Horses To Follow » Habaayib


There was a lot to like about Habaayib’s performance in beating Lillie Langtry in the Albany Stakes at Ascot on Friday. Switched to the near side from her draw in the middle in the early stages of the race by Richard Hills, she made nice ground from two furlongs out, took it up at the furlong pole and kept on really well to win by a length. The form of the race looks rock solid. The Ballydoyle filly Lillie Langtry was second. She had been really impressive in exacting her revenge on Kitty Kiernan when landing a Group 3 contest at Naas at the start of June, and should have progressed from that, just the second run of her life. The pair finished more than two lengths clear of the third filly, also a really progressive, talented filly from the Henry Cecil yard.

This was just the third run of Habaayib’s life. After finishing third in a hot maiden at Newmarket’s Craven meeting on her debut, she fairly bolted up, if running a little green, in a fairly ordinary maiden at Nottingham in early May. This was her first start since, and it was obviously a huge step forward. “In her homework, she just runs up to her lead horse, hits the front, then pricks her ears, so you never really know what you’ve got,” said her trainer Ed Dunlop afterwards, and she left the impression here that she hadn’t reached the bottom of the well yet. She is by Royal Applause from an American sprinting family, so she may not get much further than this six-furlong trip, but she did see the distance out well here, so at least you know that she stays it. The Cherry Hinton on 8th July at Newmarket is the next obvious target, while the top races like the Lowther Stakes and the Cheveley Park have to be on her agenda.

19th June 2009