x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Danedream and Nathaniel are ruled out of Prix de l'Arc

Danedream and Nathaniel will both miss the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday as the German filly and John Gosden's charger were each scatched for different reasons, reports Geoffrey Riddle.

Danedream may continue to race on next year after the German filly was sensationally scratched on Tuesday from Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe alongside Nathaniel.

Last year’s hugely impressive winner of the Arc was not left in Tuesday’s confirmation stage for Europe’s showpiece event in Paris following the news that horses based in Cologne, Germany, were placed on lockdown on Monday night due to a serious disease.

An outbreak of Equine Infectious Anaemia was reportedly discovered near the stables of Peter Schiergen, Danedream’s trainer, and the entire area was ring-fenced by the German authorities.

Following a meeting yesterday morning between vets and trainers in the area, Schiergen took the decision to withdraw his filly from the race.

“If we had maybe two or three weeks then something might have been done, but we are so close to the race it is just not possible,” Patrick Barbe, the France racing manager for part-owner Teruya Yoshida, told The National.

“As far as we are concerned the ban is for three months so it makes it hard to plan for any other races this season.”

Danedream beat Nathaniel by a nose in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in England in July, and the pair had leading chances going into the middle-distance championship at Longchamp Racecourse.

Having accumulated five Group 1 victories, Danedream has done enough on the racetrack to earn a well-earned retirement to the paddock, but Barbe’s initial thinking at this time is to continue the four year old’s racing career. All options, including a trip to Dubai, are possible.

“It is all too fresh to be making any decisions and she has done enough to go to stud but she is in such good form that it would be silly to not have a go next spring.

“There’s plenty of time for her to visit Frankel yet.”

There are thought to be around 400 racehorses based in Cologne, and Barbe underlined what a devastating blow it would be to the German racing industry if nothing is done to overturn a travel ban as quickly as possible.

“Imagine for the next three to four months there are no horses from Cologne in races in Germany, or around the world, it will be very bad for German racing. There were around five or six horses entered at Longchamp from Germany.”

Nathaniel was scratched from the Arc in equally dramatic circumstances. John Gosden’s Eclipse Stakes victor was left in the 12-furlong contest alongside 17 others yesterday but it later emerged that the four year old had a temperature.

Gosden, the colt’s trainer, had a blood test carried out immediately and it was later confirmed that Nathaniel would miss the race, perhaps in favour of a crack at Frankel in the Champion Stakes at Ascot next month.

The defections come after last week’s news that Snow Fairy, the seven-time Group 1 winner, was ruled out of the race with injury.

Snow Fairy finished third in last season’s Arc but was ruled out of a repeat bid by heat in her foreleg.

She will miss the rest of the season but will also race on next year.

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