First Listed winner for Philippart de Foy as El Habeeb strikes
El Habeeb provided trainer Kevin Philippart de Foy with the first Listed success of his career in a dramatic renewal of the Peroni Nastro Azzurro Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot.
Sixth at 150-1 when last seen in the St Leger at Doncaster, the colt was an 11-1 chance under Andrea Atzeni for the one-mile six-furlong contest.
Ralph Beckett’s Thanks Monica made much of the running, but hung drastically right in the closing stages and hampered Charlie Appleby’s 11-10 favourite Secret State, scuppering both of their chances.
El Habeeb stayed out of the push and shove and locked horns with Marco Botti’s Giavellotto in the final strides, prevailing by half a length.
Earlier this season El Habeeb had run in the Derby on just his second start when with Stan Moore, finishing 10th of 15.
“I was very pleased with him, he’s a nice staying prospect,” the trainer said.
“We knew he would enjoy the conditions and we knew he would stay the trip well based on his effort in the St Leger (sixth).
“We decided to ride him a bit more prominently this time around and he showed how tough he is and that he stays very well.
“He’s a lightly-raced horse and a nice prospect for the future.
“I’m delighted for him and to get a first Listed winner, the owner (Mohamed Khalid Abdulrahim) has been a good supporter of the yard, so I’m delighted for him too.”
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