x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Horse racing: Rough going for Sajjhaa at Sha Tin

A poor break out of Gate 8 hindered Sajjhaa's run at the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in Hong Kong. The Godolphin mare rallied to finish fourth behind winner Military Attack.

Tommy Berry rode Military Attack to the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup win at Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong. Godolphin's Sajjhaa broke poorly from Gate 8 and had to rally to finish fourth.
Tommy Berry rode Military Attack to the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup win at Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong. Godolphin's Sajjhaa broke poorly from Gate 8 and had to rally to finish fourth.

Godolphin were out of luck in Hong Kong on Sunday when Sajjhaa was fourth to Military Attack in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup at Sha Tin.

The Dubai-based organisation were keen for a boost following a trying week spent before racing authorities in London, but it all went wrong for the Dubai Duty Free winner as soon as the gates opened.

Sajjhaa missed the break from Gate 8 under Silvestre De Sousa, and was forced to race five horses wide. She rallied from a hopeless position to finish fourth.

After four successive victories at Meydan Racecourse during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, there was the suggestion by De Sousa that she may need a break.

"She ran a great race after her tough time in Dubai," the jockey said.

Saeed bin Suroor, the trainer, later confirmed that the six-year-old mare will be held back for an autumn campaign. "I was happy with her performance," he said. "She will return to racing in the second half of the season."

Igugu was another who was forced to race wide and although Mike de Kock's mare briefly led in the straight, she finished down the field in eighth.

She finished behind Sajjhaa three times in Dubai following a tortuous quarantine procedure that resulted in stints on Mauritius, in England and the UAE. Anthony Delpech was concerned afterward that South Africa's former horse of the year may be past her best.

"I picked up the pace going to the 600 metre, but she just couldn't pick it up and keep going," he said.

"She's a bit disappointing, and that's four runs now, so we'd have to start to worry."

Military Attack will go to Singapore for the International Cup at Kranji on May 19.

Red Cadeaux, the Dubai World Cup runner-up, will also head to Singapore after picking up another lucrative payday for the trainer Ed Dunlop. Red Cadeaux was third in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho at Kyoto behind Fenomeno and Tosen Ra, the local Japanese runners.

 

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