The Grand Visir on course for Royal Ascot

The Grand Visir collars his rivals

Two weeks after an effective pipe-opener at Newmarket, The Grand Visir returned to form on Saturday with a gutsy win over two miles at Haydock.

Held up by James Doyle, The Grand Visir came with a sustained run on the outer to snatch victory and set himself up for a tilt at one of the staying events at Royal Ascot.

“We have been riding The Grand Visir wrong,” admitted trainer William Haggas. “We had been riding him handy over shorter trips as he’s one-paced but there is a long straight here and we dropped him in and rode him patiently and he proved he stayed well. He’s in the Ascot Stakes and the Northumberland Plate and he’d get into that sort of race now.”

The son of Frankel had a productive first season on the track last year, winning two of his six starts including his debut at Yarmouth and a handicap at Newmarket, in which he bravely fended off Petitioner in abysmal conditions. With another winter on his back, he has grown into an imposing individual who looks capable of holding his own at a better level.

The Grand Visir and William Haggas following victory at Haydock

The Grand Visir was purchased by Tony Nerses as a yearling from the draft of his co-breeder Ecurie des Monceaux at the 2014 Arqana August Sale and is out of the Montjeu mare Piping.

She hails from a powerful Jean-Luc Lagardere dynasty as a daughter of Italian champion Saganeca, in turn also dam of Arc hero Sagamix, Group 1-winning two-year-old Sagacity, Group 2 winner Sage Et Jolie (dam of Group 1 winner Sageburg) and the Listed-placed Shastye (dam of the Group 1-placed Secret Gesture and Group 3 winner Sir Isaac Newton).

The Grand Visir’s win capped a productive day for Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, whose colours were also carried at Goodwood by the Tapster Stakes runner-up Euginio.

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