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Newbury report: Elarqam bounces back to form with Legacy Cup win

Sat 19 Sep 2020

Elarqam got his career back on track with a front-running victory in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury.

A son of Frankel out of the yard’s brilliant racemare Attraction, Mark Johnston’s has largely upheld family honour well, with Group Three and Group Two triumphs featuring among his five previous career wins.

However, since a promising start to the season when touched off by Lord North at Haydock, the five-year-old has disappointed in both the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and when bidding for back-to-back successes in the York Stakes.

Jim Crowley’s mount was a 2-1 shot for his latest assignment and led his three rivals from the off.

Admirable veteran Desert Encounter – winner of this Group Three contest in 2017 and 12 months ago – emerged as the biggest threat in the final furlong, but Elarqam dug deep to see him off by a length and a half.

Market leader Extra Elusive (6-4) was third, with Gifts Of Gold last of the quartet.

Johnston said: “It is great to see him back winning. It’s a shame it hasn’t been on a big day this year.

“If you look at his form last year, you would have said he should be winning a Group One this year and unfortunately it hasn’t fallen his way. We were running out of opportunities and that is why we came here, as there wasn’t really anywhere else to go. Everything has gone his way today, so it was good to see.

“It has been a frustrating season. When you look at his run in the Juddmonte last year, you would have said he showed there he was well and truly a Group One horse.

“With a pedigree like his, you would expect to see him get a Group One for a good stud job. I’m sure he will get a good stud job, but we want to see him get a good one, that is why it has been frustrating.

“I don’t think it matters where you run him. He is a bit lazy. If you think back to his best run this year at Haydock, given another 100 yards he would have got back up. He just gets a bit idle in front and needs something to aim at. If they sprint at him too quickly, it doesn’t give him time to respond.

“I don’t know what we do now to be honest. I just wanted to get another win back under his belt, but we are running out of opportunities.”

Lazuli rules the World

Lazuli registered the biggest victory of his career with a battling success in the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes at Newbury.

The Charlie Appleby-trained Dubawi gelding made a triumphant return to five furlongs when claiming top honours in the Group Three prize.

Having sat just behind the pace for much of the race, the 5-2 shot moved into a lead he would not surrender inside the final furlong, pulling out plenty to defeat last-time-out Leicester scorer Tiz Marvellous by a length.

Buick said: “He was in good form today. He looked very promising at Sandown earlier in the year, then he disappointed there next time for no real apparent reason.

“He ran well in Deauville last time over six, which probably just stretches him slightly. Back to five today, conditions were ideal for him as it was good, fast ground.

“I think the day at Sandown he did boss the field, but clocked a good time and he gave me a great feel. He showed today he can fight for it as well against older sprinters.”

Assessing future plans, the Classic-winning rider believes Lazuli could be the ideal type to take to Dubai over the winter.

He said: “I think he would have to be on the team sheet for Dubai. He has done it well as it is tough for three year-old sprinters against older horses. He will be better next year.”

Balding colt strikes at 125-1

Andrew Balding saddled what he believes is the biggest-priced winner of his career in Oo De Lally, who defied his 125-1 odds to land the opening division of the Heatherworld Stud EBF Novice Stakes by three-quarters of a length.

Balding said: “I would have thought that is the biggest-priced runner I’ve trained as I can’t think of anything bigger.

“I quite liked him before Ascot, but he didn’t show a lot when he ran at Ascot. I thought he might be one for a bit further in time, but he knew his job today, travelled strong and got the job done.

“Somebody would have backed him as our horses tend to step up for their first runs. Someone in a betting shop somewhere in the country will be happy.”

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