x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Jockey Ajtebi big on Biondetti

The Emirati jockey plays up the prospect of Godolphin's Biondetti giving him a second win in Saturday's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

Ahmad Ajtebi is confident of success on Biondette in Kentucky on Saturday.
Ahmad Ajtebi is confident of success on Biondette in Kentucky on Saturday.

Ahmed Ajtebi played up the prospect of Godolphin's Biondetti giving him a second win in Saturday's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

Successful 12 months ago with Vale Of York, the Emirati jockey has been aboard the colt on two of his three career starts, including last time in the Group 1 Gran Criterium in Italy.

Atjebi was enthusiastic about the unbeaten son of Bernardini after watching the colt exercise on the dirt course.

He said: "He's shown his versatility - good horses can handle any track and he's won on three different courses at Newmarket, Kempton [in England] and San Siro [Italy].

"It was like a road in Italy but it all seems to come the same, while the three that finished behind him have all won since.

"It was his first time going round a bend but he did it well. Let's just hope we get a good draw and take it from there.

"In his first two starts he was on the pace and dictated from the front, but on Saturday we'll try to put him in behind and come through horses in the straight.

"With a fast pace on the cards the race should be run to suit him. It's a class race with four Group winners and the favourite [Uncle Mo] will be hard to beat. But we've never seen any mistakes from my horse and I wouldn't swap him."

Meanwhile, Connections of Workforce, the English Derby and Arc de Triomphe winner, expressed dissatisfaction at delays in his passage between the UK and Kentucky.

The colt, owned by Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah, is favourite for the Breeders' Cup Turf but, because of delays, took 18 hours to travel from England to his stable in the quarantine barn at Churchill Downs - with only eight hours spent actually in the air.

Stuart Messenger, Sir Michael Stoute's travelling head groom, stressed that Workforce had taken the exertions well, but said "a lesson would have to be learned".

"The journey over was far from satisfactory, but all credit to the horse who is showing that great temperament of his - you would think he'd been doing it all his life," Messenger said.."