x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rain dampens Holberg and Campanologist hopes

Frankie Dettori concedes that the soft ground ruined Holberg's chances of glory at the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

Frankie Dettori conceded the soft ground ruined Holberg's chances of glory at the Emirates Melbourne Cup yesterday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was at the Flemington Racecourse as the wettest October in the city's history resulted in a dead track and officials working frantically to get the irrigation system to drain the water for the 150th running of Australia's biggest race.

The conditions did not suit Holberg, who finished sixth. The four-year-old Halling colt settled in sixth towards the outside after breaking smartly from stall 10 but then dropped back a few places among the 23-strong field and was pushed wider than intended entering the straight by Americain, the winner.

The main Godolphin hope stayed on well to regain sixth but could never get within striking distance of the leaders and was just over six lengths behind Americain at the finish.

Campanologist, Godolphin's second horse who was ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, finished a hugely disappointing 16th.

"The ground was too wet and Holberg lost his chance of winning through that," Dettori, the Italian jockey, said.

Saeed bin Suroor, the Emirati trainer, agreed, saying: "Holberg ran well but the ground was too soft for him and he could not handle it and the same applies to Campanologist. There are no plans for the two horses at the moment but we will keep our options open."

Americain became the first French-trained winner of the Emirates Melbourne Cup, with Maluckyday in second.