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Setback puts Albasheer Guineas run in doubt

Owen Burrows admits he is “going to be struggling” to have Albasheer ready for the Qipco 2000 Guineas after the colt suffered a setback.

The injury is currently under investigation, but Burrows feels the colts’ Classic at Newmarket on May 1 will come too soon.

“Unfortunately he’s had a little bit of a niggle. We’re just in the process of investigating exactly what is bothering him,” said the Lambourn handler.

“There are no immediate plans for him at the moment.

“He certainly won’t be making a Guineas trial – and I’d say it would be highly unlikely, depending on what we find, that he’d make the Guineas. We’re getting pretty close.

“It’s very recent, and we’re still in the investigating stages.”

Albasheer looked a potentially classy three-year-old, having made a winning racecourse debut at Doncaster in July before going on to finish second in the Champagne Stakes and sixth in the Dewhurst.

Burrows had also been happy with his progress over the winter.

“I had been very pleased with him, so it’s very disappointing and frustrating,” he said.

“Fingers crossed it’s nothing too serious – but with the timing of it, we’re going to be struggling.

“Ideally, the plan was to try for the Craven or the Greenham. He won’t be making them, and I won’t be rushing him just to make a Guineas.

“He’s a proper nice horse, (and) he’s going to want a bit of time. How much time, we don’t know yet.”

Raabihah not ruled out of Arc reckoning

Raabihah could still take her chance in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, despite suffering defeat in the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Connections of the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained filly will wait a few days and see how the daughter of Sea The Stars has taken the race before committing her to Europe’s premier all-aged middle distance contest.

Raabihah was sent off the 6-5 favourite to take her track record to four wins from five starts, but went down by three lengths to the Dermot Weld’s impressive Tarnawa after staying on to edge long-time leader Dame Malliot for second place.

“The winner looked very good. I’m not taking anything away from her. I expected to see more acceleration from our filly than we did,” said Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s racing manager, Angus Gold.

“Mr Rouget felt otherwise, so we said we’d see how she comes out of it. She needs to improve to win an Arc on what we saw on Sunday.

“That has always been the plan after the Vermeille. We’ll see at the end of the week how things are.”

Gold expects Hukum to take high order in 2021 after falling short on his first try at Group One level in the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

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The three-year-old colt, trained by Owen Burrows, had earned a crack at the world’s oldest Classic after winning the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

However, he could only manage fifth place behind Galileo Chrome on what was his fifth career start.

Trainer Owen Burrows and jockey Jim Crowley believed the horse did not stay the extended mile and three-quarters.

“That was the trainer’s and the jockey’s thought. I just noticed Jim niggling him three out, which surprised me,” said Gold.

“He stayed a mile and five at Newbury and ran right to the line. He was gone well before a mile and five on Saturday.

“I don’t know if it was just lack of stamina. Jim said to me they went a faster pace on Saturday than they did at Newbury.

“Owen has always said he’d got a lot of toe and a lot of pace so was not a guaranteed stayer, so maybe he didn’t. He would prefer easier ground, but I’m not with excuses. He was either not good enough or didn’t stay.”

He added: “Whether he runs again this season has yet to be decided. It’s too soon to decide. That is possibly it for the year. We’ll see how he comes out of it.

“I’m sure he’ll go back to a mile and a half next year. He’s a very inexperienced horse and has a big future ahead of him.”

Gold felt a lack of racing experience cost the Burrows-trained Albasheer when he was beaten a length by Chindit in the Champagne Stakes, also at Doncaster.

It was only his second start, while the winner had the benefit of two races.

“He ran a very good race. I thought he looked short of experience to me and was beaten by a better horse on the day who’d had a second run,” said Gold.

“Sadly, we’d only got the one run in. It looked like he needed the experience of another run.

“We were happy with him and the run.”

Albasheer could go for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket next month, when he could face Chindit again.

“It’s the Dewhurst next, as long as he comes out of it well and goes forward,” he said.