News flashes: racing mourns Sheikh Hamdan, Mishriff no-go for BC Classic, Luis Saez fined and more …

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Horse Racing Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum
Hamdan Al Maktoum: nine-time champion Flat owner in Britain. Photo: Shadwell Stud

UAE Death of Sheikh Hamdan

The world of horse racing lost one of its most prominent figures when Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, owner of the hugely successful Shadwell Racing, died aged 75.

Along with younger brother Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE finance minister and deputy ruler of Dubai transformed racing in Britain by investing billions in the sport and in the process became one of the most powerful owners in world racing.

After Mushref became his first winner at Redcar in 1980, the Sheikh became synonymous with a host of top-class horses such as Nashwan, Dayjur, Sakhee, Invasor, Battaash, Salsabil and Taghrooda. He was champion Flat owner in Britain nine times and topped the rankings in North America once. He also won the Melbourne Cup twice.

Trainer Marcus Tregoning knew the sheikh from his time with Nashwan’s trainer Dick Hern and saddled one of his last G1 winners, Mohaather. He describes the huge influence Sheikh Hamdan had on his life in a personal tribute on his website.

• Read more on the Racing Post website


GB Breeders’ Cup Classic ‘won’t suit Mishriff’

Dubai Sheema Classic winner Mishriff, who won the Saudi Cup on dirt in February, is unlikely to return to dirt this year after trainer John Gosden appeared to rule out a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“Having had a lot of success at Del Mar over the years I do know that straight very well and I always feel they should pick up the finishing wire and move it another 100 yards down,” said Gosden, speaking to Luck On Sunday.

“It’s a very short straight and a different style of racing. You’ve got to have real tactical speed and you ping off the bend. This is a horse who enjoys the length of the straight. I don’t think it’s going to suit him.”

Instead, races like the Eclipse Stakes, King George, Juddmonte International and Arc could feature on Mishriff’s schedule. A return to Royal Ascot for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the likely target of Dubai Turf winner Lord North.


Australia James McDonald up for Verry Elleegant Arc bid

James McDonald has thrown his weight behind ambitions to take the eight-time G1-winning mare Verry Ellegant to Europe for the Arc.

“She is definitely in the form of her life,” he told RSN Racing Pulse after her Ranvet Stakes victory over arch-rival Addeybb. “She’s going through her runs really well. She is going to be very hard to beat in the Queen Elizabeth and if she comes through that I would have thought she probably might get over there.”

Very Elleegant and Addeybb will clash for the fourth time in the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick on April 17, a race the latter’s jockey Tom Marquand came very close to missing after picking up a three-meeting ban for careless riding, from which he will return on April 9.

• Read and listen to RSN Racing Pulse


Japan Danon earns another smash ‘n’ grab raid

Danon Smash, winner of the Hong Kong Sprint in December, secured his first home G1 victory when he landed Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo on Sunday. The six-year-old held off favourite Resistencia by a neck and will now head back to Hong Kong for the Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin on April 25.

• Read more at the Japan Racing Association website


Dubai Luis Saez fined for World Cup whip breach

Luis Saez’s Dubai World Cup-winning ride on Mystic Guide earned a sanction from the Meydan stewards for breaching whip rules.

Saez was fined was fined AED50,000 ($13,600/£9,900) for using his whip in consecutive strides on two occasions in the straight, striking the winner twice on the first occasion and four times in the second instance. Saez’s penalty contrasts with that of David Egan who forfeited $100,000 for breaching whip rules in the Saudi Cup.

• Visit the Emirates Racing Authority website

Horse Racing Mystic Guide Dubai World Cup
Luis Saez: the jockey was fined for his Dubai World Cup winning ride on Mystic Guide. Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Erika Rasmussen

Australia Glen Boss loses Bivouac ride

Australian Royal Ascot aspirant Bivouac will have a change of rider for his next G1 start after Glen Boss was sacked from the Godolphin sprinter following a disappointing effort in the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick earlier this month.

Boss rode Bivouac to two G1 wins last year as well as in both starts this year, in which he finished fourth and fifth, but connections have turned to Hugh Bowman for the T J Smith Stakes on April 3.

• Read more at Punters.com


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