William Haggas says he was a little disappointed with Beaten Up after he finished sixth in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.
The four year old was unbeaten in three starts in England last year, graduating from a Ripon maiden to a Doncaster conditions race before landing a Group 3 at Newbury in impressive style.
He took another big step up in class against seasoned Group 1 horses in Dubai on World Cup night and was not disgraced in finishing sixth, beaten seven lengths by the winner, Cirrus Des Aigles.
The fact that Haggas expected better is a measure of the high regard in which he holds the gelding.
"I was a bit disappointed if I'm honest," the trainer said.
"He ran a bit keen and he didn't pick up like we expected him to in the straight, like we know he can.
"It was a [big] step up for him and maybe it was a stupid race to run him in.
"But it was a great occasion to be part of, hopefully the horse will learn from it and we live to fight another day.
"I don't know where he'll go next. We'll get him home and make a plan from there."
A little more promising for the trainer was the run of Fury, who was beaten just a length into third in the Lincoln at Doncaster. After finishing fifth in last year's 2000 Guineas and second in a Listed race at Sandown, the grey's form tailed off, so Haggas was pleased to see him show some of his old sparkle on Town Moor.
Haggas said: "I thought he ran very well and I was pleased to see him finish his race off so well.
"The ground was a bit lively for him, he's definitely better with a bit of dig, but it was a big step forward from his last few runs last year.
"On [this] evidence, whatever was ailing him last year might not be totally behind him but he is definitely going the right way.
"I won't run him again until it rains."
* Press Association
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