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Al Aasy returns to his best in style at Ascot

Al Aasy returned to winning ways at Ascot with a comfortable victory in the Listed Carey Group Buckhounds Stakes for Dane O’Neill and William Haggas.

The Shadwell-owned five-year-old was on the comeback trail after fizzling out last term following a brilliant start to his four-year-old campaign.

A mid-season gelding operation seemed to derail him after a string of wins and second places in Group contests, beginning with success in the John Porter and the Aston Park before he was then beaten by just a neck in the Coronation Cup and the Princess of Wales’s Stakes.

Back in action at Ascot he showed his class has not left him when striking late to secure a two-length triumph over Brian Meehan’s Mandoob having started as the 5-4 favourite.

Maureen Haggas, assistant to her husband, said: “He’s been a Group winner so he should win a Listed race like that, but I thought Dane gave him a beautiful ride, he kept him interested and he settled really well.

“They didn’t go very fast but he settled nicely and didn’t do anything wrong, he had a nice run round and hopefully it’ll just do his confidence good – he seems to have enjoyed it.

“That’s important, he’s got to enjoy himself and that’s how you get the best out of him.

Al Aasy will be back at Ascot for the Royal meeting
Al Aasy will be back at Ascot for the Royal meeting (Molly Hunter/PA)

“They need to enjoy it, he’s won today having an easy time and that’s important too, they don’t get confidence from having hard races every time, unless they’re really tough and there aren’t that many of those horses around.

“He’s been a gelding a while now and it maybe knocked that streak out of him, you need to be clever when you ride him and kid him along a little bit – he’s got stacks of ability.”

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