The evergreen Heavy Metal, a son of Exceed And Excel, put up a stunning display of front-running when easily winning the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1. Quick from the gates on the inside in the nine-furlong contest, he put clear distance between himself and his rivals at the top of the straight before holding on very well to win by four-and-a-half lengths from multiple G1-winner Thunder Snow (Helmet) and North America (Dubawi).
Winning his 13th career race, Heavy Metal also won the G2 Richmond Stakes as a two-year-old when in training with Mark Johnston and the G3 Burj Nahaar last season.
Heavy Metal is out of the South African-bred dam Rock Opera, a Champion juvenile filly in her native land. She has bred two winners so far and has an unraced three-year-old colt, named Night Castle, in training with Charlie Appleby and a yearling colt by Shamardal.
Exceed And Excel is the world’s leading source of juvenile winners, Stakes horses and Stakes winners. He again had another exceptional season in Europe in 2017, siring twice as many juvenile sprint Stakes winners as any other stallion. His four scorers were headed by G2 Lowther heroine Threading and G2 Mill Reef winner James Garfield. He will be standing this coming season at a fee of €50,000 Oct 1, SLF.