Dark Angel's Khaadem Does it Again in the QEII Jubilee

Khaadem (left) Racingfotos.com


Swooping to record back-to-back successes in Saturday's G1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, Fitri Hay's Khaadem (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}–White Daffodil {Ire}, by Footstepsinthesand {GB}) proved himself a true horses-for-courses sprinter under Oisin Murphy.

Let go at 80-1 getting the full Jamie Spencer treatment 12 months ago, the Charlie Hills-trained 8-year-old who was 14-1 this time was always travelling like the winner in behind and when finally given the command swamped Swingalong (Ire) (Showcasing {GB}) inside the final furlong for a half-length win. Mill Stream (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}) was 1 1/4 lengths behind in third, with the 3-1 favourite Believing (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) a further length back in fourth.

“It was a pretty easy ride,” Murphy said of the first 8-year-old to triumph and the first back-to-back winner since Right Boy in 1958-59. “I knew for the majority of the last two furlongs he would win and so I was able to enjoy it a little bit. There was a lot of speed on, particularly after a furlong, but when it began to slow down late on he came alive. I just wanted to copy Jamie Spencer from last year! The horse loves Ascot and he was well-prepared.”

Khaadem's career saga is a colourful one, having burst onto the scene early for Shadwell when winning Goodwood's prestigious Stewards' Cup as a 3-year-old. Fourth in this in 2020 prior to his first prolonged spell in the doldrums, he was snapped up by the Hays before the 2022 season and while he provided reward for that investment with wins in the G3 Palace House Stakes and G2 King George Stakes back at Goodwood, he planted himself in the stalls before this meeting's G1 King's Stand Stakes.

By the time he went into the starting stalls for his race last June, he had suffered a run of heavy defeats and while his four efforts in between his two Jubilees were more respectable, none yielded a placing and the latest resulted in him beating one rival in the G2 1895 Duke Of York Clipper Stakes. Jamie Spencer was given much credit for what happened last year as the scramble to make sense of an 80-1 winner got underway, but Murphy was just as much a passenger this time and it is clearly this contest that lights the veteran's fire.

“He is a very good horse to win two of these, plus a Palace House, a Stewards' Cup and a King George at Goodwood,” Charlie Hills said. “He got a fantastic ride off the pace and he never looked like he was going to get beat–he travelled beautifully through the race. He loves the place and I think fast ground is key to him–it's the first time he's had this ground pretty much since he ran here last time.”

“He's a wonderful horse, but he's different at home one day to the next,” he added. “One day he'll pick up the bridle and you think he's Nijinsky, the next you think he's like a selling plater. He knows more about the game than any of us, I think.”

Dr Jim Hay added, “He doesn't know he's eight years old, he thinks he's three or two or something and he just keeps going. Last year I couldn't believe he was 80/1–I just thought they were the most stupid odds I'd ever seen in my life and today he will still quite long odds for a horse of his ability. You cannot underestimate him.”

Karl Burke said of Swingalong, “I am gutted to be beaten, but she's run her heart out and I can't complain. She loves this track, it plays to her strengths. She is in the July Cup, but I'm not sure that track plays to her strengths. It might be a case of we have to go, as she was kept in training to run in these group 1s and to try and win one.”

Mill Stream's trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam said, “We are very pleased with that. William [Buick] said it was a good run, a fair run and it is his best to date, so we can't complain. We will head to Deauville for the [G1] Prix Maurice de Gheest.”



Pedigree Notes

Khadeem, whose sire Dark Angel's runners excel at Ascot and who was also the damsire of the afternoon's sensational Chesham winner Bedtime Story (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), is a full-brother to the similarly-fast son Log Out Island (Ire) who took the Listed Two-Year-Old Trophy and was placed in the G2 Norfolk S. and Mill Reef S. His dam White Daffodil is kin to three black-type performers headed by the Listed Carnarvon S. and Listed Prix Saraca scorer Lady Links (GB) (Bahamian Bounty {GB}), in turn the dam of the Listed Oh So Sharp S. winner Selinka (GB) (Selkirk) who produced the G3 Curragh S. and G3 Mercury S. winner Hit The Bid (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) and the stakes scorer Ruthin (GB) (Ribchester {Ire}). From the family of the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest-winning sire Bold Edge (GB), White Daffodil's unraced 2-year-old full-sister to Khaadem and Log Out Island is named Daffodil Day (Ire), while she also has a filly foal by Supremacy (Ire).

Saturday, Royal Ascot, Britain
QUEEN ELIZABETH II JUBILEE STAKES-G1, £1,000,000, Ascot, 6-22, 4yo/up, 6fT, 1:12.25, g/f.
1–KHAADEM (IRE), 131, g, 8, by Dark Angel (Ire)
      1st Dam: White Daffodil (Ire), by Footstepsinthesand (GB)
      2nd Dam: Sparky's Song (GB), by Electric (GB)
      3rd Dam: Daring Ditty (GB), by Daring March (GB)
(750,000gns Ylg '17 TATOCT). O-Mrs Fitri Hay; B-Yeomanstown
Stud (IRE); T-Charles Hills; J-Oisin Murphy. £567,100. Lifetime
Record: SP-UAE, 35-9-2-4, $2,166,380. *Full to Log Out Island
(Ire), SW & MGSP-Eng, GSP-Ire, SP-Fr, $250,585. Werk Nick
Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree,
or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Swingalong (Ire), 128, f, 4, Showcasing (GB)–Pilates (Ire), by
Shamardal. (120,000gns Ylg '21 TATOCT). O-Sheikh Juma
Dalmook Al Maktoum; B-Mount Armstrong Stud (IRE); T-Karl
Burke. £215,000.
3–Mill Stream (Ire), 131, c, 4, Gleneagles (Ire)–Swirral Edge
(GB), by Hellvelyn (GB). 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. (350,000gns Ylg
'21 TATOCT). O-Mr P W Harris; B-Redpender Stud Ltd (IRE);
T-Jane Chapple-Hyam. £107,600.
Margins: HF, 1 1/4, 1. Odds: 14.00, 14.00, 4.50.
Also Ran: Believing (Ire), Vadream (GB), The Wizard Of Eye (Ire), Mitbaahy (Ire), Shartash (Ire), Shouldvebeenaring (GB), Washington Heights (GB), Quinault (Ger), Art Power (Ire), Jumby (Ire). Scratched: Kinross (GB).

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