By Jon Lees
USA: Kentucky Oaks favourite Swiss Skydiver will not travel from the United States to contest the Qipco 1,000 Guineas after she was diverted to a major event closer to home by trainer Ken McPeek.
Winner of a hotly contested Fantasy Stakes earlier this month, Swiss Skydiver will instead head to California to have her next start back on dirt in the Santa Anita Oaks.
Due to limited options at home at the time, the enterprising McPeek was considering a trip to Britain for the Newmarket fillies’ Classic following her defeat of previous Oaks favourite Venetian Harbor at Oaklawn Park on May 1.
Santa Anita and Churchill Downs have since reopened after coronavirus-enforced shutdowns.
Swiss Skydiver had worked on turf at Keeneland on Saturday but the trainer blamed the change of plans on the logistical challenges of flying a horse to Britain, where racing is set to resume on June 1 subject to government approval.
“Swiss Skydiver will go to Santa Anita for the Oaks, June 6,” he said on Twitter. “Purse change, cost, can’t send staff – all factors. Such a great race perhaps another season.”