Sunday 11 December 2016

Smullen - Harzand 'gave us two great days'

Published 24/10/2016 | 19:11

Pat Smullen with Harzand
Pat Smullen with Harzand

Pat Smullen is hopeful that Harzand proves as much of a success as a stallion as he was on the racecourse.

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The Dermot Weld-trained colt won four of his seven races and was ridden in all of them by Smullen, including when he landed the Epsom and Irish Derbys, and is retiring to his owner the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud in 2017.

Harzand overcame a last-minute scare to land the Investec Derby, and Smullen said: "Epsom was nerve-racking, but when I cantered him to the start there was never a question of him not running as he felt great.

"After he won the Ballysax I said I didn't think he'd be suited to Epsom, but all spring he kept on proving me wrong, he kept on improving.

"That's just typical of very good horses - they keep on improving - and he gave us two great days.

"He got struck into at Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes) which meant his race was over and that made it a rush to get him ready for the Arc. Maybe it just came too soon.

"That was unfortunate. He won his maiden by 16 lengths in April so he'd been on the go a long time, he was exceptionally good in both Derby wins.

"Hopefully he'll go on to prove Sea The Stars as the sire of sires."

Press Association

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