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Haggas sets sights on another Australian adventure with Addeybb

A return to Australia is the preferred international target for Champion Stakes hero Addeybb.

The William Haggas-trained seven-year-old enjoyed a tremendous campaign in 2020 – winning both the Ranvet Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in the spring, before bagging a third top-level success at Ascot in October, striking up a fine partnership with Tom Marquand.

Addeybb was entered for the Saudi Cup in Riyadh on February 26, while he has also been nominated for the Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night at Meydan next month.

However, Haggas is keen on another trip to Australia, provided coronavirus restrictions do not prevent his staff from making the trip next week.

“He’s not going to go to Saudi. At the moment, we’re hoping to go to Australia to run in the same two races he won last year, but it is in the balance, because getting the staff there is the tricky bit,” said the Newmarket-based trainer.

“We couldn’t do Australia and Saudi Arabia and the race in Saudi Arabia is a little bit short and a brand new surface (dirt) for him, whereas Australia is tried and tested.”

Should the Australian adventure not come off, Addeybb is likely to head to Meydan.

Haggas added: “Australia is our favoured course of action and Dubai is a very valuable and exciting back-up.

Tom Marquand celebrates winning the Champion Stakes aboard Addeybb
Tom Marquand celebrates winning the Champion Stakes aboard Addeybb (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“The horses go into equine quarantine (for Australia) on February 11 and have to do two weeks before flying out, but my staff have to do two weeks quarantine in a hotel when they get to Australia.

“The staff need to leave before the horses go into quarantine here, because if that doesn’t happen, they won’t be there in time to greet the horses, which is no good. The staff would need to go next week.

“If it doesn’t happen, Dubai will be the next target. The horse seems in very good form.”

Sinjaari on fact-finding mission at Kempton

William Haggas hopes to find out conclusively if Sinjaari stays a mile and a half in Wednesday’s Unibet Wild Flower Stakes at Kempton.

Winner of the John Smith’s Cup at York over 10 furlongs back in June, Sinjaari did try 12 furlongs twice as a three-year-old.

With another year on his back, Haggas is hoping to open up a few more options with next season in mind if his stamina lasts out.

Most recently Sinjaari finished second to Dubai Warrior in a fast-track qualifier for Finals Day at Lingfield.

“We are trying him over a mile and a half again, as knowing whether or not he gets the trip will help with plans for next year,” said Haggas.

“When he runs over 10 furlongs, he shapes as if he will get a bit further, and Tom (Marquand) feels he will as well, so we will see. I think he will be OK.”

Sinjaari is joint-top-rated along with Sextant, who is now with Keith Dalgleish having left Sir Michael Stoute.

Andrew Balding’s Johnny Drama arrives having won his last three, while Ed Dunlop’s Red Verdon will be ridden by Ryan Moore for the first time this year.

Joseph O’Brien sends two over from Ireland in the shape of Snapraeceps and Sagrada Familia.

One Master ruled out of Breeders’ Cup Mile

One Master will not take her chance in the FanDuel Breeders Cup Mile at Keeneland after being scratched from Saturday showpiece.

The seven-year-old mare, trained by William Haggas, was found to be set-fast when she was exercised on Thursday.

“She got a bit set-fast on her first morning out. Her muscle enzymes are too high,” said the trainer, speaking from home in Newmarket.

“I’m disappointed, but very pleased that they are not risking her at all.”

One Master made history at ParisLongchamp last month by becoming the first horse to win the Prix de la Foret three times.

She was also a close third to Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot, on her what was her seventh race of the season.

Her defection means the Aidan O’Brien-trained Order Of Australia now gets a run.

Championship appears sealed as Keane rides 99th winner

Colin Keane’s 99th victory of the season on Persian Queen at Naas appears to have clinched his second jockeys’ title.

Keane, who previously won the Flat championship in 2017, holds a lead of seven over his nearest challenger Shane Foley after they rode one winner each on Sunday.

On a card which saw With Thanks take the Group Three honours in style for William Haggas, in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Athasi Stakes, Foley was successful on Taipan in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden – and then in the closing Naas Maiden, it was Keane’s turn again.

Both jockeys are in action again on Monday at the Curragh, where Keane has six chances to ride his 100th winner of the campaign and Foley has five booked rides, before both head off a day later to the Breeders’ Cup Festival in America and therefore bid farewell to the domestic season.

Away from their title battle, With Thanks was most impressive for Haggas and jockey Chris Hayes – who was completing a double.

Second to Onassis in a Goodwood Listed event last time out, before that the filly had won a small race at Catterick – and Haggas believes that confidence booster helped her in the long run.

With a Group Three win now in the bag, whether she stays in training next year will solely be up to owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

With Thanks (2-1 favourite) relished the heavy ground and beat Silk Forest by five lengths.

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Haggas said: “She won easily. Chris gave her a lovely ride, and she loves the ground.

“I don’t know if she stays in training. We were going to make that decision after today – it will be up to Sheikh Rashid. We’ll decide in the next week or so, but she won’t run again this year because that is job done.

“It wasn’t probably a strong race, and she is a fresh filly too, so it wasn’t rocket science that she won.

“It’s (travelling) just not an easy thing to do at the moment, because you are out of control, and I’m very grateful to Richard Brabazon who took her over yesterday morning and for taking her to Naas for us.

“She was a breeze-up horse but she’s light-framed, doesn’t need a lot of racing and needs conditions in her favour. She’s done well, because she got beat at Thirsk but went to Catterick and won – which built her confidence up – and she ran a good race last time.”

Hayes had earlier won on what is likely to be John Oxx’s last ever winner at Naas when Storm Legend (6-1) quickened smartly in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Hayes said: “He’s a nice horse. Mark McStay bought him for clients of his and put him in with Mr Oxx, and I believe he’s going to Fozzy (Stack). Thankfully they gave me the opportunity to ride him.

“He travelled with ease. He was a bit green early on – but when I gave him a squeeze he took off. I’d be looking forward to having him for next year.”

Ado McGuinness has almost run out of superlatives for Saltonstall (6-1), who got a dream run up the rail in the Listed Glencairn Stakes.

The six-year-old has taken his form to a new level in recent weeks, and devoured the very testing ground.

Saltonstall was also sporting meaningful colours.

“I ran him in Bart O’Sullivan’s colours, because he died a year back two days ago,” said McGuinness.

“I’m dedicating the whole thing to him – because without him, I wouldn’t be here today. He got me the owners and got me going. The O’Sullivan family got me involved with the Dooleys.

“I’m just thrilled to bits that the horse has done it. He’s such a warrior of a horse – because he had his problems before we got him – but when he’s right he’s a serious horse.

“Gavin (Ryan) has been brilliant on the horse all year and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He got a dream run up the rail.

“He’s won on all types of ground and is just a fabulous horse to have. We’ll probably give him a break now, and look forward to next year with him.”

Jessica Harrington’s Taipan (7-1) provided Foley with a valuable winner in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

“He was never travelling at any stage – but that’s him,” said Foley.

“He’s a bit like that at home, but he’s going to be a lovely staying horse for next year.”

Unfortunately for Foley’s hopes, though, Keane returned fire – getting home by a head on Noel Meade’s 10-1 shot Persian Queen at the end of the card.

With Thanks dominates Athasi Stakes

With Thanks positively bolted up for William Haggas in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Athasi Stakes at Naas.

Second to Onassis in a Goodwood Listed race last time out, before that With Thanks had won a small race at Catterick – and Haggas believes that confidence booster helped her in the long run.

With a Group Three win now in the bag, whether she stays in training next year will solely be up to owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

Ridden confidently by Chris Hayes, who was completing a double, With Thanks (2-1 favourite) relished the heavy ground and beat Silk Forest by five lengths.

Haggas said: “She won easily. Chris gave her a lovely ride, and she loves the ground.

“I don’t know if she stays in training. We were going to make that decision after today – it will be up to Sheikh Rashid. We’ll decide in the next week or so, but she won’t run again this year because that is job done.

“It wasn’t probably a strong race, and she is a fresh filly too, so it wasn’t rocket science that she won.

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“It’s (travelling) just not an easy thing to do at the moment, because you are out of control, and I’m very grateful to Richard Brabazon who took her over yesterday morning and for taking her to Naas for us.

“She was a breeze-up horse but she’s light-framed, doesn’t need a lot of racing and needs conditions in her favour. She’s done well, because she got beat at Thirsk but went to Catterick and won – which built her confidence up – and she ran a good race last time.”

Hayes had earlier won on what is likely to be John Oxx’s last ever winner at Naas when Storm Legend (6-1) quickened smartly in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Hayes said: “He’s a nice horse. Mark McStay bought him for clients of his and put him in with Mr Oxx, and I believe he’s going to Fozzy (Stack). Thankfully they gave me the opportunity to ride him.

“He travelled with ease. He was a bit green early on – but when I gave him a squeeze he took off. I’d be looking forward to having him for next year.”

Ado McGuinness has almost run out of superlatives for Saltonstall (6-1), who got a dream run up the rail in the Listed Glencairn Stakes.

The six-year-old has taken his form to a new level in recent weeks, and devoured the very testing ground.

Saltonstall was also sporting meaningful colours.

“I ran him in Bart O’Sullivan’s colours, because he died a year back two days ago,” said McGuinness.

“I’m dedicating the whole thing to him – because without him, I wouldn’t be here today. He got me the owners and got me going. The O’Sullivan family got me involved with the Dooleys.

“I’m just thrilled to bits that the horse has done it. He’s such a warrior of a horse – because he had his problems before we got him – but when he’s right he’s a serious horse.

“Gavin (Ryan) has been brilliant on the horse all year and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He got a dream run up the rail.

“He’s won on all types of ground and is just a fabulous horse to have. We’ll probably give him a break now, and look forward to next year with him.”

Jessica Harrington’s Taipan (7-1) provided Shane Foley with a valuable winner in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden as he continues to chase Colin Keane in the race to be champion.

“He was never travelling at any stage – but that’s him,” said Foley.

“He’s a bit like that at home, but he’s going to be a lovely staying horse for next year.”

Unfortunately for Foley’s hopes, though, Keane won the closing Naas Maiden on Noel Meade’s Persian Queen (10-1)

Addeybb just Champion at Ascot for Haggas and Marquand

Addeybb overcame his wide draw to get his revenge on Magical in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Beaten into second place by Aidan O’Brien’s brilliant mare last year, Addeybb turned the tables with a dominant display.

Tom Marquand made his intentions clear by galvanising William Haggas’ six-year-old straight from the stalls to get a good position.

It worked, with Addeybb – a dual Group One winner in Australia in the spring – on the heels of the pace-setting Serpentine before being given the office by Marquand to go and win the race.

Addeybb (9-1) was quickly challenged in the straight by Skalleti (13-2), but managed to shrug off the French raider and win by two and a quarter lengths.

Magical (15-8 favourite) was another half a length back in third, without looking like getting to the winner.

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Marquand said: “Honestly what a credit to Safid (Alam, groom), William and Maureen (Haggas) and the whole team at home. He’s gone to Australia, he conquered Down Under and now he’s come back and he deserved that Group One here so much.”

Marquand is the partner of Hollie Doyle, and added of her achievements on the day she rode a Champions Day double, including her first ever Group One: “I’m so, so proud of her. All she does is get up every day and graft and to ride her first Group One for Archie Watson is brilliant, because he’s played such a big part, but also for Alan King because he’s played a big part for both of us in the last few years.

“Our first Royal Ascot winners were for him and he’s had a cracking year. There’s no one, genuinely no one, who deserves it more.”

Haggas said of his one-time Lincoln Handicap winner: “He is a special horse for us and has done lots of things we can only dream of. The Australia thing was so fantastic because he had never actually won a Group One.

“I think the first time we put cheekpieces on him in the Wolferton last year he put up a pretty smart performance to beat Elarqam and Magic Wand in a Listed race. Ever since then he has been either first or second in top company. He likes the ground and goes well fresh.

Celebration time for Tom Marquand
Celebration time for Tom Marquand (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“It seems a bit ridiculous to take him to Ayr to run in a Listed race (in preparation for Ascot), but actually it was a nice thing for him as we could give him a month between there and here. He looked imperious in the Lincoln that day (2018) over a mile, but he loves it fresh so we try keep him fresh. He was fresh going into Australia.

“We always hoped he had it in him. Personally I couldn’t see Magical being beaten, as I thought she beat us comprehensively last year, although not by very far. I was frightened the ground had dried too much today, but it was pretty horrible and he loves it when it is horrible.

“He is at his best when there is an inspection in the morning and it passes and as Tom said it feels like good ground on him. Tom said in the first one he won in Australia it was English good ground and no softer than that. He is pretty versatile, but he is deadly on this ground.

“We (Haggas and wife Maureen) watched him together and he never looked like being beaten. I know that sounds awfully arrogant, but if you watched him the whole way round he was in the perfect position and he was able to get a breath coming into the straight and when he said ‘go’, he went.”

I’ve no doubt he will be champion one day

He added of Marquand: “Tom is a young guy that has his girlfriend kicking him up the backside every day, but he is a very personable, strong rider that has done very well. He has got a hell of a future. I’ve no doubt he will be champion one day.

“All these jockeys and trainers want to be competing on these days and races like this. He has got there very early on in his career and good luck to him and he will do really well. I hope it is with us, but if it is not, it’s not.

“He will do really well in the future as he is a top-class guy and rider.”

Marquand and Addeybb primed for Champion Stakes glory

Tom Marquand has already enjoyed plenty of memorable moments in the saddle this year and Addeybb will bid to give him another on Saturday in the Qipco Champion Stakes.

For some 2020 cannot end soon enough – but for Marquand, who this season has landed a first Classic victory aboard Galileo Chrome in the St Leger and a breakthrough Royal Ascot success, it could be about to become even better.

Having steered the William Haggas-trained Pivotal gelding to a brace of Group One victories in Australia earlier this year, the 22-year-old will attempt to guide the six-year-old to further top-level glory in the mile-and-a-quarter prize at Ascot.

Though Addeybb, who finished second in the race 12 months ago, is yet to score in his four previous outings in Group One company in Britain, Marquand believes he has every chance of changing that statistic at the weekend.

Addeybb (yellow colours) chased Magical home 12 months ago
Addeybb (yellow colours) chased Magical home 12 months ago (Simon Cooper/PA)

Marquand said: “He is a dual Group One winner, but British racing probably thinks he is a horse that can’t win a Group One over here which is a shame.

“He bumped into Magical at Ascot in the race last year and if you can run three-quarters (of a length) second to something like that, you are a solid Group One horse.

“Hopefully this is his go at giving it a proper shot. What will be will be, but hopefully he can put his best foot forward and run his heart out.

“It is going to be an ultra-competitive race, as it should be, but what a great ride to have in the race.”

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While Addeybb appeared to make hard work of landing a Listed contest at Ayr last time out, Marquand is far from concerned about the performance.

He said: “He was giving weight away to horses like Lord Glitters, and he is no mug – he has won a Group One. It’s a hard thing.

“I was speaking to Harry Eustace, who looked after him in Australia, on the morning of the race and I said I would probably still have to give him a couple of flicks and that he wouldn’t go through with it on the bridle and win, because that is just not him.

“Lo and behold he came off the bridle at the three pole and looked in trouble, but I gave him a couple of flicks and he just stuck his head down and went through with it.”

Tom Marquand is confident William Haggas will have Addeybb in perfect order for his latest Group One assignment (Nigel French/PA)
Tom Marquand is confident William Haggas will have Addeybb in perfect order for his latest Group One assignment (Nigel French/PA)

With that outing expected to have put Addeybb spot on for his Group One return, and conditions in his favour, Marquand has every right to be hopeful.

He said: “You would like to think he is spot on and William has had a few years of practice with him in getting him ready for certain days and he has pretty much nailed that.

“Hopefully we get a sensible draw and the ground we want, then after that it is on him. I think he is a horse that deserves to win a Group One in Britain.”

Starman will be pitched into Group One company for the first time at Ascot on Saturday (Mark Cranham/PA)
Starman will be pitched into Group One company for the first time at Ascot on Saturday (Mark Cranham/PA)

Marquand will look to strengthen his partnership with Ed Walker-trained Starman when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Qipco British Champions Sprint.

He said: “He has had a flawless career so far, he is three from three and very exciting.

“I think he has surprised a lot of people. He only just scraped home at Lingfield, but I got off him and I was convinced he was nice and only going through the motions.

“He wouldn’t want the ground too soft, but he will go there regardless. He is on an upward curve and it is certainly worth a try to see if he can continue it.”

With Starman having successfully taken the step up to Listed company in his stride last time out at York, Marquand believes it was an effort that can be upgraded given things conspired against him

He added: “His last run was particularly impressive. He put it to them in a very competitive Listed race at York, beating Dakota Gold who is a fair yardstick.

“Everything went wrong for us there, but he still managed to come out on top being relatively inexperienced.

“Hopefully he is the sort of horse that can step up and be on the sprinting scene for the next couple of years.”

Victory for Starman would be particularly sweet for Marquand, with it coming less than four months after losing the ride aboard his stablemate English King in the Derby.

He said: “It is nice for Ed, as he had all the excitement with English King earlier in the year and that never really materialised and it is great he has such another exciting horse come along so quickly to back up in the same year.

“It was never an issue losing the ride on English King, I get on great with Ed and we’ve had plenty of winners in between and hopefully I will have a few more.”

Breeders’ Cup and Ascot options open for One Master

William Haggas is tempted by a Breeders’ Cup bid for One Master if he feels Qipco Champions Day at Ascot comes too soon for his durable mare.

The six-year-old created history by becoming the first horse to win the seven-furlong Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp three times at the weekend.

One Master ran in the Champions Sprint last year, finishing a one-length second to Donjuan Triumphant in heavy ground – and should the conditions be testing again, Haggas feels she would once more put up a bold bid.

However, as that six-furlong race is on October 17, One Master would be facing a quick turnaround and the Newmarket trainer feels the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland around two turns could also be a suitable race.

“Isn’t she marvellous? She’s just a good filly – very tough, very genuine and I’m very proud of her,” said Haggas of One Master, who was having her sixth run of the season.

“It wasn’t in the original plan to go to the Park Stakes at Doncaster in September, but because there could have been a problem getting to France with rising (Covid-19) infections there and here, I thought we’d better go.

“I didn’t want to miss that then be thinking ‘what if I’ve kept her all this time and it doesn’t take place’, so that was why I ran her there.

“She doesn’t do a lot of training in between her runs and she thrives on racing. She’s looked after us and we’ve looked after her.

“We’ll see how she is. Keeneland is tempting, but Ascot in the Sprint on heavy would be tempting too, as she clearly goes on it.

“A lot will depend on how she is, it is only two weeks to Ascot so we’ll see.”

Favorite Moon ruled out of Old Rowley Cup

Favorite Moon will miss Friday’s bet365 Old Rowley Cup Handicap at Newmarket and run at York instead.

William Haggas’ three-year-old won by over eight lengths last time out at Haydock, forcing an 8lb rise from the handicapper.

As low as 6-1 in places for the valuable contest at Headquarters, he will instead run in the Betsafe Handicap over a mile and three-quarters on the Knavesmire on the same afternoon.

“He goes to York,” said Haggas.

“I thought the Old Rowley Cup looked a very strong race.

“It’s a race I’ve had no luck in at all, so it hasn’t been my favourite.

“It’s near enough a Group race, it’s very competitive, so we’ll go to York with him instead.”

One Master records memorable Foret hat-trick

One Master won the Prix de la Foret for a third successive year for William Haggas.

The six-year-old mare was having her sixth run of a busy season – but Haggas has always been at pains to stress the one race he wanted to win above all others was the seven-furlong Group One on Arc weekend.

A surprise winner in 2018, the daughter of Fastnet Rock has gone on to prove her versatility and toughness since then, finishing second in Group Ones over a mile and six furlongs.

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However, there is no doubt over which trip she truly excels – and given the Foret is the only Group One over seven furlongs in Europe, to win it three years in a row is a special achievement.

Andre Fabre’s Earthlight, a star juvenile last year, made her pull out all the stops, but Pierre-Charles Boudot, full of confidence having just won the Prix de l’Abbaye on Wooded, got her home in the nick of time, just as he had done the two years previously.

Earthlight was a game second, with John Quinn’s consistent Safe Voyage losing little in defeat in a close-up third.

Haggas told Sky Sports Racing: “We are very proud of her. She is a fantastic filly and she seems to come good over this track and trip.

“Any ground is good for her, but she is particularly good on soft ground and she was given another brilliant ride by Pierre-Charles.

“She had to battle it out today, but she did it. If you are going to win by a neck, she won OK – an OK neck.

“She is very laid back and knows how to race. This time of year she seems to come good and we haven’t missed a beat this year. She had run in every race we wanted to and I’m thrilled for everyone here.

“She’ll have another run, I suppose, if she’s OK, I don’t know. She’s in at Ascot and I quite fancy he Breeders’ Cup in Keeneland this year for her.”

He added: “The last horse to win two Forets was Moorestyle, who was ridden by Maureen’s (Haggas, wife) father (Lester Piggott) and trained by her uncle (Robert Armstrong). For this filly to do this is pretty unique.

“It was very sad the big filly (Enable) couldn’t win three Arcs, but this was a good feat in itself to do three Forets and as it’s not been done before I expect it will take some doing to beat it.”

Addeybb on course for Champion Stakes

William Haggas is looking forward to another attempt at the Qipco Champion Stakes with last year’s runner-up Addeybb.

The six-year-old landed two Grade Ones in Australia in the spring and, on his return, finished second to Lord North in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

After a 94-day break, Haggas sent him to Ayr for a Listed race in which he gave 7lb and a three-quarter length beating to a previous Queen Anne winner in Lord Glitters.

“I was really happy, because I thought it was quite a tough race,” said Haggas.

“Usually if you run a Group One horse in a Listed race you frighten everything away – but maybe because there’d been no decent ground, it persuaded people to run.

“They didn’t go very fast, and he looked in trouble – to my eye anyway – two out, but he picked up real good.

“That will have done him a lot of good, and he’ll go off to Ascot with a chance. It will be tough – but it’s the Champion Stakes, (so) it should be. He’s entitled to go, and he’ll be a sporting bet.”

Haggas believes the application of cheek-pieces has helped to bring out the very best in Addeybb.

He added: “His record since we put cheek-pieces on – which aren’t because he’s ungenuine, but they just help him – is outstanding (never out of first two in eight runs).

“He’s not a flash horse, which is why he might be (a bigger price). He is what he is – that is what everyone thinks, they all look for the younger ones, the Mishriffs of this world.

“Mishriff is a very good horse, but he’ll need to be on his A game.

“Then there’s Magical (last year’s winner), but I’m hoping she might run in the Arc first. Given they’ve [owners Coolmore] got Love and Mogul, though, she might not, I suppose.”

Haggas launches double assault on Cambridgeshire

William Haggas has two runners in his bid to win the bet365 Cambridgeshire for the first time at Newmarket on Saturday.

Seven days on from combining to land the Ayr Gold Cup with Nahaarr, Haggas and in-form jockey Tom Marquand team up with Sinjaari, who won the John Smith’s Cup at York on his only previous start this season in mid-July.

Haggas also saddles Montatham, who reverts to handicap company under Jim Crowley after finishing second in a Listed contest at Sandown recently, however, Ilaraab, the scheduled mount of Cieren Fallon, does not run.

Haggas said: “It might be asking a bit much of Sinjaari to win a John Smith’s Cup and a Cambridgeshire, but he’s very well and I’m very happy with him.

“He’s down in trip so there’s always a concern, but there aren’t many options for these good handicappers – they can run in Listed races and win £15,000, or wait for big pots like this. They may as well run for the big money.

“Montatham is going up in trip a bit, but he will love the cut in the ground and he’s very well, he’s been running well all year.

“They’ve both got decent chances, but I’m not convinced they are drawn on the right side. You’d hope with two to be spread across the track, but they are in two (Montatham) and six (Sinjaari) and having walked the track, the draw could scupper them, but there’s nothing I can do about that.”

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The Roger Charlton-trained Tempus bids to make it three from three for the year in the hands of Jason Watson.

A winner at Newbury in August on what was his first appearance in 10 months, the Kingman colt readily followed up at Ascot three weeks ago and carries a 4lb penalty for that victory as he goes in search of the hat-trick.

“He was a nice horse last season, but he has progressed really nicely,” said Watson.

Tempus (left) has been progressing nicely for Roger Charlton
Tempus (left) has been progressing nicely for Roger Charlton (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He had a long time off before running at Newbury and we were expecting him to need the run. He was mightily impressive at Ascot the last day and I believe he will come on for that again.

“My only concern would be the track as it is unique and not to the liking of every horse. That’s going to be the test for him as he has only really raced on nice, galloping tracks so far.

“I do think he has the class to hopefully overcome that. To me, he still has improvement left in him and the more rain that falls, the more it will help him.”

Ralph Beckett believes the demands of the race will bring out the best in Lucander, who won three times last season and opened his account for the current campaign at York last month.

Beckett said: “It was a good effort to win at York and he seems to like these big-field handicaps.

“I was always keen on the idea of the Cambridgeshire for him. The nature of the race will suit him really well.”

Sir Busker was narrowly beaten by Montatham on his penultimate start at York, before chasing home Century Dream in the Group Two Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

William Knight’s stable star must carry 9st 11lb on his return to a handicap, but connections are nevertheless hopeful he will run another big race.

Sam Hoskins, racing manager for owner Kennett Valley Thoroughbreds, said: “We’re really pleased with him at home and he’s a big horse, so he should be able to carry the weight.

Sir Busker won the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot
Sir Busker won the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot (Edward Whitaker/PA)

“Obviously there are a lot of young improvers who we’ll have to give weight to. We’re hopefully weighted to reverse placings with Montatham from their York form. Sir Busker has since run second in a Group Two, and Montatham was second at Sandown.

“He’s in great form. It’s a big task to try to win such a prestigious handicap off a mark of 111, but you never know. He’s a highly progressive horse and we’ll keep our fingers crossed – he’ll love the fast pace.”

Other hopefuls include Roger Varian’s Fifth Position, the Andrew Balding-trained Bell Rock and Al Rufaa from John Gosden’s yard.

Of the latter, Frankie Dettori told his Sporting Index blog: “I’ve won the Cambridgeshire three times and all three times I think I had Group horses in Halling, Wissahickon and Lord North.

“We don’t know if Al Ruffa is quite as good as those yet, but I certainly hope so. He’s a three-year-old who could improve further, but he’s got plenty of weight for what he’s done so far.

“He didn’t give his best running last time and it’s a wide-open race, but he’s still lightly-raced so fingers crossed.

“We’re drawn 22 and hopefully that’s the side that’s up with the pace, because sometimes you can win your half of the race and still finish 10 lengths behind!”

Nahaarr swoops late to secure Ayr Gold

Nahaarr came from the clouds to claim a last-gasp victory in a thrilling renewal of the QTS Ayr Gold Cup.

The lightly-raced son of Dark Angel was a runaway winner at Newbury in July before finishing ninth when favourite for the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

A well backed 7-2 market leader to gain compensation in another fiercely-competitive sprint handicap in Scotland, the William Haggas-trained four-year-old was travelling strongly but still well back in the field racing inside the final two furlongs.

However, once given a reminder by last week’s St Leger-winning jockey Tom Marquand, Nahaarr swiftly went through the gears and went into overdrive – finishing with a rare rattle to get up and beat Spanish City in the dying strides.

Mr Lupton – a winner in Ireland last Sunday – was third, ahead of Soldier’s Minute in fourth.

Haggas was completing a big-race double on the card, following the earlier success of stable star Addeybb in the Doonside Cup.

William Haggas enjoyed an excellent afternoon at Ayr
William Haggas enjoyed an excellent afternoon at Ayr (Nigel French/PA)

Speaking from his home in Newmarket, Haggas said: “It’s been a good day. We had 15 seconds in about a week and six of those were beaten a short head, so we deserved a bit of luck and thankfully we’ve got it today.”

Of Nahaarr, he added: “I watched him the whole way, obviously.

“He missed the break, which I think was a deliberate tactic as Tom felt he raced a bit freely at Goodwood and he didn’t want that to happen again today.

“I think he would have been an unlucky loser if he hadn’t won. I’m not sure what we’ll do with him now. I’m just pleased things have gone well for him today.”

Addeybb delivers in Doonside Cup

Dual Group One winner Addeybb set himself up for a second tilt at next month’s Qipco Champion Stakes with a battling victory in the Jordan Electrics Doonside Cup at Ayr.

The William Haggas-trained six-year-old found only the brilliant mare Magical too strong on Champions Day at Ascot last October – and an Australian adventure earlier this year yielded back-to-back wins at the highest level.

Having filled the runner-up spot behind Lord North on his latest appearance in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot three months ago, Addeybb was the 11-10 favourite for his Listed assignment in Scotland – despite conceding 7lb to each of his six rivals.

Supporters of the market leader will have been sweating early in the home straight, with last weeks’s St Leger-winning jockey Tom Marquand hard at work aboard Addeybb while several of his rivals travelled smoothly.

However, the Pivotal gelding dug deep to grab the lead to grab the lead inside the final furlong and galloped all the way to the line to repel the late thrust of the grey Lord Glitters by three-quarters of a length.

Speaking from his home in Newmarket, Haggas said: “I’m chuffed to bits with him.

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“He came good at the end of the race. He’s such a genuine, kind horse. He’d prefer softer ground, but he dug in and I’m thrilled.

“I thought it was a pretty smart performance as the penalty he had to carry was big.

“Hopefully he comes out of it well and we’ll head to the Champion Stakes.”

The Kevin Ryan-trained Magical Spirit was an emphatic winner of the QTS Ayr Silver Cup.

A winner at Beverley in early June, the four-year-old had since struggled to make a major impact in successive starts at Newcastle and most recently at Haydock a fortnight ago.

However, the 18-1 shot looked a class act in this fiercely-competitive handicap – bounding clear on the far side of the track under Kevin Stott for a three-and-a-half-length success over Admirality.

Hot favourite King’s Lynn led for much of the six-furlong contest before weakening out of contention.

Cosmo Charlton, racing manager for owners Hambleton Racing, said: “We’re delighted with that.

“He’s a horse Kevin has always had a lot of faith in and he’s kept on improving.

“He had a bit of a wind issue, which was resolved, and we came into today full of confidence he would run well, although I can’t say I expected him to win like he has!

“I would say Kevin will be looking at Stakes race for him after that.”

Umm Kulthum finished with a flourish to secure top honours in the Scotty Brand Firth of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes.

A narrow winner on her racecourse debut at Thirsk, Richard Fahey’s youngster then finished a fine third behind Irish challenger Miss Amulet and the high-class Sacred in last month’s Lowther Stakes at York.

On the strength of that form, the daughter of Kodiac was the 9-4 favourite for this Group Three test in the hands of Paul Hanagan – and eventually cut down Scarlet Bear to prevail by a length.

Following the victory of Nahaarr in the Ayr Gold Cup, Haggas and Marquand completed a treble on the card with 9-2 chance Johan in the Luxury Staycations At Western House Hotel Handicap.

Arousing impresses with debut success at Yarmouth

Arousing appeared to be another smart individual to emerge from the yard of William Haggas judging by the manner of her debut success at Yarmouth.

The Kodiac filly, who is a half-sister to Group One-winning stablemate One Master, made the perfect start to her career with victory in the British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

Although slowly away, the 4-1 shot gradually worked her way into contention in the six-furlong prize before defeating odds-on favourite Ville De Grace by a neck.

Maureen Haggas, wife of the winning trainer, said: “She did it well, but she is still quite babyish. She has just done it on raw ability. She is related to One Master, who didn’t run until well into her three-year-old career, but she is by a different stallion who produces more precocious types.

“I think she has enough scope to change a bit and make a three-year-old.

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“Once she got the hang of it she came through really well, which was good to see as there has not been much come from off the pace.”

Luke Morris believes the best is yet to come from the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Bodyline, who gained a deserved first success of the season when prevailing by a length and a quarter in the Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap.

The winning rider said of the 13-8 favourite: “He was back in calmer waters today and it was good to get his head back in front.

“A couple of times this year he hasn’t got the rub of the green. He ran at Royal Ascot, then we backed him up too quickly at Newmarket and the ground went against him at York in the Melrose.

“I think he will be an even better four-year-old and hopefully he will be a nice horse for those feature handicaps.”

Crystal Pegasus formed the opening leg of a double for Ryan Moore when following up his victory at Bath last time with a front-running length-and-a-quarter success in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Handicap.

Moore said of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained 11-8 shot: “He had it all his own way in front and he did the job well, so I’m very happy.

“I think he had just been unfortunate that he had been beaten by a smart horse previously at Wolverhampton before winning at Bath.

“There is nothing wrong with his attitude. It was a case of finding a good spot the last day and today as well. He is a 10 to 12 furlong horse going forwards.”

Hamish Macbeth (11-4), from the yard of Hugo Palmer, completed Moore’s haul after ending a losing streak stretching back more than a year with a decisive two-and-a-quarter-length victory in the Moulton Nurseries Handicap.

William Buick matched Moore’s effort’s with a brace of his own, started by the nine-length success of the Mark Jonhnston-trained Forest Falcon (10-1) in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.

Charlie Johnston, son and assistant, speaking away from the track, said: “He has always physically been a nice horse and we were a little bit disappointed with his first couple of runs. When there was only three in this race at 9.59am on Tuesday, we thought it was about time we saw him again.

“He has taken a massive step forward and the extra furlong has helped. Hopefully the handicapper won’t get too carried away.”

The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Al Saariyah (4-6) completed Buick’s brace when going one better than on her two previous starts in claiming the Ken Lindsay Memorial Nursery Handicap by half a length.