Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Mawatheeq has been ruled out of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday. The five-year-old has endured an interrupted campaign having been forced to miss the Dubai World Cup through injury. He was well beaten on his sole appearance of 2010, in the Prince Of Wales' Stakes at Royal Ascot. Mawatheeq was withdrawn at the start of the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown after failing to enter the stalls, and Marcus Tregoning, the trainer, does not feel his charge is ready to compete in Ascot's summer showpiece at the end of the week.
"We were going to work him somewhere this weekend but we decided against it and that means he will miss the King George," Tregoning said. "We haven't decided where we're going with him yet but we just feel he wants a bit more time after the injury problem he had in the spring." Meanwhile, Eastern Aria, the horse owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, is in line to bid for a second Glorious Goodwood success after returning to form in the Plantation Stud Stakes at Newmarket.
Mark Johnston's filly enjoyed a profitable summer last year by winning on the Sussex Downs and she also run respectably in Group 1 company while in Canada. She had not been as sharp this year, but she put her best foot forward under Richard Hills and kept her momentum to defeat Snoqualmie Girl and Lady Artemisia by a length and a neck on Saturday. "She showed some really good form last year and finished fourth in a Group 1 in Canada but lost her way for no obvious reason." Jock Bennett, Johnston's assistant, said.
"She looked well before this and is back to near where she was last year. This was the plan but we will probably look at Goodwood for her now." * Agencies