WILLIAM Haggas believes Addeybb will prove a tougher nut for Verry Elleegant to crack in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney on Saturday – as long as the ground is soft enough.
The Champion Stakes winner finished second to Australia’s best horse three weeks ago in the Ranvet Stakes, a race he had won 12 months earlier.
Addeybb also won the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick last year, but after a late scare with a foot problem last month, Haggas expects some improvement – with a switch in headgear another reason to expect a bold showing from the mount of Tom Marquand.
“They are really happy with him, but we could do with some rain. I’ve seen differing forecasts,” said Yorkshire-born Haggas.
“I think there’s improvement in him, I just don’t think he went through his last race with any gusto whereas normally he’s a very strong traveller.
“He still fought in the straight, but it took him an age to get by the leader where usually he zips by and says to the others ‘come and get me’.
“Tom (Marquand) said he was rusty and I thought the foot affected him. He very nearly didn’t run, but it he was improving all the time so he did run.
“We’re putting a pair of half-blinkers on him which I’ve been wanting to do for a bit. He’s had cheekpieces on a while now.
“Tom rode him the other day in blinkers and said he felt much sharper, but I said he would do because his feet are fine and he’s had a race so he will be sharper.
“I did say to him though, it was his call, I’m 12,000 miles away and if you want to put them on then do so.
“We do need rain, though, because he’s not as good on good to firm.”
Meanwhile Godolphin’s Master Of The Seas, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, put down a Classic marker for 2021 by winning Newmarket’s Craven Stakes from stablemate La Barrosa.
The fine start to the 2021 campaign for Upper Helmsley trainer David O’Meara continued with Summerghand finishishing with a flourish to deny hot favourite Oxted in the Abernant Stakes under Danny Tudhope – the first two are likely to compete in many of this summer’s Group One sprints.
And North Yorkshire’s Brian Hughes, the defending champion jump jockey, now trails arch-rival Harry Skelton by just two winners in this year’s title race after Bannixtown Glory won at Cheltenham. The championship concludes at Sandown on Saturday week.
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