x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Dream Ahead to retire after 'a very high pinnacle'

Retirements plans being drawn for the colt with three Group 1 victories, with a Breeders' Cup appearance or one in Hong Kong "likely" to be his final race.

The connections of Dream Ahead feel there is not much left for the colt to achieve.
The connections of Dream Ahead feel there is not much left for the colt to achieve.

Dream Ahead is unlikely to run again after the colt broke a 16-year track record in the Prix de La Foret at Longchamp on Sunday.

The three year old accounted for Goldikova, the 14-time Group 1 winner, in a thrilling end to the seven-furlong contest.

It was Dream Ahead's third Group 1 victory this season, after his two wins at the highest level as a juvenile when he was rated joint-champion alongside Frankel.

After the race, Khalifa bin Dasmal, the owner, revealed he had sold over half of his interest in the son of Diktat to Ballylinch Stud, based in Ireland.

"I believe the plan is to retire him," the Emirati businessman said. "What is he going to do next year? He is going to win the same races that he has already won."

John O'Connor, the stud manager, was also leaning towards retiring the colt, although he did leave the door open for a final run at the Breeders' Cup or in Hong Kong this autumn. "It is likely to be his final race," he said.

"He has reached a very high pinnacle by beating a filly like Goldikova and maybe it is harder to get any higher than that. There is no hurry to make a decision."

It was Dream Ahead's first victory beyond six furlongs and was at a distance at which his sire excelled. It tees up the possibility that O'Connor and bin Dasmal may wish to allow the horse to prove his worth over a mile in the United States, especially as it emerged yesterday that an interest was reportedly also sold to SF bloodstock, a US investment group.

"He proved the doubters wrong," bin Dasmal said. "Anyone who thought he was all speed and power and who thought he would not last home seven furlongs must remember that run. He has proved himself a true champion."

As for Goldikova, defeat in the Foret in 2009 did not prevent her second victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita that year and Freddy Head, the trainer, was optimistic of challenging at Churchill Downs next month.

'It's always disappointing to be beaten, especially with Goldikova," Head said.

"We may not have been fresh enough. She still has the Breeders' Cup to look forward to."


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