x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Distance right for Delegator at Duke of York Stakes

Saeed bin Suroor, the Godolphin trainer, is looking forward to seeing his horse in the front of the six furlong race.

Delegator, left, has been persisted with by Godolphin after an injury-marred season.
Delegator, left, has been persisted with by Godolphin after an injury-marred season.

Godolphin's Delegator, one of the leading British milers of 2009, drops down to six furlongs for the first time in the Duke Of York Stakes at York today.

The five-year-old was last seen finishing a disappointing eighth behind Goldikova in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in November.

Not for the first time Delegator failed to see out the mile trip when set a decent gallop and Saeed bin Suroor, his trainer, feels today's Group 2 offers the opportunity to see if the Dansili colt can make it as a sprinter.

"He worked well on Sunday morning and he is in good form at the moment," bin Suroor said.

"Delegator has shown a lot of speed in his races and I think that six furlongs is the right distance for him to try now."

Bin Suroor, 42, has persisted with Delegator after last season was interrupted by sore shins and a troublesome wart that kept the colt off the track for 10 months.

Delegator made his reappearance in a 14-runner Listed contest run over seven furlongs in September, the first time he had run over such a distance since his juvenile days, and won before struggling in a tactical affair at Newmarket a month later.

Bin Suroor's last runner in the Duke Of York was in 2009 when Hatta Fort, who warmed up with three runs at Nad al Sheba before being transferred to Newmarket, finished sixth. Country Reel (2004), Bertolini (2001) and Lend A Hand (2000), who was Godolphin's last winner of the race, also prepped in the UAE.

In contrast to the neighbouring Mahmood al Zarooni stable, bin Suroor's horses have needed a run so far this season.

Bin Suroor has recorded only one victory from 14 racecourse starts since the Godolphin team landed in the UK at the beginning of last month. And he confirmed that Delegator may well need the outing before any target is set for the imminent busy period during the summer.

"He will improve for his first start of the season but I am looking forward to seeing him run a nice race," he said

* With agency