x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Horse racing: Trainer leaves with questions

Kiaran McLaughlin and other trainers upset over deep, dry dirt track at Parx Racing.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was unhappy that his horse, Questing, right, had to give up 7lbs to eventual race-winner My Miss Aurelia, left. McLaughlin was also upset over the condition of the track at Parx Racing, outside of Philadelphia.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was unhappy that his horse, Questing, right, had to give up 7lbs to eventual race-winner My Miss Aurelia, left. McLaughlin was also upset over the condition of the track at Parx Racing, outside of Philadelphia.

Kiaran McLaughlin fired a broadside at the Parx Racing management after Questing was edged out of the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes on Sunday.

Questing had to give 7lbs to My Miss Aurelia, the 2011 juvenile filly champion, and after a protracted duel down the home straight between the two the Godolphin filly gave way by a head.

It was the first time the Pennsylvania track had hosted a top-level race and McLaughlin was among several trainers who sought out the Parx Racing management to demand why the dirt was not watered during races.

"Questing ran a huge race giving 7lbs to a champion on a very deep and dry track, which was really terrible," McLaughlin said.

Irad Ortiz, Questing's rider, also blamed the dirt for the defeat but despite the setback Questing is likely to head to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in November for the Ladies Classic in which she is likely to meet her conqueror on equal terms.

"She will go to California where she will be racing on a completely different track and in different circumstances, getting weight from most of the others," the jockey said

Ortiz set dawdling fractions and covered the first half mile in 50 seconds, which is not Grade 1 pace. Corey Nakatani had no access to his whip on My Miss Aurelia, such was the proximity on his outside of Ortiz, who only resorted to his whip in the final 100 metres.

Ortiz made good in the next race when he partnered Handsome Mike to win the Pennsylvania Derby. Godolphin's Alpha could only finish sixth of the seven runners having got worked up in the starting stalls.

In England, Mu'azzaz was an easy winner of the Dubai International Stakes, the feature race on Dubai International Arabian day at Newbury Racecourse.

The eight year old, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, saw off Raihan by three lengths, while Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Tzar Du Paon was third in the Group 1 event.

Mu'azzaz was ridden by Neil Callan and is trained by Julian Smart, who also took the Group 1 Hatta International Stakes with Mkeefa.

Hilal Al Zaman was the winner of the other Group 1 race on the card, the Zaabeel International Stakes.

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