Khaadem keeps cool for Stewards' Cup glory at Goodwood

Khaadem and Jim Crowley streak to victory in the Stewards' Cup / Picture by Getty Images
Khaadem and Jim Crowley streak to victory in the Stewards' Cup / Picture by Getty Images

It wasn't a bad 24 hours at Goodwood for Jim Crowley and Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Having teamed up for success with Battaash in Friday's King George Stakes they came back the next day for a win in the Lillie Langtry Stakes with the John Gosden-trained Enbihaar.

Then 40 minutes later they completed an impressive two-day treble when the favourite Khaadem sped to victory in the Unibet Stewards' Cup.

For a race that so often ends in a blanket finish that requires a photo finish, Khaadem had about as comfortable a lead at the line as you can wish for in a six-furlong dash.

Khaadem's easy victory in the £250,000 contest for trainer Charlie Hills and Crowley was a second win in the handicap for his trainer, following Magical Memory in 2015. The Dark Angel-sired colt was the 4/1 favourite, and became the joint shortest-priced winner of the Unibet Stewards' Cup (with 2003 winner Patavellian) since 1946.

Khaadem carried 9st 6lb to his two and three-quarter lengths triumph over 14/1 chance Open Wide - the highest weight ever carried to victory in the race by a three-year-old. The previous record belonged to Red Alert, who carried 9st 2lb when winning in 1974, and Matador, who carried the same weight in 1956..

A delighted Hills, for whom this was a third success of the 2019 Qatar Goodwood Festival, said: "I so enjoyed that, everything went perfectly really. Three-year-olds have got a pretty good record in this race recently. I am sure that he could get seven furlongs if we wanted to go that route, but he is the most beautiful-looking horse.

"He is growing up with every race that he has and we have to look at a Group race next. He is a class horse and is only going to get better and better, so I think we have to go to the top table with him.

"I guess we will have to look at the G1 [Sprint Cup] at Haydock. Magical Memory won this race and just got touched off there. I think this fellow is a very good horse who is only going to get better and better."

For Crowley it completed a 21.5/1 double and moved into second place behind eventual winner PJ McDonald in the battle to be the Racing TV leading jockey at the festival.

The colt's success came just 40 minutes after Enbihaar had hacked up in the G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes, and 24 hours after Battaash won that G2 King George Qatar Stakes, Crowley partnering all three for boss Al Maktoum.

Khaadem made his effort close to the far rail and came home two and three-quarter lengths clear of Open Wide (14/1), with Raucous (28/1) third, as he was in 2016.

Crowley said: "Fair play to Charlie for running him in the race. As a three-year-old, this race suits him well and, after his last run, he is a Group horse in a handicap. Mentally, he is improving all the time and it was a great performance.

"I had to squeeze through a bit of a gap up Joe Fanning's inside at the two pole but we were always in a dream run and it worked out perfect.

"The week's got better. I knew Friday and Saturday were my best days, and so it has proved. He got no luck in running last time and Charlie hass always held him in high regard.

"He's got the most beautiful pedigree, and we'd love to make a stallion out of him by winning a Group 1. Charlie went for the Haydock Sprint Cup with Magical Memory after he won this, and that's the sort of race this horse can go for now."