x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Saudi Prince's hope withdrawn from lucrative Breeders' Cup

Khalid Abdullah's Workforce was pulled out of the Breeders' Cup Turf just hours before the race at Churchill Downs.

Khalid Abdullah's Workforce was pulled out of the Breeders' Cup Turf last night just hours before the race at Churchill Downs.

Sir Michael Stoute, the trainer, had been worried about the ground all week and track officials said the move to scratch the Epsom Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero from the US$3million (Dh11.08m) was taken after consultation with Abudullah. Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to the Saudi prince, said: "The ground has not gone our way. There has been no rain and the ground is firmer than we would like for Workforce. We have absolutely no complaints but the welfare of the horse is paramount. Prince Khalid has always been a great supporter of the Breeders' Cup and no one is more disappointed than he." Meanwhile, Hibaayeb finished a close eighth in the Grade 1 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Friday, beaten two and a quarter lengths over 11 furlongs. Saeed bin Suroor, her trainer, said: "She was a bit unlucky in the race."

Frankie Dettori, her jockey, added: "If I'd had a better draw and a better run, she might have been third. They went slow and when I got a gap on the outside I did not have enough gear to take it. She has run better than it seems."

Dettori, meanwhile blamed a slow start for Sara Louise's sixth-place finish in the seven-furlong Grade 1 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on dirt.

"Sara Louise just stood in the stalls and was too far back. She kept on but was never going to get there," Dettori said.

The Godolphin filly was beaten by nine and a half lengths by the winner, Dubai Majesty.

There was also disappointment for Eastern Aria, the horse owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed but riding in the colours of Godolphin, who finished seventh in the Group 3 Queen's Cup in Melbourne.