What’s been happening in the racing world | Topics: Godolpin, Seven Days in Racing, Charlie Appleby, Saffron Beach, Poland, Alydar, Saudi Cup, Do Deuce, Nature Strip, European Pattern Race Committee, Dubai Turf, Nations Pride, Efforia | Thoroughbred Racing Commentary
Efforia, Nations Pride and John Veitch feature in our weekly digest of recent international racing news
Efforia retired after suffering atrial fibrillation in Do Deuce comeback race
Japan: Efforia, Japan’s Horse of the Year in 2021, has been retired after he was found to have suffered atrial fibrillation when pulled up in the G2 Kyoto Kinen won impressively by last year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner Do Deuce.
Efforia earned top honours as a three-year-old in 2021 with victories in the Satsuki Sho (2,000 Guineas), Tenno Sho (Autumn) and Arima Kinen. He will stand at Shadai Stallion Station.
Do Deuce, winning on his first start under Yutaka Take since finishing 19th in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, will now be targeted at the Dubai Turf on the Dubai World Cup card at Meydan.
Saratoga Derby winner Nations Pride returns at Meydan
UAE: Nations Pride, who won two $1 million events last year in the US, is the star turn on the seventh night of Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Friday [Feb 17] when he contests the G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes.
The Godolphin four-year-old won the inaugural Jumeirah Derby last year, then went on to G1 success in the Saratoga Derby and followed up in the G3 Jockey Club Derby at Aqueduct.
Trainer Charlie Appleby, who has won the Meydan race six times, said: “There will be some improvement to come for whatever he does on his seasonal return, as we hope that he has another international campaign ahead of him this year. Depending on how he goes here, we will consider potentially looking at the Jebel Hatta or the Dubai Turf.”
Alydar trainer John Veitch dies aged 77
USA: Hall of Fame trainer John Veitch, who trained the great Alydar and later became a Kentucky steward, has died aged 77.
Alydar was best remembered for finishing runner-up three times to Affirmed during his 1978 Triple Crown-winning campaign but also won six G1 races including the Travers and went on to be a champion sire.
Before Dawn, Davona Dale, Our Mims, and Sunshine Forever were other Veitch champions while he also saddled Proud Truth to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1985.
He later served as chief steward for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission until he was fired in 2010 amid the fallout from Life At Ten being allowed to run in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic despite jockey John Velazquez expressing concerns about her on TV. Hot favourite for the race, she finished last.
Nature Strip makes first start of 2023 in Lightning Stakes
Australia: Champion sprinter Nature Strip, overtaken by Anamoe as Australia’s #1 horse in the TRC Global Rankings, will have his first start of 2023 in the G1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington on Saturday [Feb 18]. The nine-time G1 winner has been beaten in both starts since he returned from a successful trip to Europe, where last year he landed the G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Saffron Beach ruled out of Saudi Cup and retired
GB: Saffron Beach, who was bought for 3.6m gns [$4.5m] by Saudi interests late last year to contest the $20m Saudi Cup, has been withdrawn from the race after she was deemed not fit enough to travel following an unsatisfactory scope. She will now be bred to Frankel. The news cuts the field for the world’s richest race in Riyadh on February 25 to 13.
Poland granted first Black Type race as Hocquart and Greffulhe downgraded
Ireland: Poland will stage its first Black Type race in 2023 after the country’s flagship race, the Wielka Warszawska, set to be run at Sluzewiec in Warsaw [Oct 1], was granted Listed status by the European Pattern Committee.
The EPC sanctioned 827 Black Type races for the year, 25 fewer than in 2022. France’s Prix Hocquart and Greffulhe lost their G2 status and will be run as G3s while Italy had five Group races downgraded and lost 11 Listed races from its programme.
Elsewhere in racing …
USA: Death of legendary composer Burt Bacharach, prominent racehorse owner, aged 94 More here
USA: Kentucky Derby-winning owner-breeder Diana Firestone dies at 91 More here
Australia: Tom Marquand joins wife Hollie Doyle on injury sidelines after shoulder surgery More here
Australia: Jockey Michael Walker announces retirement due to brain injury More here
South Africa: Muzi Yeni accused of threatening to ‘f*** up’ rival jockey More here
Hong Kong: Tony Cruz trains 1,000th Sha Tin winner More here