More improvement expected as Naqeeb makes Listed leap

Naqeeb, a half-brother to the top-class pair of Baaeed and Hukum, is chasing a first Listed win in the Troy Asset Management Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot on Friday.

Trained by William Haggas, the three-year-old is out of the mare Aghareed and by Nathaniel, whereas his half-siblings are both by Sea The Stars.

Naqeeb took four attempts to get off the mark but then did so by 10 lengths before winning a £100,000 handicap at Haydock.

“He’s been a bit of a slow burner but he’s progressing nicely and improving with every single run,” Jim Crowley, retained rider for owners Shadwell, told Sky Sports Racing.

“He reopposes Middle Earth, who beat him a nose at Newmarket, but he looks like he stays very well. He’s a gorgeous-looking horse and is very exciting.

“It’s a great family, they all seem to get better. Hukum is six now and is as good as he’s ever been, so this horse will keep improving with age and we’re looking forward to him.

“The dam obviously passes her genes on to her stock and the other two are obviously top-class horses. This lad hasn’t got anywhere near that yet but he is progressing nicely and I’m looking forward to him.

“The penny is starting to drop and he is exciting.”

Chesspiece and Middle Earth, last seen finishing sixth and seventh in the St Leger respectively, are among the six-runner field.

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