Racing: Blues And Royals in front line after Shamardal's flop

Sheikh Mohammed has decreed that the Kentucky Derby must be his one day, and, for once, that day has been suspended for the Dubaian prince of money and self-appointment.

Sheikh Mohammed has decreed that the Kentucky Derby must be his one day, and, for once, that day has been suspended for the Dubaian prince of money and self-appointment.

Before the 1999 running of America's most prestigious race the Sheikh was at his most forthright, issuing a statement as laughably heartfelt as his occasional poems from behind the dunes. "We will," the great man said, "win the Derby within four years."

Money, as the Sheikh has proved, can buy most things, but boasts are never on the shelves of even the most upmarket halls. The Sheikh, and latterly Godolphin, have never finished better than sixth in the chase for the floral mattress trophy, the one they call the Run For The Roses.

Still, Sheikh Mohammed proceeds with the strategy he thinks will consolidate his part of the Emirates as a major training centre. Instead of participating in the maze of trials Stateside, Dubai's crown prince likes to winter his Churchill Downs horses lazily in the Gulf, with perhaps one run in his UAE Derby. It is a strategy which meets with little accord in the United States.

"All he's doin' is makin' a pretty darn tough task a lot tougher," Jack Van Berg, the trainer who won the 1987 Derby with Alysheba, once said. "But, hell, it's his money." Being Sheikh Mohammed means never having to say you are skint, but a few more dollars seeped through the sand on Saturday when Shamardal, the major acquisition of last season, dribbled home a tame ninth in the UAE Derby. The unbeaten monster of 2004 looked to be going as far forward as a hamster in a wheel.

Far ahead of last season's champion juvenile his stablemate Blues And Royals was posting a 12-length victory. He has now been supplemented for the first leg of the US Triple Crown. However, plans for Parole Board, acquired by the Dubai team following his third on Saturday, have been put on hold, though he has also been supplemented for Kentucky.

Still, such is the faith and capital invested in Shamardal, that his tortoise effort has not yet ruled him out of the world's second most significant Derby. "Everything seems fine with Shamardal this morning and nothing has come to light. We will let the dust settle and just wait and see. There is no rush to make any plans at this stage," Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, said.

"Blues And Royals is fine. The plan will definitely be to take him to Kentucky. The Run for the Roses is a very good race and if he keeps to this form anything can happen."

Preparations for the 7 May Classic at Churchill Downs have not gone to plan for American trainers Bobby Frankel and Nick Zito. They are shipping many their horses from Palm Meadows, Florida, to Kentucky after an outbreak of the disease strangles, which could result in a ban on horse movement.

A field of 27 goes to post for today's Irish Grand National, including Point Barrow, who was fifth in the the four-miler at Cheltenham, and What Odds, who was yesterday the subject of a large wager by his owner, Mike Futter, who brought off a gamble when his Monty's Pass won the 2003 Grand National.

* Stewards at Towcester yesterday allowed the result to stand after all 12 finishers took the wrong course in the hunter chase. The runners ran on to the hurdles track when they bypassed the final ditch where ambulance crew were attending to Andrew Hickman, who had taken a fall on the first circuit.

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Alderney Edge

(Kempton 2.45)

NB: Sunley Future

(Plumpton 5.30)

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week