By Jon Lees
GB: William Haggas is planning a return trip to Australia in the new year with Champion Stakes winner Addeybb to defend the two G1 prizes he captured at the start of 2020 – Covid-19-travel restrictions allowing.
Haggas brilliantly executed an ambitious raid with Addeyybb in the spring when the gelding won the Ranvet and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in March and April.
The Newmarket trainer is counting on being able to ship the six-year-old to Sydney’s Autumn Carnival with one other horse – possibly John Smith’s Cup winner Sinjaari – but he will keep the Saudi Cup dirt option open as an alternative if Covid-19 restrictions interfere with travel plans.
“My number one choice is Australia,” said Haggas. “If everything was normal Addeybb would go back there. But things might not be normal so he may well go for the Saudi Cup.
“He’s never run on dirt but he has run on the all-weather at Lingfield once and didn’t shine there so it’s not the perfect scenario. We are preparing for Australia but if they start closing everything down, that plan could change.”
Addeybb twice beat star Australian mare Verry Elleegant to triumph at Rosehill Gardens and Randwick under Tom Marquand, who will also return to Sydney. Addeybb was accompanied on the same trip by former Haggas-trained stablemate Young Rascal, who left his mark too by winning a G3 prize.
“Having Young Rascal there as well was very important for both of them,” said Haggas. “Addeybb needs some company and I think that could be Sinjaari. They go into quarantine at the end of February.”
“I wouldn’t mind running Addeybb in the Tancred Stakes but it’s a week after the Ranvet, thereby giving us only two weeks to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which is a little bit tight.
“One of the reasons he went to Ayr before the Champion Stakes and didn’t go to Paris was for exactly the same reason. He needed the time to get psyched up for Ascot so I think it will be the Ranvet, then the Queen Elizabeth; the Tancred will have to wait.”
Haggas saw an opportunity for Addeybb in Australia at a time of the year when ground conditions in New South Wales begin to turn soft – and the trainer’s overseas exploits were not finished there as he saddled now-retired One Master to a historic third victory in the Prix de la Foret
“Addeybb and One Master were my two stars,” he said. “What she achieved was fabulous. To win the one G1 race in Europe over 7f and win it three times running says it all. We shall miss her.”
• Learn more about the Sydney Autumn Carnival at the Australian Turf Club website