Thursday 22 August 2019

Khaadem to step up after sprint procession

Khaadem and Jim Crowley. Photo: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
Khaadem and Jim Crowley. Photo: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

Bob Gibson

Khaadem landed an almighty gamble to turn the Unibet Stewards' Cup into a near procession at Goodwood. Only a three-year-old, Khaadem had finished second in a Group Three last time out and ended up being the proverbial Group horse in a handicap.

As big as 8-1 in the morning, he was steadily backed all day and was sent off the 4-1 favourite.

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Representing owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, trainer Charlie Hills and jockey Jim Crowley - successful 24 hours earlier with Battaash in the Group Two King George Stakes - he demonstrated they have another sprint star on their hands.

Ornate finished third to Battaash on Friday, was turned out again quickly by David Griffiths and at halfway, he was four lengths clear but had shot his bolt with a furlong to run. By then Crowley was manoeuvring Khaadem up against the far rail to make his challenge and when he got to the front, the race was over.

Khaadem ran out a two-and-three-quarter-length winner from Open Wide, with Raucous third and Summerghand fourth.

"I so enjoyed that - everything went perfectly really," said Hills. "Three-year-olds have got a pretty good record in this race recently. I am sure that he could get seven furlongs if we wanted to go that route, but he is the most beautiful-looking horse.

"He is growing up with every race that he has, and we have to look at a Group race next. He is a class horse and is only going to get better and better, so I think we have to go to the top table with him."

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