Al Zaraqaan continuing to prove his worth for new connections

Sam England’s dual-purpose performer Al Zaraqaan has continued to prove his great versatility with a string of victories over fences.

The six-year-old was purchased via a claiming hurdle at Fakenham in March and consequently left the stable of Archie Watson and owners Hambleton Racing to move to Yorkshire.

In the Hambleton silks he had won nine races under both Flat and National Hunt codes, including a conditions hurdle at Bro Park in Sweden alongside some placed runs in stakes contests on the level.

His first performance for new connections was in the Chester Cup in May, after which he turned his attention to steeplechasing for the first time in his career.

In three starts over fences he is yet to suffer a defeat, winning on debut at Cartmel and then going on to score at both Southwell and, most recently, Uttoxeter.

A horse that appreciates firmer going, Al Zaraqaan will remain in action throughout the summer and has an array of potions open to him as one of the most versatile horses in training.

England said: “We’ve been delighted, we’re really happy with him.

“He was claimed out of a selling hurdle around Fakenham and the owner lived in Chester, so he wanted to run him in the Chester Cup so that’s what we did and he’s been novice chasing since.

“He’s a wonderful horse, there’s not many who have won as many different types of races as him. He’s obviously a very talented animal.

“We’ve not got any concrete plans, he likes good ground so we’ll just keep going and keep our eyes out.

“He could mix it up, he could go back on the Flat, he could do anything. There’s loads of opportunities for such a talented animal so while he’s in good form we’ll keep running him.”

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