William Haggas' stable star Addeybb is on track to head to Ascot on Champions Day and compete in the British Champion Stakes for the second time in consecutive seasons.
The six year old had a break after his second at Ascot last October and then went over to Australia for the first time in his career and at the back end of March became a black type winner for the first time when taking the Ranvet Stakes on his first start down under.
The big target whilst Addeybb was over there was to race in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes and on April 11th, with the rain bringing his favoured soft ground, he went on to take the contest with ease.
Since coming back over to the UK, he made his seasonal debut in the Group One Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and he finished a decent second to the stand alone winner Lord North.
Haggas explained that he needed a run before heading to Ascot and was seen earlier this month when taking the Listed Doonside Cup, blowing away the cobwebs.
It looked a perfect prep run and with Magical, who beat him last year in the Group One race since winning another Group One, the form of last years Champion Stakes looks superb.
(Credit ATR) “I was really happy, because I thought it was quite a tough race,” said Haggas.
“Usually if you run a Group One horse in a Listed race you frighten everything away – but maybe because there’d been no decent ground, it persuaded people to run.
“They didn’t go very fast, and he looked in trouble – to my eye anyway – two out, but he picked up real good.
“That will have done him a lot of good, and he’ll go off to Ascot with a chance. It will be tough – but it’s the Champion Stakes, (so) it should be. He’s entitled to go, and he’ll be a sporting bet.”
The Newmarket based handler has opted to keep the cheekpieces on the gelding for the Group One outing and believes it has brought the best out of him since the addition of them.
He added: “His record since we put cheek-pieces on – which aren’t because he’s ungenuine, but they just help him – is outstanding (never out of first two in eight runs).
“He’s not a flash horse, which is why he might be (a bigger price). He is what he is – that is what everyone thinks, they all look for the younger ones, the Mishriffs of this world.
“Mishriff is a very good horse, but he’ll need to be on his A game.
“Then there’s Magical (last year’s winner), but I’m hoping she might run in the Arc first. Given they’ve [owners Coolmore] got Love and Mogul, though, she might not, I suppose.”