The Northern Hemisphere raider Addeybb won his second AUD$4m (US$3.095m) Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at The Championships at Royal Randwick in Sydney as he out battled Australian star mare Verry Elleegant this morning.
The William Haggis-trained Addeybb produced a gritty performance to win by half a length on firmer ground than the gelding prefers and in the process take revenge on Verry Elleegant who beat him into second in the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill Gardens last month.
Addeybb broke slowly from gate three forcing his jockey Tom Marquand to push him on to the heels of the leaders. Verry Elleegant was over-racing and throwing her head about, making life difficult for both herself and rider James McDonald, who dropped her in towards the rear of the field.
McDonald crept closer on the outside rounding the turn for home and made a challenge down the straight. The mare was no match for Addeybb this time round, however, as the gelding fought off the eight-time Group 1 winner’s determined challenge, never looking as though he would relinquish the lead in the dying stages of the race. There was a length between the first two at the wire, with a further short neck back to the early race leader, Dalasan, in third place.
Group1 George Ryder Stakes winner Think It Over was fourth, only a length and a half behind the winner, while the well-supported third favourite Sir Dragonet was the disappointment of the race in fifth.
Winning rider, twenty-three year-old Tom Marquand, said of the victory:
“He’s done it down here, he’s done it back at home and honestly, I’m the most privileged person in the world to be sat on him.”
Commenting on the closing stages of the Group 1 contest, Marquand stated:
“At the 300 metres, I got into a state where it didn’t matter what was around me. It was just him galloping. He’s incredible. I was completely unaware of which horses were where. All I could feel was that they were all pushing to the line. But, if ever there is a horse to have at the 200 metres in a scrap, it is him.”
Victorious trainer William Haggis, son-in-aw of legendary jockey Lester Piggott, was high in his praise of Marquand and the influence the young man had on today’s win:
“He has put in a lot of work with this horse. I personally want to thank Tom for going for the blinkers because I wasn’t sure. It was his call to put blinkers on. It was fantastic to watch.”
In the clash of the hemispheres, it’s now 3-1 to Europe’s Addeybb as he becomes the first Northern Hemisphere-trained horse to win three Group 1 races in Australia.
Saturday’s success was a fourth win at Group 1 level for Addeybb, who completed the Ranvet Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes double last year in Australia, before returning to England to land the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Owned by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the 7-year-old chestnut gelding has won 12 races from his 22 starts and has been placed a further six times. Bought for what now seems a bargain GBP£200,000 (US$277,000) at the 2015 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Addeybb has now earned more than AUD$6.2 million (US$4.797m) in purse winnings.
Addeybb became only the fourth horse to win multiple Queen Elizabeth Stakes joining Tulloch (1958,60,61), Grand Armee (2004,2005) and Winx (2017,2018,2019).
James McDonald, jockey of the Winx Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Chipping Norton Stakes and Ranvet Stakes winner, and today’s runner-up, Verry Elleegant said post-race:
“She went amazing. She was pulling a bit hard early, and was jostled a bit, which got her upset.”
Sir Dragonet’s rider Glen Boss blamed himself for the poor final placing for the son of Camelot, stating:
“(It’s) probably not the most intelligent ride I’ve ever ridden in a race. He was good. With the tempo in the race, I probably should have made a mid-race move at the mile. I thought I’d tag Verry Elleegant, who was probably the horse to beat. He was left flat-footed when they sprinted. In all honesty, I should have been on my bike much, much earlier.”
Addeybb’s trainer William Haggis has stated that there aren’t any immediate plans for his dual Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner. A run in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in October, however, is likely to be on the agenda again this year, and the English conditioner hinted at a long-term hope to return to Australia in 2022 in an effort to emulate Winx in winning the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on three successive occasions.
Feature by: Breandán Ó hUallacháin
Photos: Courtesy of Channel 7 Australia Twitter account (@7horseracing)