Maureen Haggas is entitled to feel that little bit extra delighted with the success of Victory Bond in the one mile and two furlong £200,000 Betway Easter Classic All-Weather Middle Distance Championship – she is the one who rides him out every day for husband William.
The 3/1 joint favourite held off Master The World by half a length in 2m1.51s.
“I am thrilled, Victory Bond is a really nice horse, very straightforward, I have been riding him for around a year now,” she smiled. “He got a bit keen last year, but he has switched off so much he is quite lazy at home now.
“He has had a few niggling issues, but he has been really coming into himself in the last couple of weeks. I am not sure he really likes Lingfield, I think he is better on flatter tracks, so he has done really well today, though I do think he has been in better form and is in a better place generally than earlier this year.”
The Haggas stable has always supported the All-Weather Championships and Finals Day and Haggas said: “It is a great concept – it has really enlivened the All-Weather season. We have been lucky here and been able to run some nice horses.”
William Haggas has now trained eight winners on All-Weather Finals Day, and it is the first time the stable has won the Betway Easter Classic.
It was a 17/1 double for the Haggas team after its earlier win with Diagnostic, winner of the 32Red All-Weather Fillies’ and Mares’ Championship.
DOYLE PROVES MAN WITH THE GOLDEN TOUCH AS BOND WINS EASTER CLASSIC
Trainer William Haggas and jockey James Doyle registered a 17/1 double on All-Weather Championships Finals Day following the victory of 3/1 joint-favourite Victory Bond in the £200,000 feature Betway Easter Classic.
The five-year-old son of Medicean came from fifth to lead in the straight and kept on well in the closing stages to fend off the fast finishing Master The World (5/1), trained by David Elsworth by half-a-length in the one mile and two furlong highlight.
Doyle and Haggas also teamed up to win the £150,000 32Red Fillies’ & Mares’ All-Weather Championships over seven furlongs with 7/2 chance Diagnostic and Doyle was delighted to land another winner.
The jockey said: “We have been learning a bit about Victory Bond. I was unlucky on him here and then he got forced wide a little bit the next day.
“They went a nice even pace today and we got the splits in the home straight. I didn’t have to ask him too many questions until the furlong pole when he quickened up well – it was a good performance.
“Maureen [Haggas’ wife and assistant trainer], said he felt as good as he has ever done coming into today.
“That was pretty good today. We got a dream run round and he showed what he can do. We were able to wait until we got into the straight, because I had the room to do so, and when I pressed the button it was pretty good.
“Today could not have panned out any better and he came through to win in dominant fashion today. I knew Master The World would be finishing, but it was very easy.
“William’s horses are in fantastic shape. The horses he has run here today, it was their main target for the winter. Unfortunately, we hit the board with Second Thought. He didn’t do a lot wrong but didn’t win unfortunately. The other two have performed fantastic – it was a good training performance.
WORLD FAILS TO MASTER VICTORY
Master The World, who was promoted from second to first in his previous race, the G3 Betway Winter Derby, an All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier, here at Lingfield in February, came home second in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic All-Weather Middle Distance Championships.
Sent of a 5/1 chance, Master The World went down to Victory Bond, the 3/1 joint favourite, by half a length.
Sean Levey, jockey of the seven-year-old Mastercraftsman grey, said: “The race just didn’t work out to suit me. Other than that, he has run a blinder.”
Paul Hanagan, on board third placed Abe Lincoln, commented: “He ran extremely well. It was a bit of a muddling pace. We would have been better off with a truer gallop.
“He ran a fantastic race.”