Elarqam is expected to pursue a second race at the Sky Bet York Stakes after his fine effort and attempt in defeat during the competition at the Royal Ascot.
The Mark Jonhston’s colt had many expectations to live up to being the offspring of Frankel and Attraction in which he was bred out from – but the bet would have made an excellent start prior to registering two impressive victories even as a juvenile.
While it is that his three-year-old campaign is a little underwhelming, he immediately bounced back in 2019 after snatching the Listed Festival Stakes held at Goodwood during his penultimate kickoff prior to concluding third place after Addeybb during the Wolferton Stakes.
Elarqam was almost landing in the third place after Thundering Blue when Angus Gold, the hot favorite the previous season at York Stakes, and racing manager to owner-breeder Skeikh Hamdan Al Maktoum eyes the Group Two competition on the 27th of July as the possible next port of call.
On an interview, Gold said that he thought the colt ran his best at Ascot. He believed that he would handle the ground, however, Jim Crowley was adamant he didn’t like it that soft.”
He mentioned that one or two people said that maybe the horse would not stay. But Jim also reiterated that that was not the case and it would only be purely about the ground.
Furthermore, he shared that he has spoken briefly to Mark but it won’t go so deep next time. For them, the York Stakes is eminently possible. The race is something in which their horse is perfectly suited for. They are positive that with the right level and luck, they can go back to the match just right in time.
Besides the Royan Hunt Cup, the winning of Afaak only showed that it can be a devastating week at the Royal meeting for Sheik Hamdan.
If there are two upsetting runners, they will be Jash and Khaadem for they concluded only sixth and seventh in the Commonwealth Cup, respectively.
Gold added that Jash never ran a race because of whatever reason. He just hung right and didn’t progress nor move forward and it could be really strange.
“There is nothing obvious in the immediate aftermath that came to light. We will go back to the drawing board.”
It is interesting for them that Ten Sovereigns didn’t go and win by five lengths, and he only defeated Jash the previous year, so anyone could argue on the form book that he wouldn’t have been close anyway. But they know that their horse is better than that.
Trainer Simon Crisford will guide them, but they are still not convinced he’s a sprinter, but they could be wrong. The colt wasn’t anything last week, and he didn’t run like the way he expected.
To conclude, he wrapped up with:
“He was going the right way, so it was disappointing how he ran at Ascot. I don’t think you could blame the ground. At least with scoping dirty, you could say there is a little bit of an excuse.”