Newmarket-based Flat trainer, William Haggas, has credited the efforts of British Olympic gold-medal winning venter, Laura Collett, with the transformation of one of his horses, who heads to do battle in the Group One Champion Stakes at the Qipco Champions Day later today (16 October).
Dubai Honour (pictured nearside), a three-year-old colt by Pride Of Dubai and owned by Mohamed Obaida, has won four of his career starts so far, clocking up over £356,000 in prize money in the process, but his trainer has said that this horse’s improvement in form came after spending six weeks with Laura earlier this year.
“In the winter we lost him, he got very free and didn’t want to do anything,” Haggas said to the Racing Post. “We sent him off to Laura and she sent a video of him six weeks later and he looked absolutely magnificent. He was a completely different horse and he’s done nothing but thrive since, he’s transformed.”
Dubai Honour has now won all three of his previous starts, and has improved a total of 25lbs in the weights this year. His last two starts have been in Group Two contests; the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville and the the Prix Dollar at Lonchamp on the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe weekend earlier this month. This culminated in the decision being made between Mr Haggas and Mohamed Obaida to pay the £75,000 supplementary fee (the equivalent to a late entry fee) to line up in the Champion Stakes at Ascot racecourse tomorrow.
“We ran him in the Dollar and James [Doyle, jockey] said he showed a very smart turn of foot,” explained Haggas. “He was well on top at the finish. I put the suggestion to the owner to supplement and he nearly bit my hand off for it. He’s an intriguing runner.”
Laura Collett is delighted with the colt’s progress posting on Instagram: “I can’t quite believe the very naughty little three-year-old that came to me in March to ‘sort out’, is now running in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. I’m so excited that I will be there and look forward to cheering him on having played a very small part in getting him there.”
The Champion Stakes gets underway at 3.50pm and, at the time of writing, Dubai Honour was third favourite at 7/1 in a 10-strong runner field.
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