foals before Aldaary and five of them are winners. No wonder Aldaary realised 55,000gns as a foal to the bid of Johnny McKeever at the 2018 December sales and then, re-submitted the following year in Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale, jumped up to 150,000gns to Shadwell. More than 150 Shadwell horses are due to go under the hammer at the Horses in Training Sale next week. I doubt that Aldaary, who holds the entry, will be sporting the insignia of Lot 1308 at Park Paddocks, rather enjoying some down time back at Somerville Lodge.
However sad it was that Sheikh Hamdan could not enjoy his day of days, I have much more regret that Michael was unable to enjoy seeing by far the best horse he has ever bred over all those years. Willie and Judy Musson will have been pleased as punch no doubt.

Earlier in the piece I suggested that Snowfall might not have fully recovered from her demanding run in the mud of Longchamp 13 days earlier, but the horse that finished one place ahead of her that afternoon stepped up to win the Champion Stakes thereby unseating Mishriff, the second Gosden ace in the hole.

That top-class globe-trotting winner of more than £10 million had sat out the Arc presumably to save his energies for Ascot, but shockingly, he didn’t last home, fading to fourth as Sealiway and Mickael Barzalona strode forward. Dubai Honour made a great show in second for the Haggas team and Classic winner Mac Swiney was third ahead of Mishriff thereby keeping Jim Bolger well in the action hard on the news that his other star of 2021 Poetic Flare is off to a stud career in Japan.

Sealiway had benefited from the traditional French way of training top-class three-year-olds. He had not run for almost four months before his Arc challenge having been runner-up a length and a half behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Prix Du Jockey Club.

Trained then by F Rossi, he switched to Cedric Rossi during the layoff and this convincing victory showed him as a high-class performer and one that is sure to be a major force in European and world racing over ten and twelve furlongs for the next year or so.

Elsewhere, Oisin Murphy held on to win a third title, but I understand there might still be some uncomfortable moments for him. He is a wonderful jockey and we have to hope he can overcome his demons. William Buick’s strong challenge will have given this unassuming young man the confidence that a championship is within his grasp especially as the Charlie Appleby stable remains so powerful.

Last week I suggested the Gosdens had more than enough firepower to claw back the half-million or so deficit they had on Godolphin’s main trainer, but in the event they retrieved barely ten per cent of it on Champions Day. Admittedly the season and therefore the title race in name continues until December 31 but big John and son Thady have no realistic chance of breaching the gap.
Creative Force won the sprint for Charlie and William and a touch more than £300k in the second race of the six. With his main rival surprisingly failing to get a winner on the day – especially the QE II and Champion Stakes, worth considerably more than £1.1 million that looked at their mercy - Appleby assuredly will win his first title after a period when John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have been dominant.

The massive crowd and good weather and not least fair ground made for a wonderful day – on the tenth anniversary of the lavish Qipco sponsorship. A couple of friends managed to secure tickets for the owners’ lunchroom and Kevin and Dave had a wonderful time. The staff seemed overrun at times but the very pleasant greeter at the top of the stairs was a superlative advertisement for the hospitality trade.

The smile never left her face and then later in the afternoon I was quite surprised to see her carrying out a heavy load of rubbish to the bins. On suggesting that might be someone else’s job, she replied: “They are so busy and have been working very hard, it’s only fair!” What a woman!

At the end of the afternoon, when Dave, having enjoyed a fairly long and liquid lunch, mistook a step and fell headlong down half a flight of stairs, again the staff were quick to come to his aid, calling immediately for the medics. Dave, 78, was pronounced okay so we were cleared to go off to an evening at an Essex hostelry to complete a lovely day. And while I was fully aware of my chauffeuring requirements, the boys made a night of it and true to form were up and ready to go early on Sunday morning with Kevin, I know, supervising the action at his shellfish cabin in Billericay.

- TS

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.

Motakhayyel leads hunt for International honours

Motakhayyel heads Shadwell Estate’s three-pronged attack, along with Danyah and Aldaary, on the Moet & Chandon International Stakes at Ascot.

The five-year-old, trained by Richard Hannon, was impressive when recording the second of his back-to-back victories in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket two weeks ago.

However, he has to defy top weight of 9st 13lb on Saturday, including a 3lb penalty for his three-and-a-half-length demolition of 17 rivals.

“He was incredibly impressive the other day, with a lot of weight on his back,” said Shadwell’s racing manager Angus Gold.

“He killed the race, and it was probably his best ever run. Let’s hope he can back it up.

“He’s obviously got a lot of weight again – but he’s a star horse and has been an absolute gem for us.”

Danyah ran a good race when runner-up at Royal Ascot and will try to go one better back at the Berkshire track
Danyah was runner-up at Royal Ascot and will try to go one better back at the Berkshire track (Dan Abraham/PA)

Danyah, trained by Owen Burrows, has been placed in three big handicaps this season, the latest coming in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in which he was second to Highfield Princess.

Gold said: “He’s very consistent. He ran a good race at the Royal meeting and deserves to win a big one.

“He wouldn’t mind a drop of rain if that appeared on Saturday. He’s a nice, solid horse.”

The William Haggas-trained Aldaary was not thought to be at his best when only fifth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

“He looked a really progressive horse last year,” said Gold.

“He won his first two starts very impressively, both on soft ground – (but) I don’t think he necessarily needs that.

“With hindsight, I think William and his team felt he wasn’t quite bouncing at the Royal meeting. He didn’t run a bad race. We just feel he’s a bit better than that.

“William has freshened him up, and he worked very well the other day. Let’s see how he gets on. There was talk of going to Goodwood, but William feels at the moment seven furlongs is probably the right trip for him.”

Dance Fever returned to form with victory at Leicester, on his second start following 11 months off the track.

The Clive Cox-trained four-year-old has a 3lb penalty for that success, but connections are expecting a good show as long as any rain showers are not too heavy.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing him run,” said Sam Hoskins, racing manager for owner Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds.

“He’s only 3lb higher than when he won at Leicester last time, and the form has been boosted since.

“We always thought he’s well handicapped, but he’s never had any luck with the weather. It always seems to rain when we want to run him in a big one.

“There are thunderstorms forecast. A bit of rain would be fine, (but) we wouldn’t want a washout.

“He’s handicapped to go close. He was meant to have a run before Royal Ascot – but it was so wet in May we couldn’t run him, and Ascot was a case of blowing the cobwebs away.

“He clearly needed it more than we expected him to, and it was good to see him back next time.

“He’s near the fancied horses. Hopefully he’ll go really well. He ran well at this meeting last year. We’ll be very hopeful he’ll be competitive, as long as the ground doesn’t turn soft.”

Hugo Palmer would like to see some rain for Acquitted.

“He’s been threatening to win one of these big handicaps, and I think he’s got one in him,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“He’d need rain to run, but that does look probable. We just don’t know how much.

“Good ground, we’ve absolutely no problem. If it stays good to firm he won’t run.”

Charlie Appleby is optimistic New Science can put his poor Royal Ascot run on soft ground behind him, with a big performance in the Pat Eddery Stakes.

The Lope De Vega colt was only seventh behind Point Lonsdale in the Chesham Stakes, but had looked a bright prospect when making a winning debut at Yarmouth in May.

He had Reach For The Moon a length and a half in second place that day, and that horse occupied the same position in the Chesham, just half a length behind the winner.

“He was disappointing, but it was very soft ground at Ascot last time,” said Appleby.

“John’s (Gosden) horse (Reach For The Moon) went on to finish second in the Chesham, and we finished down the field, but William (Buick) said he wasn’t happy even going to post on the ground.

“We’ve put a line through it. His homework has been good since – I’m pleased with his preparation, and if he can bounce back to his Yarmouth maiden form he’s a major player.”

Opposition includes the Tom Dascombe-trained Mr McCann, who was fourth in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, George Boughey’s Cachet, third in Newmarket’s Empress Stakes, and smooth Salisbury scorer Like A Lion, trained by William Muir and Chris Grassick.