3 minute read
William Haggas’ Hamish landed a seventh Group race success when running out a comfortable winner of the re-arranged Group 3 Betfred St Simon Stakes at Newmarket.
The Haggas-trained seven-year-old has enjoyed a fine season in 2023 and made it four wins from as many starts in the Group 3 prize, which was re-arranged following Newbury's abandonment last Saturday.
Although weak in the betting before the off, Hamish's success never really looked in doubt as he travelled powerfully into contention alongside King Of Conquest. The son of Motivator, who has plenty of winning group form in soft ground, proved age was certainly not catching up with him when battling on strongly in the closing stages to deny the hat-trick-seeking Al Qareem by a length and three-quarters to form the middle leg of a near 259-1 treble on the card for the triumphant Newmarket handler.
Maureen Haggas, who knows the horse better than anyone having ridden the gelding since he was a three-year-old, said: "He has had a good year, and he has been great. It is never easy when you have a horse that needs that slow ground. He has had his problems, so we have to look after him and I think he has lasted this long because we look after him.
"He was very naughty at Goodwood, and he can be quite difficult, but we saddled him in the stables, and it has all gone like clockwork so I'm relieved.
"He got really naughty as a three-year-old and he wouldn't go anywhere so I started riding him and I've ridden him ever since.
"I ride him every day and I know him back to front, but he hates Newbury, so I wasn't too displeased with the race not being down there and being here instead. He is just very argumentative, and you could spend all day arguing with him.
"As long as he goes out, does his work every day, and comes back I just try and leave him alone, but he has always been like that. I suppose that is the Montjeu in him. He was a bit heavy today as it is that time of year when you don't want to overdo them.
"Usually at this time of the year he looks like a hat rack, but he is fat, but he has gone and done it. I love him to bits, but he barely tolerates me.
"He is a great horse and I'm thrilled for William's father [Brian] who bred him. He is just a real star. It is nice when you have had them for so long as he is like a pet."
Although already a seven-year-old, the Haggas team certainly hope to see their beloved star back on a racecourse in 2024.
She continued: "I hope we see him back next year. As long as he stays in one piece, he has got nothing else to do except be a racehorse, then he is going to have to be my hack, so I think he would rather be a racehorse for a while."
Earlier on the card, The Reverend [9-2] and Cieren Fallon kicked things off for Haggas with a length and three-quarters victory in the Betfred "Double Delight" British EBF Novice Stakes, before Laafi [20-1] completed the trainers treble and gave Fallon his double on the card when landing the Betfred "Hat Trick Heaven" Handicap by two and three-quarter lengths.