Tag Archive for: Protagonist

Haggas plots more raids on Australia’s biggest prizes

William Haggas will drop Protagonist in trip for Saturday’s Doncaster Mile at Randwick after being tempted by the huge prize money.

Ben Thompson will replace James McDonald aboard the six-year-old, who won a Group Three at Rosehill on unsuitably fast ground on his first start in Australia.

With just under £1.3million to the winner, the Newmarket handler, who has enjoyed great success with his runners in Sydney, could not resist chancing his arm with plenty in his favour, with former stablemate My Oberon among the opposition.

“Protagonist runs on Saturday and we are dropping him back in trip, which I’m not sure is the right thing, but it is too much money (not to),” admitted Haggas.

“He runs in a mile race at Randwick and there will be some rain. I think there is a bit of cut in the ground at the moment and it’s a soft six.

“So there is rain around and he’s got a good draw (eight of 20), although he’s got a jockey I don’t know at all. But he’s a pretty straightforward horse to ride.”

Though regular partner Tom Marquand has recovered from injury, he will be unable to make the allotted weight of 7st 12lb.

Haggas added: “It’s great that Tom is on the way back. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done around 50 kilos for about 10 years, but there we go.”

Should he run well, last season’s British trainer’s championship runner-up could allow the son of Wootton Bassett to run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, one of the biggest races on the Australian calendar.

In 2020, Haggas landed the prize with Addeybb, having previously won the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill. The following year, Addeybb repeated the trick in the Queen Elizabeth, overturning his form with Verry Elleegant, who had beaten him narrowly in the Ranvet.

The Haggas-trained Dubai Honour was given a brilliant ride by big-race pilot Ryan Moore to land this year’s Ranvet by four-and-a-half lengths.

Haggas could potentially run both Protagonist and Dubai Honour in the 10-furlong Queen Elizabeth this year.

He said: “Protagonist may back up in the Queen Elizabeth as well, but Dubai Honour will run in that on Saturday week. He won well in the Ranvet.”

Dubai Honour will line up in the valuable Queen Elizabeth next weekend
Dubai Honour will line up in the valuable Queen Elizabeth next weekend (David Davies/PA)

Purplepay, who took the Group Two Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly on French Oaks day in June, was well held on her Australian debut.

The Zarak filly will be equipped with headgear when she lines up in the Group One Queen Of The Turf Stakes on the same card.

Haggas said: “Purplepay worked very nicely apparently this week and she is going to run in blinkers on Saturday week. The ground was too firm for her last time.”

Meanwhile, last year’s Ebor third Earl Of Tyrone, who scored on his Kempton debut for the yard having been with Paddy Twomey last summer, will not line up in the Sydney Cup.

Haggas explained: “Earl Of Tyrone has gone wrong, unfortunately. He strained a tendon, so he’s done for at the moment.”

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