There was no storybook ending for the careers of both Nayef and Alamshar in Saturday's Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket. Gary Tanaka's Rakti played the spoiler while ridden out for a surprisingly easy two-length victory.
Dual group I winner Alamshar, the sole horse to beat recent Arc winner Dalakhani, has been sold to the Japan Racing Association for stallion duty beginning next year.
Irish-based Alamshar, ranked number one on the World Thoroughbred Rankings list in the Turf division, is scheduled to run in the $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International, set for Woodbine on Sunday, Oct. 19.
There are 40 horses going forward for the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, this year carrying £400,000 in prize money, and 40 juveniles remaining in the season's top 2-year-old event, the £230,000 Darley Dewhurst Stakes. Both races are group I events.
Michael Tabor's standout High Chaparral survived a stewards' inquiry to win the Ireland The Food Island Champion Stakes (Ire-I) by a neck over an unfortunate Falbrav Saturday at Leopardstown.
Irish jockey Johnny Murtagh, who recently stopped riding to combat weight problems and get over a back injury, could return to the saddle Wednesday and be back aboard Alamshar for the Ireland The Food Island Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Alamshar won the $1.2 million King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot on Saturday, beating Sulamani by 3 1/2 lengths.
Kris Kin will seek to become the third winner of the Vodafone Derby (Eng-I) in the last 10 years who went on to capture the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot, England on Saturday.
Alamshar, the lesser regarded of the Aga Khan's two entries, passed favorite Dalakhani in the final 200 yards to win the Irish Derby on Sunday.
A massive public gamble was landed Saturday at Britain's Epsom Downs when Kris Kin came late to secure a decisive victory in the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I). Owner Saeed Suhail had paid £90,000 to supplement Kris Kin for the race, even though he had been entered originally as a yearling at a cost of only £310 and subsequently scratched last autumn.
The Belmont Stakes (gr. I), when Funny Cide will bid to win the Triple Crown, is not the only major race being run on June 7. The 224th running of the Vodafone Derby at Epsom Downs in England will be run earlier the same day.
All the main contenders remain on course for the 2003 Vodafone Derby (Eng-I) after the final forfeit stage today (May 21), with 31 horses still engaged in the £1.2 million classic, compared to 25 at the same stage last year.
Michael Tabor's longshot Balestrini set the pace and held on to win the Group 3 PW McGrath Memorial Ballsax Stakes by a half-length Sunday at Leopardstown.
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