Bobby Zen

Annaf (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}) has been ruled out of the G1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night having picked up a respiratory illness in transit.

Trained by Mick Appleby, Annaf was last seen securing a lucrative payday for his connections when landing the $2-million G2 1351 Turf Sprint in Saudi Arabia, bursting clear in the closing stages to win by three quarters of a length. The five-year-old had another big pot in his sights in the shape of the $1.5-million Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on Saturday, March 30, but those plans have now had to be shelved as he prepares to return to his trainer’s Oakham base.

Appleby said, “He got taken ill on the flight over, but it is not life threatening or anything and he’s hopefully going to be fine, it’s just prevented him from running. It’s a shame but it’s a risk you take when they are flying a fair bit. He came home after Saudi and was heading back out so maybe it was just a bit too much for him.

“He should be fine and the vets out in Dubai in the hospital are happy with him–he should be fine to come back home when the other one [Roberto Escobarr] does. We’ll probably get him ready for Ascot now, that will probably be the main aim.”

A run at Royal Ascot could also be on the cards for Annaf’s stablemate, Big Evs (Ire), who won four of his six starts as a two-year-old in 2023, culminating with another high-profile international success for his stable when landing the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita in November.

“He’s great and has wintered really well,” Appleby said of the son of Blue Point (Ire). “He’s not far off being ready to run, we just need to decide where we are going to run. The obvious race would have been the Commonwealth Cup, but that is six furlongs and we don’t really want to try him over six first time back, so we’re not really sure where we will start back. The weather is not helping and it’s raining again here now.

“I think in the early season we will definitely be sticking to five furlongs. We’re obviously going to have to try him at six at some point and the way he won at Goodwood on that heavy ground, you would say he would stay the six.”

The post Annaf Misses Dubai Date Due to Travel Setback appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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