Leading UAE trainer unsuccessful in appeal against 12-month drug ban
Salem Bin Ghadayer, a leading trainer in the UAE who has sent out big-race winners such as Heavy Metal, Frankyfourfingers and Long River, has been unsuccessful in his appeal against a 12-month ban for administering ketamine to a horse in his care.
A notice on the Emirates Racing Authority website read: "The ERA appeal panel heard the appeal of trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer on Sunday, March 18, 2018.
"On Monday, March 19, 2018, the appeal panel ordered that the stewards’ decision to disqualify trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer for a 12-month period commencing on March 3, 2018 and ending at midnight on March 2, 2019 stands."
The trainer was banned after High On Life returned a positive post-race urine sample following a win at Jebel Ali in January. The sample tested positive for ketamine, a banned substance and powerful anaesthetic which is used to stop humans and animals from feeling pain.
Bin Ghadayer would have been hoping to send out a leading fancy on Dubai World Cup night on Saturday week in the shape of Heavy Metal, a top-priced 5-2 for the Godolphin Mile.
Librisa Breeze could head east
British Champions Sprint winner Librisa Breeze has been entered for the Champions Mile and Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin on April 29.
For the first time, the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Champions Mile and Chairman’s Sprint Prize will form a Group 1 triple-header on a single afternoon, and trainer Dean Ivory and owner Tony Bloom – who last week enjoyed Cheltenham Festival glory with Penhill in the Stayers' Hurdle – could be tempted to head to Hong Kong with Librisa Breeze.
There are several British- and Irish-trained entries across the three races, also including Washington DC, Master The World and Robin Of Navan.
Azteca stays at home
Sharp Azteca, who had been ante-post favourite for the Godolphin Mile, will not fly to Dubai for the Group 2 event on Saturday week's World Cup card at Meydan.
The Grade 1-winning five-year-old, beaten a length into third after a fierce pace battle in last year's race, is now set for a spell on the sidelines after coming out of a recent workout with a minor injury.
Trainer Jorge Navarro is now set to target the Met Mile with Sharp Azteca, who was found to have a foot inflammation. He was a dull eighth in the Pegasus World Cup on his most recent start.
Withers Stakes winner Avery Island, one of Godolphin's Kentucky Derby possibles, will not make it to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May after returning lame following a workout last week at the Palm Meadows training centre in Florida.
“He's out of the Triple Crown,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who still has Godolphin's Enticed in the Kentucky mix. He said Avery Island's issue was "nothing major".
Madam Dancealot lands second Grade 2 in US
Former British-trained filly Madam Dancealot (Richard Baltas/Corey Nakatani) landed her second Grade 2 event in the US on Sunday when she utilised a potent late kick to land the Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita.
Appreciating the rain-softened ground, the four-year-old rallied from seventh to claim the $200,000 contest by half a length over stablemate Midnight Crossing.
Madam Dancealot went to California towards the end of her two-year-old career, during which she won the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury for former trainer Joe Tuite.
Kentucky Oaks fancy Dream Tree to miss Churchill clash after setback
Leading Kentucky Oaks hope Dream Tree is to be rested and will not run in America's senior race for three-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs on May 4.
Trainer Bob Baffert said the daughter of Uncle Mo came out of her most recent workout at Santa Anita with a "small issue" and has decided to give her some time off.
Dream Tree is unbeaten in three starts, among them the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes on her final start at two and the Grade 2 Las Virgenes last month on her three-year-old debut.
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