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Maljoom powers home to give William Haggas third German 2,000 Guineas success

William Haggas: landed the German 2,000 Guineas for a third time
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Cologne: Sunday

William Haggas maintained his outstanding form as Maljoom landed the Group 2 Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen at Cologne, with the trainer eyeing a tilt at Royal Ascot with his unbeaten three-year-old after Sunday’s success.

Owned by Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, Maljoom had made his debut only two months ago but extended his unbeaten record to three under Stevie Donohoe. His next stop could be the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.

The Caravaggio colt broke slowly before racing in midfield and looked to be caught flat-footed, as did the rest of the field, when Bauyrzhan Murzabayev took the initiative with just over two furlongs to run and kicked clear on Rocchigiani.

At first, it appeared to be a race-winning move as the Peter Schiergen-trained colt responded generously for pressure and had his rivals in trouble. However, having taken a moment or two to adjust to the change of pace, Maljoom began motoring after the leader.

As Rocchigiani entered the final furlong, it looked inevitable that he was going to be caught by the British-trained runner, who duly swept by in the closing stages to provide Haggas with a third win in the German equivalent of the 2,000 Guineas.

Dupont (2002) and Brunel (2004) both captured the contest previously for Haggas, who hopes Maljoom can continue to progress into top company after his victory.

Maljoom: stepped forward from Doncaster and Kempton wins to strike in Germany

“He missed the break and I thought he did well to make up the ground on the horse who eventually came second as he looked as though he’d gotten away,” said the trainer.

“He was very green when he won at Doncaster and then he won really well at Kempton, I was really impressed with him that day.

“After that victory we decided to have a shot at this race, so it was nice that it came off. It’s a prestigious race and it means a great deal to win it.”

Maljoom holds an entry in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, and Haggas added: “He’s a Group 2 winner now so I suspect we might have a go at the big one at Ascot, but I’ll have to talk to Sheikh Ahmed. We’ll let the dust settle and then see what we do.”

The victory maintained the remarkable run of form for Haggas, who has been operating at a strike-rate of more than 40 per cent in the last two weeks, during which time his yard has claimed the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes with Baaeed, plus Listed, Group 2 and Group 3 success with the likes of Lilac Road, Tiber Flow, Ilaraab, My Astra, My Prospero, Sea Silk Road and Sense Of Duty.

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He’s a Group 2 winner now so I suspect we might have a go at the big one at Ascot, but I’ll have to talk to Sheikh Ahmed
E.W. Terms