Racing: Gatflax a bloody expensive flop

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The Independent Online
GATFLAX, WHO finished a tailed-off last of nine finishers on Saturday on his first run since his record-breaking purchase for 2000,000 guineas, faces a series of tests to pinpoint the cause of his failure. The gelding is the most expensive jumper sold at public auction in Britain.

Andy Turnell, Gatflax's new trainer, initially blamed a broken blood vessel for the six-year-old's dismal showing on Saturday in a novice chase at Wetherby. But the trainer said yesterday: "He seems fine today. He wasn't distressed last night and he ate up.

"He bled from both nostrils after the race but we will canter him and scope him and see if it his lungs. He also cut his lip when he overjumped at a fence and we hope that the blood from his nose is related to that, rather than his lungs.

"It was disappointing but at least we know that that he is better than that. He won't run for at least a week but he could be out again at Christmas."

n Olivier Peslier yesterday became the first European to win the World Super Jockeys Series, in Japan. John Murtagh and Frankie Dettori filled the last two places in the competition between 13 riders.

n Lord Huntingdon, who is to retire from training at the end of the year, scored with his final overseas runner when Tiger Shark won the Criterium du Languedoc at Toulouse.

n Racing at Fakenham today hinges on a 7.30am inspection because of frost and snow.