Wow! Al Aasy wins the Al Rayyan Stakes with his head in his chest
Al Aasy oozed class and is now a short price for the Coronation Cup following what amounted to a victory stroll in the Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury.
Sent off the 10-11 favourite for the Group Three following a similarly impressive display in the John Porter earlier in the year, the four-year-old faced stiffer opposition this time.
Last year’s Dante winner Thunderous and 2019 St Leger winner Logician were among the opposition – but Jim Crowley did not move in the saddle as the William Haggas-trained colt breezed to a four-length success.
Thunderous chased him home, but the winning distance could easily have been doubled.
"We never get them off the bridle at home. He always looks like Nijinsky against the others!" - Watch what William Haggas had to say about Al Aasy
“He won very well. He settled well and won very well and I can’t really say more than that, as he looks like that at home – he’s a talented horse,” said Haggas, who has never hidden his admiration for his charge.
“He’s done well this year and we’ll find out in the Coronation Cup – as that is where he is going next – how good he is.
“They never get quick ground at Epsom and we’ve got one in the Derby (Mohaafeth) that needs it quick and it is bound to rain for him – if it does that will suit Al Aasy.
“He didn’t surprise me. We were really gutted with him in the Gordon Stakes last year, but that race was a mess and the ground was very quick.
“He’s talented and is in everything we could possibly put him in. We’ll put him in the Arc, but there’s a long way to go before then.
“I’d fancy coming back to 10 (furlongs) with him, but I’m not sure. He’s pretty good at a mile and a half and there are some pretty nice races at that trip, starting with Epsom and then Ascot in the summer (King George).
“If he’s going to run in the Arc he’ll need a break at some stage. I wasn’t going to run him today, I was going to go straight to Epsom, but he needed a race as he was too well.
“He’s got a long way to go, he’s won two Group Threes, but he’s a good horse.
“He’s a very enthusiastic horse, but the good thing is in both races this year he’s dropped the bridle. Jim is getting his confidence in him now which we’ve always had, but he – quite rightly – had lost a bit after Goodwood.”
Crowley was equally as impressed and said: “He’s a monster of a horse, I just had a double handful throughout.
“He’s a bit of a handful and I think that is why William wanted to give him another race, but he gave me a great ride – he sort of dragged me to the front.
“You don’t get many horses give you that sort of feel. He appreciated the cut in the ground, but hopefully he hasn’t stopped improving.
“We’ll see where we go from Epsom.”
Paddy Power initially cut Al Aasy into 2-1 (from 9-2) for the Coronation Cup, but were forced to go shorter still at 7-4.
Creative Force looks a sprinter on the up after blitzing his rivals in the BetVictor Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury.
Creative Force wins at Newbury
Charlie Appleby’s three-year-old, who is gelded so will be unable to run in the Commonwealth Cup, came from last to first under James Doyle to beat Spycatcher by a comfortable three lengths.
Sent off a 9-4 chance, he has now won four of his five races, with his sole defeat in the Coventry Stakes last year.
“He’s a progressive little horse,” said Appleby from Newmarket.
“The way he’s hitting the line over six the option could be there to step up to seven furlongs and he could be a Jersey horse, but I haven’t had chance to speak to James yet.
“Unfortunately he doesn’t qualify for the Commonwealth, but the Jersey could be a possibility. If not we’ll step him up to Group company over six. He settles, so he gives himself a chance.
“He’s a fun little horse to have around at the moment. Who knows, if he hadn’t been gelded he might not be doing what he’s doing now. He’s there to be a racehorse and that’s what he’s doing now.
“When these sprinters get on a roll you don’t know when they’ll plateau out. Thankfully he’s on an upward curve.”
Few in the weighing room are riding better than former champion Ryan Moore this season – and he again showed how difficult he is to beat in a finish when Dukebox (8-1) prevailed in a photo to the BetVictor Conditions Stakes.
Richard Hannon used the same race as a stepping stone to Royal Ascot in 2016 for Mehmas, who went on to be second on the Coventry before winning the July Stakes and the Richmond at Goodwood.
Dukebox had won on debut at Kempton, but the market favoured stablemate Al Shibli, who went off the 7-4 favourite.
Oisin Murphy appeared to have done everything right on Dairerin, who hit the front deep inside the final furlong, but Moore would not be denied and got the verdict by a nose.
“This lad is out of Broadway Duchess who we also trained, I own a quarter along with Christopher Powell who unfortunately lost his wife (Jenny) six months ago and this is when you find out horses give you something money can’t buy,” said Hannon.
“He’ll go to the Coventry and I’ve put him in the Railway Stakes as well. He won today like he won his first race, he never looked like he’d win either.
“They went pretty quick, Ryan said it felt like the Abbaye. It’s always the sign of a good horse when they only just do enough.
“The other horse is nice and when he gets some fast ground he’ll win.”Simply sign up and deposit with one of our 13 betting partners and we'll send you a FREE Racing TV Speaker! In stock now and ready to ship! Click here for more details.
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