Blinkers on! Addeybb team changes things up for latest clash with Verry Elleegant

Horse Racing Addeybb Champion Stakes Ascot
Addeybb: blinkers will replace the usual cheekpieces for Queen Elizabeth Stakes clash with Verry Elleegant. Photo: Racenews

By Jon Lees

Australia: Addeybb will have a change of headgear when he seeks to land back-to-back editions of the A$4 million (about £2.2m) Queen Elizabeth Stakes, eagerly-awaited highlight of Day Two of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday.

UPDATE: everything you need to know as guts gets the glory for Addeybb and Tom Marquand

Trainer William Haggas has declared his stable star to run in a pair of blinkers for the first time, replacing the cheekpieces he has worn since he won at Royal Ascot in 2019, for his fourth head-to-head with eight-time G1-winning mare Verry Elleegant.

“It’s probably about time,” jockey Tom Marquand told Sky Racing after Tuesday’s barrier draw. “He’s had cheekpieces on for the last three or four years. 

“It’s not like they are going to be a big shock to the system. He’s not going to suddenly grow a spectacular pair of wings and do something that he has never done before but it might just help in the run, help him travel and put a bit of spark back into him.”

Addeybb was unbeaten in a two-race Sydney campaign in 2020, winning both the Ranvet Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and beating the Verry Elleegant on both occasions. In their third meeting in this year’s Ranvet, the Caulfield Cup winner gained her revenge over Addeybb.

Their clash is the highlight of Sydney’s Championships with the field also including other big names in Cox Plate and Tancred Stakes winner Sir Dragonet and All-Star Mile winner Mugatoo. The ground at Randwick on Tuesday was soft, with a dry week forecast.

Addeybb has a length to find on Verry Elleegant from last month’s Rosehill clash.

“Honestly I couldn’t help but walk away thinking it was a touch below par,” said Marquand. “It was a huge run and Verry Elleegant was very good on the day. He didn’t quite hit that last 100 metres like he normally does.

“Realistically it was probably a good thing that we were beaten by Verry Elleegant when we didn’t feel like he was completely on song, otherwise you’d be thinking where are going to pull a length from?

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to turn the tables, but at the same time there are eight horses in the race, you’ve got other G1 winners in there and it’s going to prove a pretty good spectacle.”

• Visit the Australian Turf Club website

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