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Haggas out to make history in the Balmoral with Aldaary

11 Oct 2021

Aldaary will be bidding to become the first three-year-old winner of the Balmoral Handicap (sponsored by QIPCO). Trained by William Haggas, he recently beat the Andrew Balding-trained Symbolize in an Ascot seven-furlong handicap a couple of weeks ago.

Ridden by Jim Crowley, he was one of three runners whose riders elected to race close to the far rail, and he won every bit as easily as favourite for this race Sunray Major. However, Sunray Major still needs plenty of horses to come out before making the field, with a maximum field of 20 runners.

Haggas said: “We’ll run Aldaary with his penalty, as well as Johan and Montatham, who are also guaranteed to get in. I don’t think the others will make the cut, but it’s a £200,000 handicap and they will run if they do.”

John Gosden has saddled the runner-up here five times, most recently with subsequent dual Group 1 winner Lord North in 2019. Aside from Sunray Major, he also has Al Rufaa, King Leonidas and Magical Morning in a strong team.

Gosden said: “Sunray Major could be exciting if he gets in. There’s not much more for these horses for the rest of the year and we’ll just see what gets in.”

While neither Haggas nor Gosden has won the Balmoral Handicap before, David O’Meara has won it twice, with Lord Glitters (2017) and Escobar (2019), both horses relishing the strong pace over the straight mile and coming from near last to first.

Escobar, one of several possible representatives for the stable on Saturday, also came second in between, but he has now gone two years without a win. Friday’s penalised York winner Shelir would be another interesting one from the stable were he to make the cut.

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Sir Busker (IRE) Oh This Is Us (IRE)Montatham (GB) Accidental Agent (GB) Magical Morning (GB) Escobar (IRE) Dashing Roger (GB) Raise You (IRE) Nugget (GB) Johan (GB) Matthew Flinders (GB) Rhoscolyn (GB) Saltonstall (GB) King Leonidas (GB) Royal Marine (IRE) Marie’s Diamond (IRE) Symbolize (IRE) Baradar (IRE) Young Fire (FR) Al Rufaa (FR) Indeed (GB) Aldaary (GB) Casanova (GB) Star of Orion (IRE
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