Hakeem & Harry Bentley
HAKEEM went off the 1/16 favourite for the Novice Stakes over six furlongs at Nottingham yesterday. The son of Wootton Bassett, owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani and ridden by Harry Bentley, was always close to the fore. He took up the lead from the two furlong pole and asserted his authority, pulling clear by 5 lengths hard held. ‘He ran a nice race on debut to finish second behind Global Applause of Ed Dunlops. He didn’t have to improve much to win here today. The temptation is now there to head to Royal Ascot but I will speak with the owners before making a decision. He is a really nice colt in the making.’ His dam Diamond Star is sister to Grey Swallow, the winner of the Irish Derby, which suggests he will have no trouble in getting further this year.
Mondays action at Brighton and Leicester saw Richard Hannon have three winners on the day. All three horses were three year olds, with two breaking their ducks. AL SAILIYAH and FEED THE GOATER bookended the day at Brighton both winning by small margins. ‘AL SAILIYAH deserved to win a race after her third at Lingfield, she didn’t handle the ground the other day at Redcar and looks a filly who could win a few races even over a bit further. FEED THE GOATER went one better having shown promise in a maiden in the middle of last year. He had a good blow after the race so should come on plenty and I can see him being quite progressive this year.’
DUBAI’S SECRET was having his first outing for the season and looked to win quite nicely in the end. ‘I was happy that we had him pretty straight for his first run. He is a nice progressive three year old who will keep winning races this year. He won a couple last year and looks to have improved over the winter.’