Dubai Mile to drop back in trip with autumn aims on the horizon

Co-trainers Martyn and Freddie Meade will drop Dubai Mile back in distance and wait for soft ground in the autumn as they bid to secure his future as a stallion.

Having purchased a half-share in last year’s Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner from owner Ahmad Al Shaikh, the horse has left Charlie Johnston’s care to join the Meades’ Manton Park roster.

“He is here and the idea is clearly he has to do a bit more to be a stallion yet,” Martyn Meade confirmed.

Bought for €20,000 as a yearling by the Johnston team, he made swift progress as a juvenile and finished second in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes before taking a top-level victory in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

Fifth in the 2000 Guineas on his three-year-old bow, he did not appear to stay a mile and a half in the Derby, finishing ninth of 14 to Auguste Rodin.

He again flattered to deceive over the same trip in the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot, when beaten eight lengths by King Of Steel.

Meade said: “The idea is we will campaign him for the rest of the season and maybe even next season if we need to, because he preferably needs to win a couple more, at least one and maybe two Group Ones.

“That’s what we will be targeting him for, but at the moment we will be giving him a break.

“He’s had quite a tough sort of campaign, with three races at the top level and inevitably that takes it out of them. You can’t race in those Group Ones all the way through.”

Meade feels autumn targets may be ideal for Dubai Mile, who won his Group One on deep ground.

“The little I know about him, he will be pretty good on soft ground, as he showed in France,” he said.

“If we can campaign him towards the back end of the season, I think that would be our preference.

“It is all to do with distance. I don’t think he proved himself as well as he might have done over a mile and a half and our thoughts will be to drop him back.

“On the face of it, while we have to assess him, we are thinking of changing his trip, shortening it up. A mile and a quarter will be his trip.

“Hopefully we can get a bit of soft ground at the end of the year and find a suitable race for him.”

Manton Park Stud currently stands Aclaim and Advertise, both of whom were Group One winners for Meade, with the trainer well aware Dubai Mile needs to enhance his page before embarking on a breeding career.

“It is lovely to have him, we’re very pleased,” added Meade. “He looks a nice horse.

“It is a strategic move as far as we are concerned and let’s see how we go, but he needs to put a bit more on his CV before we can stamp him.”

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