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)

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We require a teacher of English for this co...

Recruitment Genius: Sales and Service General Administrator

£16000 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance & IT Assistant

£20200 - £24800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Senior PHP Developer - Zend Framework

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This number one supplier of Coo...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea