Investec Oaks not a certainty for William Haggas-trained Maqsad despite victory in the Listed Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes
Trainer William Haggas has insisted that Maqsad will not necessarily take her place in next month’s Investec Oaks, despite Sunday’s impressive win in the Listed Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes.
The daughter of Siyouni – owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum – powered clear of her five rivals to beat Shambolic by five lengths and earn a quote of 10-1 (down from 33-1) for the showpiece at Epsom.
However, Somerville Lodge trainer Haggas was non-committal when it came to discussing future plans, although he did hint at having reservations where the Oaks are concerned.
“She is in the Prix Saint-Alary at the end of the month and then she is in the French Oaks and the English Oaks, plus the Ribblesdale. She is in lots of things and we have lots of options. We just have to sit down and think about it.
“Last season, she ran a beautiful race first time here and then I sent her to Yarmouth and she got beaten and beaten easily. So, I was rather deflated by that, because she has always worked well.
“But it is a strange game, horse racing. We sent one up to Hamilton on Sunday and he could not get beaten, but he managed to.
“These things happen, but the ability is there with Maqsad and I’m pleased that stepping up in trip seems to have brought out more improvement.
“I am not ruling out the Oaks, but to go a mile, then a mile and quarter and then a mile and a half is hard. We will see.”
Meanwhile, jockey Jim Crowley, who was enjoying a second win of the Guineas Festival after his triumph aboard Richard Hannon’s Moyassar on Saturday, said: “She was very impressive. William has always liked her and she got beat at Yarmouth last year and we just couldn’t believe it.
"She would not want extremes of any ground, because she is a nice-moving filly. It was nice that we found a bit of improvement going up in trip. Quite possibly she is an Oaks filly, either here or France.”
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More by this authorLiam Apicella