Memorable Double As Ana Is Group 1 King
Group 1’s are the hardest races to win but it is why everyone is involved in the sport. Kevin has produced some high class winners of the highest echelonsince breaking his duck with Amadeus Wolf back in 2005. Emaraaty Ana provided the team with their 13th winner at the highest level whilst a potential star had already made a statement earlier in the day as Triple time earned listed honours. The day was certainly one of the most successful few hours in the career of Kevin as he secured listed and Group 1 Honours at Haydock, taking the spotlight on their most prestigious day, The Sprint Cup.
When looking into breeding there is only one constant every year and that is the dam. If they produce class they will tend to continue that and it is why some of the most famous Dam’s have a list of champions alongside their progeny. Triple Time comes from a very prolific family and he followed in their footsteps when making all in the 1m Betfair Exchange Ascendant Stakes.
Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum has a fine breeding line and sent some of his homebred progeny to Kevin this year. All come with wonderful pedigrees but one that really stood out was a colt by Frankel out of Reem Three. Littered with Group 1, Group and listed winners the page jumped out. It was even more so when Triple Time’s 1/2 brother won a derby trial and then subsequently finished fifth in the blue ribbon event.
Triple Time showed all the right signs from day one and his work was impressive. Despite being bred to appreciate a little stamina test, Triple Time was also a very quick horse, a trait that all good horses have no matter what trip they require. Having come to hand he needed to get out and gain some experience. Starting over 6f he ran a great race to finish 3rd on debut before stepping up to 7f next time out and going one spot better. Third run would see him step up another furlong once again and this time he made no mistake by destroying the field to win by 9 1/2 lengths at Haydock.
It was clear from his runs and his homework that Triple Time was well above average. The one thing that Kevin felt his colt would need was experience to mature mentally. Despite being a physically powerful juvenile, with a beautiful stride, Triple Time had shown time to understand the task at hand. Winning on his third start was ideal but with only 3 rivals it wasn’t really too testing and he would not have learnt much from that. He had shown the ability to take a step up in grade and so Kevin opted for the listed Ascendant Stakes.
Only 4 runners would line up for the race but what it was lacking in numbers it wasn’t in class and potential quality. Andrea Atzeni was in the saddle for his retained ride and immediately set out to utilise his colt’s long stride. Slowly away the Italian allowed Triple Time to stride out and with a sedate pace early the colt galloped his way to the front of the quartet. Coming around the field he tracked over to race along the rail. Quickly on down towards the long sweeping bend that would take them almost 2f to cover, Triple Time was just over a length in front and setting good fractions as he strode out.
Haydock has a long straight and as the field came around the bend they still had well over half a mile to run as they straightened up. Triple Time was a C&D winner so Andrea had no worries with the trip and seemed happy to allow his colt to do as he pleased in front. Stalked all the way by the favourite, Triple Time had a target on his back from the get go but that didn’t stop the positivity of Andrea.
Sticking to the rail, Andrea got the field on the stretch a long way from home as he wound it up over 3f from home. The increase in the tempo saw the other got a little lower to match that stride of the leader. This was going to be a real test if they were to start racing here and Andrea had made a committed move to increase the tempo. Between the 3f and 2f markers the favourite and Triple Time got a little break on the other pair as the jockeys matched each other stride for stride.
Having pulled upsides, the favourite was unable to ever get close to passing Triple Time so when Andrea asked his mount for more, the colt obliged. Baring down on the final furlong he opened up a decisive length advantage and really set sail for home. The other two had never been in the race really and Triple Time set about turning his advantage into victory. Powering through the final furlong, Andrea only had to nudge his colt along as Triple Time opened up and kicked away from his rival. The further they went the better he was and by the the time they crossed the line Triple Time had earned a 1 1/2 length victory.
This was an impressive display from Triple Time who was not only encountering a step up in grade but also different ground conditions. He set some strong fractions and manage to maintain that gallop all the way to the line. They got racing a long way out and Triple Time showed a great attitude to make all before repelling the challenge of the favourite. He saw the trip out very well and was strongest at the line, suggesting he will get further in time. Triple Time looks like a very promising prospect and his pedigree suggest that he could be a smart horse next year. He is now a listed winner so another step up in grade looks the next step which could include the Group 2 Royal Lodge or even the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes. Obviously it is a long way off but connections will certainly be dreaming that Triple Time could develop into a leading classic contender next year.
If the start of the day was perfect then it was like the introduction to the main event. Haydock’s biggest flat race of the year was around the corner as 11 of the best sprinters would line up for the Group 1 Sprint Cup. Just 2 weeks on form a career best in the Nunthorpe, Emaraaty Ana went one better to prove any doubters wrong to win in thrilling fashion.
Winning the Gimcrack at 2, Emaraaty Ana looked destine to bigger and better things. Always a horse who Kevin had huge faith in the son of Shamardal has been some stiff tasks throughout his career. Having been trained for the Guineas at 3yo, which he obviously didn’t stay the trip in, Emaraaty Ana rounded that season off with a win in a 6f Conditions race.
2020 was the year that Kevin felt his charge could make waves in the sprinting division. Unfortunately he was limited to 3 runs, which were good but not quite what had been expected. Despite this connections kept the faith and made a few tweaks, including a gelding and also a wind op.
This was it now, 2021 was the year to shine and breakthrough for Emaraaty Ana. This was especially true as his home work was special early on in the year. Kevin was bullish that he had Ana in the best shape ever and it was almost the perfect start. Emaraaty Ana went to Doncaster on the opening weekend, finishing 2nd in the Listed Cammidge Trophy. This was backed up by two more placed efforts in Group 3 company. Unfortunately he couldn’t continue this form when down the field in the Gr 2 Duke Of York and Gr 1 July Cup.
Kevin needed to get some confidence into Emaraaty Ana and he headed up to Hamilton for the 5f Conditions race. With some rapid horses lining up, there was a change of tactics which would see Emaraaty Ana take a lead for one of the first times. He cruised through the race before sweeping past his rivals with ease, winning by a comfortable 2 1/4 lengths. This run was followed up by a career best result, utilising the same tactics in the Group 1 Nunthorpe. Last one off the bridle, Emaraaty Ana just couldn’t quite reel in the winner but put up a massive display and confirmed what Kevin had believed all along.
Its as obvious where he would be aimed at next but it would all depend on how Mother Nature acted. Trip wise 6f is his ideal distance but ground wise he needs good or quick going. Despite being in September, the weather was unusually warm and so Emaraaty Ana would line up for the Group Haydock sprint. The race revolved around Starman, the 5/6 favourite but connections were confident of another big run.
Andrea adapted the same tactics once again and found himself pitched just behind the leaders. There was a very strong gallop set out in front form Art Power and for a few strides Emaraaty Ana wanted to try and match his counterpart. Andrea did his very best to settle the gelding and it took a couple of furlongs, plus some cover to settle him.
The field charged down the first half of the race as the main body of he field were well bunched up. With the leader scorching along in front, they were quickly heading down to halfway. Emaraaty Ana was travelling well, especially after feeling the pace last time out over a furlong shorter. Even this far out there were one or two under pressure due to the strong pace. The favourite had sat on the outer of Andrea throughout but threw some distress signals up early as he came under pressure just inside the 3f marker.
Emaraaty Ana had travelled like a dream on his last two starts and once again the sprinter came there swinging. With a couple of furlongs to run his rivals were all hard at work whilst Andrea sat motionless. Suddenly he looked to be a huge player and began to inch closer with relative ease. The race in front was just starting to fold and this saw Emaraaty Ana move up to almost join the leaders. The favourite looked in a little trouble but began to respond to pressure, although Ana had begun to move away from him. As Andrea reached the leader he decided it was time to go and he got lower in the saddle. Asking Emaraaty Ana to go and win the race he picked up the lead and set sail.
Having hit the front the target was now on Ana’s back. Starman was now starting to find his feet and beginning to pass rivals. Entering the final furlong Emaraaty Ana held a narrow advantage but it was the fav who was now looking very threatening. Showing his great attitude, something that has never wained, Emaraaty Ana stuck his head down and aimed for there line. Starman was a length down but finding with every stride. Only 100 yards separated the pair from group 1 glory or commiserations. Emaraaty Ana was brave in front but his lead was being eaten away. The length had been closed to half that and with just strides to go Starman had got to the shoulder of Ana. It was going to be a head bobber and both horses dove for the line, heads stretched out as far as they could, squeezing every sinew to gain the advantage. Photograph was called and with modern technology it is usually a formality. The longer the delay of the result went the closer the finish seemed. After what seemed like forever, Emaraaty Ana was called the winner, a first Group 1 for the 5yr old.
It was a huge result for everyone involved with the horse and one that is richly deserved. Emaraaty Ana has always been held in the very highest regard and this win justifies the faith shown in the horse. Dropping him in and taking a lead has really brought out the best in Emaraaty Ana and he is rejuvenated animal. Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum has been very patient with the horse and it is great to deliver a Group 1 to repay the faith he has shown. It was also a fantastic ride form Andrea who had been waiting for a top level success again after a few quiet years. He has helped find the key to Emaraaty Ana and deserves all the plaudits. Finally it is great credit to the team at Hambleton Lodge who have put in so much time, effort and hard work. Without them these results are simply not possible. As far Emaraaty Ana he has next year planned out but what next? The Champions Sprint would be the obvious but unfortunately the ground at that time of year will simply be too soft. Trips abroad could be on the card for him going forward and Emaraaty Ana may head to Del Mar for this years Breeders’ Cup with the Turf Sprint an ideal option.