March 2023



William Haggas is ready to take aim at the 2023 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with four horses – PURPLEPAY, PROTAGONIST, EARL OF TYRONE and DUBAI HONOUR – who together represent owners from the USA, Australia and the Middle East.

The Newmarket trainer is no stranger to success in Sydney. In 2020, he trained ADDEYBB to win both the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and YOUNG RASCAL to win the Group 3 N E Manion Cup. The following year, Haggas was successful again in the N E Manion Cup with FAVORITE MOON, while Addeybb successfully defended his crown in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Two of Haggas’ quartet for the 2023 Sydney carnival will line up on Ladies Day at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday, 11th March.

Purplepay, a Group 2 winner carrying the silks of US owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables, is declared to run in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic over 1500 metres.

Protagonist, a regular Class 2 performer in Europe who was bought privately by Australian Bloodstock for a campaign down under, is due to line up in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes over 2000 metres.

Speaking with Great British Racing International about the chances of success in Australia this weekend, Haggas commented first on Purplepay:

“They’re lovely people and this filly came to us by accident really. She was bought to go to the States and then missed her flight and didn’t go to the States, so they sent her to us, which is terrific.”

Of his other contender, Haggas explained:

“Protagonist was bought privately by Australian Bloodstock after they sent us EARL OF TYRONE. He was previously owned by Michael Buckley, owner of CONSTITUTION HILL (GB).

When asked about how the horses travelled over and their chances going into the meeting, Haggas continued:

“We got very lucky. They all had a good trip and seem in good form. The one thing that I was concerned about was the weather and I’ve been right so far in that all the horses we sent want a bit of cut in the ground. It’s been a very hot spell so far and the ground is quick. There’s nothing I can do about the weather.”

Looking further ahead, Haggas also confirmed to GBRI where his other two horses will run over the coming weeks:

“The plan is to run Dubai Honour next week at Rosehill in the Ranvet Stakes and Earl of Tyrone will either go for the Tancred Stakes on the 25th March or straight for the Sydney Cup on the 8th April.”

Dubai Honour will bring a high level of European form to Sydney, having finished runner-up in the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes in 2021 and won two Group 2 contests on the two starts prior to that Champion Stakes run.

Find the Team British Racing profiles of the four horses on the dedicated page on our website.

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