Trainer Haggas hopeful after Dubai no-show as the 'exuberant horse' needs time to settle down.
Beaten Up has his tail up for Coronation Stakes
EPSOM, England // William Haggas remains mystified by Beaten Up's performance in the Dubai Sheema Classic but is hopeful the gelding can still realise his immense talent this year, starting in the Group 1 Coronation Cup here a week tomorrow.
Beaten Up finished sixth to Cirrus Des Aigles in the US $5 million (Dh18.4m) contest at Meydan Racecourse in March.
It was only Beaten Up's fourth racecourse start, however, and the powerful and relentless galloper had shown high-class form last season when beating Al Kazeem, a horse that subsequently cruised to victory in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket this month.
"I thought he was ready for the Sheema Classic, but whether he needed further, or he was a bit flat I don't know," Haggas said. "He was a bit fresh and keen, for me. It is a fine balance to give them enough work to have them focused, but not enough to knock them over the top."
Haggas also said that inexperience may have been a factor and the trainer was at Epsom yesterday to give his charge a sighter of this most idiosyncratic of racecourses.
Beaten Up is entered in next week's 12-furlong contest in which he could renew his rivalry with Cirrus Des Aigles, who may run in France on Sunday.
"He hasn't run since Dubai and needed the stretch," Haggas added. "He moved well this morning, and we're hopeful. He's an exuberant horse, like Harris Tweed was; they need racing and settling down. He's a useful horse when things go his way."
Following Beaten Up in morning track work was Minimise Risk, the expensive purchase owned by the Dubai-based Fitri Hay. Trained by Andrew Balding, Minimise Risk was bought from Highclere Stud as a yearling for 410,000gns (Dh2.5m) and shared a paddock with some illustrious company.
Camelot, the unbeaten English 2000 Guineas winner, and Bonfire, who won the Dante Stakes at York, are regarded as the two most likely winners of the Derby at Epsom, which is also run here a week tomorrow. With Power, last season's Group 1 National Stakes winner, also residing in the same paddock as a yearling it seems that Minimise Risk has a bit of catching up to do.
Minimise Risk floundered in the rain-softened going at Chester Racecourse last week, finishing over seven lengths behind Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa's Mickdaam.
If running the colt in the Derby is a bit of a long shot, Balding believes that by the end of the season his charge may have developed enough to take a hand in the final British Classic of the season.
"Alex Cole, Fitri Hay's racing manager, rang me in the autumn and asked me if I would take the horse and four yearlings," Balding said. "We naturally said 'of course we would'. He's a serious horse - Alex paid a huge sum for him as a yearling. He could develop into a St Leger horse as he is by Galileo, and should have no problems staying the Derby trip."