William Haggas was thrilled to see a long-term plan come to fruition as Addeybb ran out a stylish winner of the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
The Newmarket handler pinpointed a trip to Sydney as a potential option following Addeybb’s win on soft ground in last year’s Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The six-year-old gelding made a successful Australian debut when winning the Group One Ranvet Stakes last month, narrowly beating Verry Elleegant following a thrilling battle, with the 10-furlong heat at Randwick the ultimate aim.
Addeybb was always to the fore in the hands of Tom Marquand in the Queen Elizabeth, leading the field turning into the straight, with star Japanese horse Danon Premium primed to make his challenge on the outside.
He made his move inside the final couple of furlongs and it briefly looked as though Danon Premium could grab the glory, but Addeybb had plenty in reserve and when Marquand gave the signal, he found another gear.
Addeybb stretched clear inside the distance, with Marquand easing down just before the line to beat Verry Elleegant by two and three-quarter lengths, with Danon Premium third.
Haggas watched the race at his Newmarket base and is hoping to have Addeybb back home soon, although the current coronavirus crisis could impact on his travel back to Europe.
He said: “Addeybb was great – I was thrilled with him.
“The Champion Stakes would be an obvious race for him in the autumn, but obviously we don’t know what the year will look like at this stage and where and when races will be run.
“He’s won two Group Ones in the last three weeks, we’ve achieved what we set out to do and we can just relax a bit now.
“We have had luck on our side I think. We’ve been very, very well looked after there and everything has gone our way – we got rain when we needed it and it all just worked in our favour this year.
“It rarely works out like that when you plan so far in advance, so we’re pleased.
“Young Rascal (unplaced in the Sydney Cup on the same card) was a bit disappointing, but Addeybb has made up for it.”
Marquand claimed the first Group One of his career aboard Addeybb in the Ranvet and he was delighted to make it a big-race double.
He told Sky Racing: “What a tough, straightforward, genuine horse. He just switches off, knows when to turn it on and he just drops his head and runs for you – you don’t even have to ask him.
“It’s an honour to ride a horse like that and for William Haggas and (owner) Sheikh Ahmed (al Maktoum) to keep me on him is just pretty mind-blowing.
“He goes through that ground as if it’s not even there – I guess that’s just one of his main attributes and shows how tough he is, because he just doesn’t care and runs straight over the top of it.
“Today travelling round, there was never a moment when I thought I wasn’t going to pick up – I guess it was just how much the Japanese horse found and everyone else.
“To come down here and win the Queen Elizabeth on an English horse for someone who has given me a lot of support, at a time that’s been tough for English racing, it could not mean more”