It took British racing a while to appreciate their sprinting division and give the 3yr olds a programme that would strengthen the division. Since 2015 the 3yr olds have had their own races to compete in, with the Commonwealth Cup being the highlight Group 1 finale, before trading blows with their elders for the remainder of the season. This move has seen the younger generation become a dominant force, with four of the last five winners of the Haydock Sprint Cup being 3yr olds. Hello Youmzain continued the domination when making every yard of the running to secure his first Group 1 success and stamp his name onto the roll of honour.
Hello Youmzain was a beast from the moment he walked into the yard, not the typical Kodiac juvenile you will see. His large frame and powerful physique lent itself to a true speedster but it was clear that it would take a while to really get to the bottom of him. The talent was obvious from his first pieces of work and Hello Youmzain transferred all that to the track. After making a winning debut he went down on his second start by a nose, conceding weight to this seasons French 2000 Guineas third San Donato. When he headed to Maissons-Lafitte for the Group 2, Hello Youmzain took another stride forward by dominating the race and winning comfortably. He had shown himself to be a smart prospect but Kevin knew that everything he did was a bonus as Hello Youmzain was far from the finished article.
Given a nice winter break Hello Youmzain came back to training with the classic trail as his target. Kodiac suggested sprinting but his dam Spasha suggested he would get a bit further. There was a simple option to take and that was the 7f Greenham Stakes, using it as trial which would the make the plan for the rest of the season. Hello Youmzain ran great but the extra furlong proved to be too much and he unequivocally told connections that he was a sprinter.
Kevin immediately put the Sandy Lane stakes into the season plan as it was the obvious next step. The race has proved a quality Group 2 whose winners have gone on to top level success and this year there was real hype about the contest. Calyx was unbeaten going into the race and looked upon as the next sprinting superstar. Hello Youmzain proved to be too good and stepped out of the shadows to announce himself as a potential star when powering away to a 3 1/4 length victory, securing his second Group 2 win and setting up a first crack at the top level.
Hello Youmzain went down to Royal Ascot for the Commonwealth Cup, which was a very interesting contest on paper. Ten Sovereigns and Advertise were the Group 1 winners in the line up with Jash, Khaadem and Youmzain looking to build on promise and secure their first top level success. Unfortunately Hello Youmzain got a little fractious in the stalls and missed the beat slightly. Although he worked his way into the contest, the early mistake cost him at the business end but he went down by just 1 3/4 lengths. This run was made even more impressive when Ten Sovereigns and Advertise went on to finish 1st and 2nd in the July Cup before Advertise then won the Prix Maurice De Gheest.
Patience was the order of the day following Ascot and although Kevin gave Hello Youmzain an entry in the Nunthorpe, Haydock was always the plan. Thankfully it worked out ideal and Hello Youmzain would head there to take part in a mouth watering contest. The 3yr olds were all declared to take on the sprinting stalwarts but rain quickly changed the complexion of the race. Both Advertise and Ten Sovereigns were withdrawn due to the soft ground which many felt took the shine off the race. What it needed now was a star performance and Hello Youmzain took centre stage.
James Doyle had been on board for the Greenham and was reunited with the colt for Haydock. Conditions looked perfect for Hello Youmzain and the 3yo was vying for favouritism throughout the day of the race with Dream Of Dreams, 2nd in the Diamond Jubilee, and Khaadem, impressive winner of the Stewards Cup. By the off the trio could not be split and would share favouritism for the Group 1 contest.
James had let Hello Youmzain stride on when raced over 7f and would once again use the colt’s long, powerful stride. Drawn in the centre Hello Youmzain was away well and quickly got into his stride. James was never going to fight the colt and allowed him to get into a nice rhythm. Hello Youmzain did just that and took the lead alongside Invincible Army to cut out the early pace down the centre of the track. His main market rivals were all dropped out and Hello Youmzain just had daylight in front of him for the next 6f.
Stablemate Major Jumbo is a very quick horse and was given chase to Hello Youmzain. Through the first couple of furlongs Jumbo was not quite travelling with his usual vigour which showed the pace that Hello Youmzain was setting. Although James didn’t want his mount doing too much he also didn’t want to knock him off stride so he continued to let Hello Youmzain stride out. With Invincible Army sat on his girths, and being a Group 1, the pace was never going to cease and Hello Youmzain would be doing this the hard way.
Through the first half of the race his rivals were all shuffling and jostling for position, tracking Hello Youmzain. The jockeys seemed happy with the strong gallop and were looking to play their hand late, feeling they could allow the leader to do their work until they came with their challenge. Hello Youmzain didn’t blink an eye and was thriving in front, tracking the same blades of grass he had in the Sandy Lane. Although James was happy where he was he probably was a little wary of racing too soon with the attention of Invincible Army never ceasing. If this was going to be an all the way win then it would be a proper test.
Passing the halfway point the race began to take shape. Those positioned to the rear just began to get wound up, moving through the gears for their challenges. Khaadem edged out towards the stands side whilst Dream of Dreams did like wise on the opposite side. Both had clear runs for their attempt to track down their market rival. James just loosened his reins to get Hello Youmzain striding out and lengthening which the colt happily did on the rain softened ground. Invincible Army was the one who was looking like he was going strongest of all but had yet to take the lead off Hello Youmzain.
Baring down on the 2f marker and the race was truly on. There was an immediate sense that the two in front were still going well and any challenge couldn’t be left too late. Hello Youmzain had moved through the gears and now his pressure caused Invincible Army to come off the bridle to try and match the 3yo. Those in the rear were beginning to move up but the leading pair were taking each other along and opened up a slight break of 2 lengths. Inside the 2f James kicked and Hello Youmzain quickened up, going clear with the company of his long time pursuer. Suddenly the rest looked in a little bit of trouble and every other jockey was really asking for maximum effort. Hello Youmzain’s stable mate Brando was the one making eye-catching progress, weaving through the field, and alongside him was last years winner The Tin Man.
The field were fanned out across the entire track as they moved towards the final furlong. It was still Hello Youmzain and Invincible Army leading the way but it was the 3yo who was in front. The Tin Man was flying down the far side and Brando now got on to the heels of the leading pair but Hello Youmzain was not stopping. Inside the final furlong Hello Youmzain looked to have finally seen off Invincible Army, moving into a clear 3/4 length lead but he was going to get a late thrust from The Tin Man. Brando was trying to come between horses and then towards the stands rail, the German horse Waldpfad was staying on strongly. James had yet to really go for everything and sensing the danger he asked his mount to be brave. Hello Youmzain had no problem with that and quickened again with 100 yards to run. The stride stayed long, the head was down low and the line was in sight. The race was now just between the first two, old head vs young pretender, champion vs potential champion, The Tin Man vs Hello Youmzain. It was youth that was proving the strongest, powerfully galloping out. In the final strides Hello Youmzain just edged left, his usual trip that likes to give a bit more excitement to the finish but he was not stopping. Hitting the line he had secured top honours by 1/2 length, downing a warrior in the Tin Man and announcing himself as a future sprinting star.
Group 1 winners do not come around very often and every one is special. Hello Youmzain looked like he had the potential to reach the highest echelon but doing it is another matter. He was a monster of a 2yr old so was always going to get better with time and even now it looks as though he can only continue to improve. Hello Youmzain is still not the finished article, so the future shines bright. People may try and knock the race with the withdrawals of Advertise and Ten Sovereigns but this was far from a poor race. Hello Youmzain did it the hard way, he set a strong gallop and managed to quicken off that before staying on powerfully at the finish. He is still unexposed with just 7 runs to his name and there could be much more to come from him. Hello Youmzain will only grow and get stronger so he is a very exciting colt. The Champions Sprint looks to be his next run and it will be great to see him take on the best once again. Owner Jaber Abdullah has enjoyed great success throughout his racing career and it is an honour to have a Group 1 winner in these famous colours. It certainly is exciting to have a colt like Hello Youmzain.
The other runners in the race, Brando and Major Jumbo, both races respectable races. Brando is a star and will always give his running, he has been a stalwart of the division. having travelled smoothly it looked like he would come through to challenge his stable mate. He was found to have broken a blood vessel which explains why his run just petered out at the end. This has happened in the past and he should be back, with the Champions Sprint also a possible target. Major Jumbo had a lot to find on paper and he ran a massive race. having improved through the ranks he has proved to be a Group horse although this was a big test. He is ultra consistent and ran great but just couldn’t keep tabs on the winner. He is in the Ayr Gold Cup and also has some Group 3’s so will be heading for a target like that.
The form of the stable has been red hot in the past 6 weeks and it is all credit to the team at home. Days like this will put horse, jockey and trainer in the spotlight but the staff make sure it is possible. To have a horse prepped for a Group 1 having not run almost 3 months shows all the hard work put in at home.