Minzaal back to best form at Newbury with Hackwood Stakes win

Owen Burrow’s classy runner Minzaal showed his quality as he returned to winning ways by claiming the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.

This was the four-year-old's first success since winning the Gimcrack during what proved to be an impressive juvenile season. 

He justified his handler's decision to lower his sights, having participated in some hot sprinting contests since.

Wokingham winner Rohaan looked destined to back-up his Royal Ascot victory when hitting the front a furlong from home.

Nevertheless, it was the co-favourite who took command in the final stages as he hit the line strongly under Jim Crowley.

Rohaan lost all strength and faded into fourth with Go Bears Go and Dubawi Legend going on to finish second and third.

Crowley said: "I was really pleased with him. I really thought he was going to win at Royal Ascot, so I was disappointed. He travelled a bit too well at Ascot that day and with the cheekpieces off, he did well. He coped with the ground.

"His action and his best form would suggest he is better with a bit of cut.

"He didn't surprise me in regards to ground today as he is a very high-class horse, who won a Gimcrack and was second in a Middle Park.

"It is just nice we have got him back on track and hopefully he will step up into Group One company. It's nice to have winners like this on big days."

Burrows: "We went to Ascot and thought he was in great nick and we tried something - putting the cheekpieces on him and it didn't work. Jim just felt he travelled a bit too well off a strong pace and he was bang there a furlong and a half down, but within that last furlong he was a spent force. We went back to what we know and we are thrilled to get him back.

"It is what it is. If we could all turn back time we would all be geniuses, wouldn't we?

"He is so laid back, so we thought we would just try something, but it didn't work, so you live and learn.

"He handles that fast ground but Jim is adamant he is better with a bit of cut. Who knows what it will be at Haydock, but quite often there is a little bit of juice up there, so the Sprint Cup is on the cards."

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