By Jon Lees
GB: Royal Ascot winner Addeybb and one-time Derby hopeful Young Rascal are to start their 2020 campaigns in Australia.
Just as the turf season is about to kick off in Britain, two of trainer William Haggas’s best older horses will be 10,000 miles away sizing up some of Sydney’s biggest prizes.
Both entered quarantine this week to prepare for a rare foray by their Newmarket trainer to Australia which offers the promise of lucrative prize-money that would be unattainable at home.
Haggas said: “Young Rascal and Addeybb went into quarantine on Thursday and they are going to Australia on February 29.
“Addeybb is going for the Ranvet Stakes on March 21, over a mile and a quarter, followed by the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 11. Young Rascal is going for the Manion Cup on March 21 and then the Sydney Cup on April 11.
“It is an unusual schedule and it’s a risk, but they are nice horses and these are valuable races.”
Addeybb is targeting two G1 races over 1m2f with the Ranvet worth A$700,000 (£360,000) at Rosehill Gardens before the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the A$4 million (£2.06m) highlight of Day 2 of The Championships at Randwick.
The latter event is Sydney’s senior weight-for-age contest, won for the last three years by the legendary Winx, who was retired after her 33rd straight success in last year’s race.
Young Rascal will prep in the NE Manion Cup (also Rosehill), a G3 prize over 1m4f worth A$160,000 (about £80,000), before the G1 Sydney Cup, a A$2m event over two miles at Randwick.
Addeybb, who won the Lincoln in 2018, beat Aidan O’Brien’s globetrotting mare Magic Wand to win the Wolferton Stakes last summer and finished second to her stablemate Magical in the Qipco British Champion Stakes. He has shown all his best form on soft ground.
Young Rascal is a three-time G3 winner who finished seventh in the 2018 Derby.
Haggas said: “Addeybb likes soft ground. They had had no rain for ages out there and it is currently waterlogged. I think in four of the last five years it has been very wet there for these races, so I’m hoping.
“I am very happy with them both. They are geldings and they have no value other than what they win. Young Rascal could develop into a Melbourne Cup horse if he is successful.”
The highlight of the March 21 Rosehill Gardens card will be the A$3.5m Golden Slipper in which Tom Marquand is set to be involved after a highly successful winter stint in Sydney. He could be a riding option for Haggas.
“Tom is going to be there for the Slipper,” Haggas added. “I haven’t firmed everything up, but he could possibly ride. He rode Young Rascal to win at Kempton last November. It’s very possible that might happen.
“I’ve had a few runners in Australia before. Raheen House went last year but he left me after two runs and Fastnet Tempest went out there and stayed there and he won a Listed race for us.”