Khalifa bin Dasmal, the owner of Dream Ahead, has decided to send his outstanding sprinter to France next month to contest the Prix de la Foret instead of running at the inaugural British Champions Day at Ascot a fortnight later due to breeding considerations.
Dream Ahead proved his juvenile rating alongside Frankel was not a miscalculation this season, with victories in the July Cup and the Sprint Cup, both of which are over six furlongs and carry Group 1 status.
The British Champions Sprint Stakes, sponsored by Qipco, the Qatari investment company, is a Group 2 contest in which Dream Ahead would not be required to carry a penalty for his successes in 2011.
Despite the open nature of the race, which carries a £250,000 (Dh1,450 million) purse, Dasmal wants his charge to run in the seven-furlong Longchamp race.
"A Group 2 is always better than a Group 1," said Dasmal on Tuesday. "We are headed to France, where we feel he will stay seven furlongs. We hope he can get the distance, but you can never be sure."
Dasmal, a Dubai businessman, currently does not have any breeding interests, and a fifth victory for Dream Ahead at the highest level would make for an alluring stallion prospect should he be retired at the end of the season.
Diktat, Dream Ahead's sire, ran three times over a mile without success, but won six times over seven furlongs. He also won the Prix Maurice du Gheest at Deauville in 1999, a race that proved beyond his son.
"I don't think we will have Dream Ahead around next year, as I think the plan is to find him a place at stud, especially as there is a lack of freshman sires around at the moment," David Simcock, the colt's trainer, said.
It is a significant blow to the Ascot racecourse executive, which has managed to attract Frankel, the world's best miler, as well as the possible participation of So You Think and Twice Over, for its well-publicised card on October 15.
"It's no secret we want to get the sprint up to Group 1 level," Nick Smith, the head of international racing at Ascot, said. "We wrote to the connections of Dream Ahead after the Sprint Cup in order to state our case, but they clearly have other aspirations. To prove the horse over a longer trip is hard to argue against, and we'll just have to take it on the chin."
Dream Ahead will not be Dasmal's only runner at Longchamp during the first weekend of October as Prohibit is set to return to France to contest the Prix l'Abbaye over five furlongs.
Dasmal owns a one-third share in the six year old, who won the Prix du Petit Couvert at the Parisian track on Sunday.
It was the gelding's 11th outing this season since running first in February at Meydan Racecourse, but Dasmal was optimistic about the chances of his charge.
"He was impressive in his last race. He gave his opponents seven pounds and won in very good style. We are hoping he will win the Prix l'Abbaye."