Addeybb wins Queen Elizabeth Stakes again - GulfToday

Addeybb wins Queen Elizabeth Stakes again


Tom Marquand, aboard Addeybb, celebrates after winning the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday. Courtesy: Racing NSW Twitter

Jebel Ali Racecourse patron, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Addeybb won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes crown for the second successive year after battling success over Verry Elleegant at Randwick on Saturday.

It was the fourth win at Group 1 level for Addeybb, and the first in front of a crowd, having last year landed the Ranvet and Queen Elizabeth in Australia before finishing his season with success in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot. He also became the first northern hemisphere-trained horse to win three Group 1s in Australia, Racing Post reported.

Jockey Tom Marquand, who will return to Britain after this weekend, was emotional after the race, the report added.

“It’s the closest I’ve been to tears for a very, very long time and I’m not all that old,” he said. “It’s been pretty tough being away from home for a few months and I’d do it ten times over for a moment like that.

“Last year was incredible but I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was for everyone to come down here and win a race of this magnitude with no crowd. I thought I was unlucky, but now I realise I’m twice as lucky because I rode my first Group 1 winners here last year without a crowd and it’s almost like doing it all over again. The atmosphere here is just incredible.”

Marquand, who wore a black armband in honour of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, added: “What a phenomenal bid from William Haggas to bring him back down here because at points I was probably sceptical, as many were. All I can say is thank you, it’s been incredible.”

Addeybb broke slowly from stall three and Marquand acted quickly to push him on to the heels of the leaders. Verry Elleegant appeared to pull hard in the early stages and was dropped back towards the rear of the field by James McDonald.

McDonald crept closer on the outside rounding the turn and issued his challenge down the straight, but the mare was no match for Addeybb this time around, who never looked like relinquishing the lead.

“How tough he was there, genuinely at the 300 [metres] I went into a state where it didn’t matter what was going on around me, it was just him galloping,” said Marquand.

“I was completely unaware of which horses were where, all I could feel was they were pushing him to the line. If ever there’s a horse to have at the 200 metres in a scrap, it’s him.”

Haggas was delighted his decision to send Addeybb back to Australia was rewarded, but admitted he was too nervous to watch the battle unfold.

“I have to say I couldn’t watch it really,” the trainer said. “Once he jumped, and jumped slow, and there was a bit of fiddling about early on, I walked out into the yard, because all the staff were watching on a big television.

“One of the girls said she felt sick, it was a very emotional moment. I don’t think the other horses in the yard realise what’s going on, it’s a monumental moment.”

Seven-year-old Addeybb was sporting blinkers for the first time in the Queen Elizabeth and Haggas explained Marquand was the reason for the headgear being added.

“Tom made the decision and I supported him,” Haggas added. “It was a good call by Tom, I was worried about the ground but this is a remarkably resilient horse and he proved it today.

“The first person who rang after the horses crossed the line was Chris Waller [trainer of Verry Elleegant], and that shows what a sportsman he is. This is a tremendous day for racing, both northern and southern hemispheres, and we’re very proud to be part of it.”

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