The four-year-old followed up his victory in this month’s Portland Handicap under top-weight on Doncaster’s St Leger day 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 under in-form jockey Tom Marquand, 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,” said the Yorkshire-born trainer.
“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.”
Stablemate Addeybb is also heading to Ascot to defend the Qipco Champion Stakes on October 16, but how the globetrotting horse gets there has been complicated by the weather.
A planned outing at Goodwood this week for a horse that has also won three elite Group One contests in Australia was 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.”
Meanwhile, Cazoo St Leger hero Hurricane Lane looks set to line up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Europe’s blue riband race – on Sunday week.
No horse has won the St Leger and Arc in the same season, but trainer Charlie Appleby is keen to take on the challenge and pitch the stayer against stablemate Adayar, the Epsom Derby and King George hero.
And Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation posted a video on social media of Hurricane Lane, who has also won York’s Dante Stakes and the Irish Derby, stretching clear on the Newmarket gallops.
Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien has paid tribute to Santa Barbara, after the hugely talented filly died as a result of a worsening pelvic injury.
One of the big hopes of the spring, the daughter of Camelot was sent off joint-favourite for the 1000 Guineas and favourite for the Oaks - after just a maiden victory on her sole outing as a juvenile last September.
She finished fourth in both Classics, which were won by stablemates Mother Earth and Snowfall respectively, but was then a narrow second in the Pretty Polly Stakes against the year-older Thundering Nights, a run which went a long way to confirming her promise.
It was in America where she finally delivered, running out a very impressive winner of Group One races the Belmont Oaks and Beverly D. Stakes under Ryan Moore.
“Unfortunately she had fractured her pelvis and that displaced overnight,” said O’Brien. We didn’t have any choice as she was in a lot of pain.
“It’s such a shame.”
Today’s meeting at York concludes with the Ride of their Lives race in which 12 individuals compete in a charity race in support of the cancer charity Macmillan.
They were due to compete in June last year before the Covid pandemic saw the race delayed.
Now coinciding with the resumption of Macmillan’s renowned coffee mornings, the charity’s long association with York has raised over £9m, spanning 50 years, with another £250,000 expected today.