Reigning champion grass mare Tepin will not venture to Sha Tin for the $2.967 million Longines Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) Dec. 11 after all. Instead, this year's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) runner-up will target the $6 million Dubai Turf (UAE-I) March 25, according to assistant trainer Norman Casse.
"She seemed like she was a little bit tired from the trip back (from California)," Casse said. "We kind of set out our goals and our main goal right now is to send her to Dubai. We feel the best way to do that is to forget the Hong Kong trip and get her to a race early on at Tampa to get her ready for Dubai."
The race Tepin will use as a springboard to the Dubai Turf is the $150,000 Lambholm South Endeavour (gr. IIIT), a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 11—the same race that launched her 2016 campaign.
The daughter of Bernstein will remain at the Casse barn for the rest of the Churchill Downs fall meet, but will likely not engage in any serious training.
"We'll probably just wait until we're down in Florida for that," Casse said.
The Robert Masterson-owned mare is no stranger to success outside of North America, as she defeated some of the world's top milers over the summer at Royal Ascot in the Queen Anne (Eng-I), which she followed with a victory in the Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) Sept. 17.
Her 5-year-old campaign also included wins in the Endeavour Hillsborough (gr. IIT) at Tampa, as well as the Jenny Wiley (gr. IT) at Keeneland and the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT).