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'Talented' Al Aasy has William Haggas purring as trainer eyes big targets

William Haggas stopped short of drooling over Al Aasy, but the top Newmarket trainer is certainly smitten with the exciting son of Sea The Stars, who ran away with the Al Rayyan Stakes and showcased his credentials for the Coronation Cup.

As short as evens in places for the Epsom Group 1 on June 4, Al Aasy, who runs in the familiar blue and white silks of the late Hamdan Al Maktoum, cruised to victory under Jim Crowley.

"He's won a Group 3, so there's a long way to go, but he's a nice horse," said Haggas. "He's a good horse, I think."

Few would disagree and Haggas added: "He won very well and liked the ground. He settled well and I can't really say anything else because he looks like that at home. He's a talented horse. He's done well this year and we'll find out [how good he is] in the Coronation Cup, which is where he'll run next. 

"He's entered in everything we could possibly put him in and we've put him in the Arc, but there's a long way to go to that."

Betfair and Paddy Power make Al Aasy 12-1 to emulate his sire in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Lonchamp in October, while Ascot's Qipco-backed King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes will also be considered.

"He doesn't want too many days off as he's a big, strong, powerful horse," Haggas said.

Force with gelded winner

Had Creative Force not been gelded at the end of his juvenile campaign he might now be challenging for Commonwealth Cup favouritism. Yet had he been gelded he might not increasingly be looking like a horse who could take high rank among this year's sprinters.

Following two handicap victories at Newmarket, the Charlie Appleby-trained son of Dubawi completed his elevation to Listed company in style, storming through the final furlong of the BetVictor Carnarvon Stakes to win readily under James Doyle.

Although Appleby subsequently wondered aloud whether the Jersey Stakes might be worth considering, Doyle seems adamant six furlongs is Creative Force's trip. The rider also answered in the affirmative when asked if he could see him competing in Group 1 company later this year.

"It wouldn't surprise me if he got to that level," said Doyle. "He's quite small to look at but has a big engine. Picking the targets will be the tricky thing as the Commonwealth Cup would've been the most logical step."

Dukebox hits high notes

The betting was way wrong in the two-year-old conditions stakes as 8-1 chance Dukebox beat 7-4 favourite and stablemate Al Shibli, who finished third, but trainer Richard Hannon did not mind.

He trained the winner's dam Broadway Duchess and retains a share in the Coventry Stakes-bound colt, who sports the colours of Christopher Powell, whose late wife Jenny was a huge racing enthusiast.

Hannon said: "Jenny unfortunately passed away last year and they've been massive supporters of mine and the sport, and Chris is quite emotional – this is where you see that horses bring something to people that money can't."

Bay Bridge looks good in London

The BetVictor London Gold Cup is the handicap that makes Group horses and it may well have made another in the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Bay Bridge, who won the typically competitive contest with considerable authority.

The Newcastle novice winner, who holds an entry in the King Edward VII Stakes, was a well-backed 11-4 favourite and produced a commensurate performance, coming home four lengths clear under Ryan Moore.

Royal Ascot could also beckon for Ribblesdale possible Eshaada, who landed the Listed race for fillies, initiating a double for trainer Roger Varian, whose Ascension was too good for his rivals in the mile handicap.

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