Hoo Ya Mal keeps Leger hopes intact at Goodwood
Runner-up to Desert Crown when sent off at 150-1 for the Derby in early June, the Territories colt was subsequently snapped up for £1.2million on the eve of Royal Ascot by Australian owners.
Hoo Ya Mal, who is due to join the training team of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott later in the year ahead of a potential tilt at the Melbourne Cup, made his first start for George Boughey after leaving Andrew Balding’s yard in last month’s Gordon Stakes at Goodwood – finishing third behind red-hot Leger favourite Lew London.
On the strength of that form, he was a prohibitively-priced 30-100 favourite faced with just three rivals in this one-mile-six-furlong Group Three and he registered a straightforward victory.
The Queen’s dual winner Perfect Alibi gave Hoo Ya Mal a lead for much of the way, but he travelled well in her slipstream and pulled two and a half lengths clear once given his head by William Buick.
Coral left the winner’s Doncaster odds unchanged at 8-1, with the Charlie Appleby-trained New London heading the market at 4-6.
Boughey told ITV Racing: “The thing we learned was he was stepping up to 14 furlongs, which slightly defies his pedigree.
“William just said there to me he’s a horse who doesn’t feel like he’ll stay – but then he does stay. He has that class edge. On ratings he was expected to win and he didn’t do a huge amount today.
“I just wanted to see him relax and hit the line. It was softer ground and a trip he’d never run over before, so William was delighted and it’s good to have ticked a box.
“We’ll let the dust settle. It’s pretty late at night or early in the morning in Australia and I’ll speak to Gai and Adrian on the way home. They’re in charge.
“The Leger is the logical step for him and he’s a pleasure to have at home.”
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox