Our stable star Hit The Bid impressed again in a comfortable win in the Watch Time Handicap (5f) at Meydan tonight. Yet again he showed real class to travel comfortably throughout the race and never looked in any danger of defeat.
Beforehand we couldn't see what would go fast enough for him tonight so we decided to allow him make the running himself for the first time. He had the race safely put away before getting a bit lonely out in front in the closing stages and winning by 1 3/4 lengths. This win came just a day after his 4th birthday and I have no doubt there is much better to come from him.
He's a beautiful athletic big horse with amazing speed and a very long fluent stride. It's a real pleasure to watch him in action. From day one he always stood out and just floats over the ground. He's a colt with a fantastic temperament and is a joy to work with. I purchased him for 40,000 guineas as a yearling at Tattersalls Book 2. Looking back its hard to believe we got him so cheaply. He was such an athlete and his page was very impressive being by Exceed And Excel and out of a multiple listed winning Selkirk mare who herself was out of a listed winner.
I was thrilled to see him win for the Straight To Victory Syndicate who have been such fantastic supporters in all respects. They are such an amazing group of lads and its an absolute pleasure to train for them. Even better that one of the members, Chris Knight, made the trip from Australia to see one of his runners for the first time. We had an incredible few days and a night that will live long in the memory.
Hit The Bid was given an excellent ride again by Oisin Murphy and he is as enthusiastic as I am to see the horse take on the very best. Many thanks also to the wonderful team we have in place at New Rathbride Stables and to my wife Gillian who has done such an amazing job with the horse in Dubai since he went out there on 27th December. It's very much a team effort where everyone is committed to doing the right things to ensure we get the very best from our horses.
Hit The Bid's next run will be in the Meydan Sprint (Group 2) over 5 furlongs on 22nd February. That's a race in which he will renew rivalry with Dubai's highest rated horse, the incredible Ertijaal. In our first Dubai run on 11th January our lad ran him to half a length in 56.02, which was just marginally outside the course record, and they pulled 3 1/2 lengths clear of the remainder. I left a bit to work on in that run and also in his latest run. We've managed his progress carefully with this year in mind and we have a very exciting plan in place. We'll see a fitter Hit The Bid on the 22nd and its a race I'm very much looking forward to in all respects. To have an incredibly talented young horse taking on such a great champion is a real thrill for us all.
His final run at this year's Dubai World Cup Carnival will be in the Al Quoz Sprint (Group 1) over 6f on Dubai World Cup night. After that we'll freshen him up ahead a return to Europe for a campaign that will include The Kings Stand, Nunthorpe and Flying Five. I've said for a long time that this is a Group 1 horse and hopefully we'll see that proven during the coming months.
Many thanks to the people in Dubai who have been so helpful since the horse arrived and also to the many people who have sent good wishes. It's all very much appreciated.