The owners who share Hambleton Racing’s two-year-old Maystar are about to embark on a racing trip of a lifetime to see him run in a £100,000 race in Qatar this weekend.
The Archie Watson-trained gelding propelled them into the limelight at Wolverhampton earlier this month when he won a Fast Track Qualifier to clinch a place in the £150,000 3YO Final at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
But before that, the son of Mayson lines up in the Al Rayyan Stakes at Doha on Friday, a conditions race over seven furlongs.
“It’s an exciting start to Christmas for everyone involved in the horse,” says Hambleton’s Simon Turner. “Several of his owners are flying out along with Hollie Doyle, who will ride him again.
“Hollie has won on him three times and has no doubt about him getting seven furlongs. He stretched out nicely on the track on Monday morning after arriving safely at the weekend.”
The front-running Maystar, who is handily drawn in stall five, will be joined by three other British raiders: the Mark Johnston-trained Fuwayrit, Hugo Palmer’s Hamish McBeth and Simon Dow’s Hector Loza.
“It’s a perfect race for him,” adds Simon. “He’ll probably go for another Fast Track Qualifier in the New Year with the Final on Good Friday very much on the agenda.”
Trainer Watson knows what it takes to land the Lingfield prize, having taken the honours with another syndicate-owned horse, Corinthia Knight, for Ontoawinner in 2018.
“He has done vey well since Archie took the decision to geld him after he ran in bottomless ground in France in the autumn,” explains Simon. “He’s becoming a very solid horse and the way he pinged out of the stalls to dominate that Qualifier at Wolverhampton was impressive.”
Maystar is one of three two-year-olds that Watson has trained for Hambleton this year – he also enjoyed success with multiple winner Dramatic Sands – and he has been rewarded with four more yearlings to prepare for 2020.
“We have a colt and a filly by Territories and two others and may add a breeze-up horse in the spring. Three of the yearlings have almost sold out already,” he adds.
Watson will also train new recruit Highland Dress for Hambleton. Bought for 24,000 euros at the autumn sales, the former John Oxx gelding scored on debut for Godolphin and remains unexposed.
The son of Shamardal is unlikely to don the gold silks of Hambleton until the turf season begins but the Cork maiden winner is just the type of older horse that Watson has excelled with.
Meanwhile, Hambleton’s veteran sprinter Watchable has been turning back the clock with back-to-back wins at Newcastle and Lingfield Park and will continue to run in good sprint handicaps in the new year.
“Watchable is our team captain and he wears that armband brilliantly,” enthuses Simon. “David O’Meara, who trains him, just keeps on freshening him up and he’s really enjoying his racing.
“He’s nine now but has given his shareholders so much fun and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He broke the track record at Epsom in June and came within a whisker of doing the same at Newcastle a few weeks ago.”
For more information about Hambleton, visit their web site, hambletonracing.co.uk