Earthlight retired to stud

Earthlight, a dual Group One winner as a juvenile, has been retired from racing and will stand at Kildangan Stud in Ireland in 2021.

Trained by Andre Fabre, the Shamardal colt won both the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes in an unbeaten five-race campaign in 2019, setting a new course record at Newmarket on the latter occasion.

Earthlight missed the early part of the 2020 season after suffering a setback, before returning with a Deauville Listed win in July, after which he finished a length behind Space Blues when fourth in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest.

He bounced back with a Group Three win when stepped up to seven furlongs next time, but had to settle for second in the Prix de la Foret on what was his final career start, beaten a neck by three times race winner One Master.

Godolphin’s Lisa-Jane Graffard told “Earthlight has been the most wonderful horse to be around. He was far superior to his rivals at two, showing a decisive turn of foot in his two Group One wins, while his demeanour was always one of calm self-assurance.

“He has been a wonderful flagbearer for Godolphin, from a family that has been nurtured for generations, by the late Shamardal and out of a New Approach mare. He showed class and courage in his races and will be a great asset to the Darley stallion roster.”

Earthlight is the second Godolphin star to retire in recent days, with last year’s top juvenile Pinatubo bowing out last Friday.

Persian King poised for retirement after gallant Arc effort

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe third Persian King is highly unlikely to run again before heading to stud.

A deal had already been signed for the son of Kingman to stand at Haras d’Etreham stud in France, and he put up a brave display in attempting to add to his three previous Group Ones.

It was all the more meritorious that he was only beaten two lengths over a mile and a half in very deep ground, considering his last run had come over a mile when winning the Prix du Moulin, where he beat Pinatubo.

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Persian King also won the French 2000 Guineas last year and the Prix d’Ispahan earlier this campaign.

He holds an entry on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot in the Champion Stakes, but Fabre is not keen on that idea in the belief the four-year-old will not have sufficient time to recover from his Arc exertions.

“I was pleased with his race and we had no excuses, I think he ran well,” said Fabre.

“It was his first run over that distance and the ground was very soft. Perhaps if it wasn’t he may have held on. Who knows.

“I don’t think he’ll run again not, probably not. Ascot will come too soon and I don’t want to travel to America.”

Fabre also went close with Earthlight, who was caught close home by the William Haggas-trained One Master in the Prix de la Foret, a third win in the race for the mare.

“One Master certainly knows where the winning post is at Longchamp, she is a fantastic mare,” said Fabre.

“It’s very unlikely he will go to the Breeders’ Cup. The travel is very complicated this year because of the virus.

“Whether he stays in training has still to be decided by Sheikh Mohammed (owner), I don’t know yet.

“It was a frustrating day yesterday without a winner, but that is racing. Given the circumstances – the lack of a crowd and desperate ground – it was quite a nice meeting with a nice atmosphere and good races.”