Al Qareem will head to Ascot for the Cumberland Lodge Stakes next month after making a successful return at Chester on Saturday.
Karl Burke’s four-year-old found the scoresheet three times in 2022, progressing from the handicap ranks to become a regular at Pattern level, taking the Group Two Prix Chaudenay on Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp.
Off the track since competing in the Dubai Gold Cup in the spring, the son of Awtaad faced stiff opposition in his Roodee return, with Irish Oaks runner-up Bluestocking standing in his way.
However, Al Qareem showed he retained plenty of his old ability and pulled out all the stops in the closing stages to scoop the Stand Cup Stakes by a neck and book his ticket to Ascot on October 7.
“We were chuffed to bits with him and we had another winner on the card as well, everyone had a smashing day,” said Nick Bradley, managing director of Nick Bradley Racing.
“The Bluestocking team put a pacemaker in the race which was perfect for us because we were able to take a lead rather than blast off in front.
“He got settled nicely, it looked like he outbattled Bluestocking but I think he just outstayed her as a mile and a half would be the absolute minimum of his trip.
“We’re going to go to Ascot now for the Group Three there on October 7. It’s still a mile and a half, but Ascot is more of a galloping track and that will make it more of a stamina test.”