Hoo Ya Mal books a ticket for St Leger with a smooth win at Goodwood
Hoo Ya Mal booked himself a tilt at St Leger after rightly opening his account for the season in the William Hill March stakes at Goodwood.
A Desert Crown runner-up when sent off 150-1 for the Derby in early June, the Territories colt was then bought for £1.2million on the eve of Royal Ascot by Australian owners.
Hoo Ya Mal, who is due to join Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s practice squad later in the year ahead of a possible Melbourne Cup tilt, made his first start for George Boughey after leaving Andrew’s court Balding in last month’s Gordon Stakes at Goodwood – finishing third behind Léger’s favorite Lew London.
Buoyed by this form, he was a prohibitively priced 30-100 favorite against just three rivals in this one-mile, six-stay Group Three and he recorded an outright victory.
The Queen’s two-time winner Perfect Alibi gave Hoo Ya Mal a lead for much of the way, but he traveled well in her wake and pulled two-and-a-half lengths once William Buick gave her the lead .
Coral left the winner’s Doncaster odds unchanged at 8-1, with Charlie Appleby-trained New London leading the market at 4-6.
Boughey told ITV Racing: “The thing we’ve learned is that he’s going 14 furlongs, which slightly challenges his pedigree.
“William just told me he’s a horse that doesn’t feel like he’s staying – but he’s staying. He’s got that class advantage. In the standings he was expected to win and he didn’t. Didn’t do much today.
“I just wanted to see him relax and hit the line. It was softer ground and a trip he had never been on before so William was thrilled and good to have ticked a box.
“We’ll let the dust settle. It’s quite late at night or early in the morning in Australia and I’ll be talking to Gai and Adrian on the way back. They’re responsible.
“Leger is the logical step for him and it’s a pleasure to have him at home.”
Fairy Cross marks its class in Prestige Stakes
Fairy Cross entered his class on the William Hill Prestige Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood.
Charlie Appleby’s young daughter looked way above average when she wandered into a Newmarket maiden in June after which she was hit with the unbeaten Dance In The Grass in the Star Stakes of Sandown.
She was the 2-1 favorite to get back to the winning track level at Group Three level at the Sussex Downs and got the job done in style.
Still traveling well ahead in the hands of William Buick, Fairy Cross sped through the cut and was in the clear race inside the final furlong.
Breege did well to come within a length of the line, while Bright Diamond finished with promise in third place. But in truth, the winner seemed to have a lot in hand.
Appleby said: “I am delighted with this performance. I just spoke to William and he said she had a lot of natural rhythm there.
“He sees no reason why she can’t go the mile later, but she’s very comfortable at seven furlongs right now.
“There are no set plans or future goals, but she is a filly that is progressing well.”
Major Fairy Cross races include the Rockfel Stakes in Newmarket on September 23 and the Fillies’ Mile on October 7.
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