03/08/19

KHAADEM CRUISES HOME FOR HILLS

Horse Racing - Press Article

Khaadem's easy victory in the £250,000 Unibet Stewards' Cup for trainer Charlie Hills and jockey Jim Crowley was a second win in the handicap for his trainer, following Magical Memory in 2015. The Dark Angel-sired colt was the 4/1 favourite, and became the joint shortest-priced winner of the Unibet Stewards' Cup (with 2003 winner Patavellian) since 1946.

Khaadem carried 9st 6lb to his two and three-quarter lengths triumph over 14/1 chance Open Wide - the highest weight ever carried to victory in the race by a three-year-old. The previous record belonged to Red Alert, who carried 9st 2lb when winning in 1974, and Matador, who carried the same weight in 1956.

A delighted Hills, for whom this was a third success of the 2019 Qatar Goodwood Festival, said: "I so enjoyed that, everything went perfectly really. 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.

"I guess we will have to look at the G1 [Sprint Cup] at Haydock. Magical Memory won this race and just got touched off there. I think this fellow is a very good horse who is only going to get better and better."

Asked about Khaadem's price, which shortened considerably in recent days, Hills replied: "He's a three-year-old and sometimes they attract quite a bit of attention. He ran a terrific race at Newbury last time when nothing really went the right way. You can never be too confident in a big-race field like this about the draw and how the pace is. He doesn't know what he price he is!

"I think he could be a Group horse - I think he's up to that. He did it really impressively today. I was really impressed with the way he behaved today. He was a little bit mentally not quite on his A game earlier in the year; he had to have a hood on in the preliminaries, but now he's growing up and starting to become a man. Hopefully we've got a tremendous future with this horse.

"He had a dirty scope after the [G1] Commonwealth Cup [at Royal Ascot]; he just wasn't right. He was just so lethargic that day and I had really fancied him, but at least we had an excuse for that and we've put that to bed now. His last two races have been fantastic."

 

 

CROWLEY AGAIN AS KHAADEM IMPRESSES

Jim Crowley completed a 21.5/1 double and moved into second place behind PJ McDonald in the battle to be the Racing TV leading jockey at the Qatar Goodwood Festival when the Charlie Hills-trained three-year-old Khaadem made short work of a typically strong field in the £250,000 Unibet Stewards' Cup.

The colt's success came just 40 minutes after Enbihaar had hacked up in the G2 Qatar Lilie Langtry Stakes, and 24 hours after Battaash won the G2 King George Qatar Stakes, Crowley partnering all three for his boss Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Khaadem made his effort close to the far rail and came home two and three-quarter lengths clear of Open Wide (14/1), with Raucous (28/1) third, as he was in 2016.

Crowley said: "Fair play to Charlie for running him in the race. As a three-year-old, this race suits him well and, after his last run, he is a Group horse in a handicap. Mentally, he is improving all the time and it was a great performance.

"I had to squeeze through a bit of a gap up Joe Fanning's inside at the two pole but we were always in a dream run and it worked out perfect."

He added: "The week's got better. I knew Friday and Saturday were my best days, and so it has proved. He got no luck in running last time and Charlie hass always held him in high regard.

"He's got the most beautiful pedigree, and we'd love to make a stallion out of him by winning a Group 1. Charlie went for the Haydock Sprint Cup with Magical Memory after he won this, and that's the sort of race this horse can go for now."

Perrett reacts to Open Wide's second

14/1 chance Open Wide, came home two and three quarter lengths adrift of the impressive 4/1 favourite Khaadem, in the £250,000 Unibet Stewards' Cup, the feature heritage handicap over six furlongs on the last day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival 2019.

Local trainer Amanda Perrett, based near Pulborough, said: "Open Wide had a little bit of ground to make up - they went very quick. Jim [Crowley, Khaadem] was virtually upsides us three out, but has got a slightly better run through.

"We were beaten by a better horse on the day, no excuses. We are very proud of our horse. He has run twice this week and loves top of the ground - hopefully they might take away his Timeform squiggle now!"

Perrett went on to comment on the watered ground, after four millimetres of water was put on the straight overnight: "We started the meeting on rain-softened ground and today, on the last day of the meeting, they have put four millimetres of water on the straight. It is not fair on these fast ground horses. They have got the conditions to suit them and they have gone and watered. Mark Johnston (fellow trainer) is very right - they have got to make the ground safe, but they shouldn't make it loose on top. These horses have been waiting for fast ground all year."

Pat Dobbs, partner of the five-year-old Invincible Spirit gelding, added: "I didn't get the run I wanted - I got drawn left all the way and I wanted to go right."

Apprentice Cieren Fallon, jockey of the third, 28/1 shot Raucous, a further three quarters of a length back, said: "It was an unbelievable race, especially with a six pound penalty. He got a bit lonely on his own - I think that if something would have challenged him, he would have battled on."

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