Hocquart Longines: Al Hilalee proves to be as tough as teak

16 June 2019

Al Hilalee (Dubawi), the British colt, made all in the Prix Hocquart Longines (Gr2). The Godolphin runner proved his toughness by repelling the strong finish of Soft Light (Authorized), with the latter only going down by the minimum distance. The stewards held an enquiry after the race as the third, Khagan (Le Havre) was slightly hampered by the winner and Soft Light who drifted across into his path in the latter stages. However, the placings remained unaltered.

The race

What connections said:

Lisa-Jane Graffard (French representative of the Godolphin stable, Al Hilalee, 1st)

“Al Hilalee found the necessary energy levels which enabled him to respond to the attacking thrusts of those around him. His form has improved from race to race. We’ve always thought highly of him. He was rising in class here after being upped to group two company, and he has been steadily moving up the ranks. We haven’t discussed future targets with Charlie [Appleby}, the trainer Al Hilalee] and I’m of the opinion that we should touch bases again in a week before deciding where we go next with him.”

James Doyle (Rider of Al Hilalee, 1st)

“Al Hilalee is still an immature colt and he was certainly a little distracted by the crowd. The penny is just starting to drop with him. The 2.400 metres trip is tailor-made for him. I think he has further scope for improvement.”

Paul Nataf (Spokesman of Claudio Marzocco, the owner of Soft Light, 2nd)

“The ground was all against him as he is a colt who is best with some give. He changed legs four or five times before turning-in as he was feeling the ground. Despite this, he produced a power-packed finish in the straight. We had planned to ride him from off the pace so as to get him to switch off behind horses. He certainly has the ability to step up on this on his next start, granted a softer surface. I don’t necessarily think he needs a longer trip. We will see how he comes out of the race but the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Gr1) is a possibility.”

Lisa-Jane Graffard (French representative of Godolphin, the owner of Khagan, 3rd)

“He ran well. He suffered a bit of interference but I don’t think it that affected the outcome. He lacked a bit of acceleration. I’m not sure whether he will be aimed at the Grand Prix de Paris. André Fabre will make that decision as Roman Candle may represent the stable in that race. His trainer will make that particular call.”