Hong Kong Cup winner Akeed Mofeed will race at the Dubai World Cup meeting in the United Arab Emirates in April, rather than the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
Trainer Richard Gibson said after Akeed Mofeed’s victory in the Hong Kong Cup that the revamped Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the on the agenda for the Dubawi entire, but Gibson told the South China Morning Post yesterday that, because of quarantine restrictions, Akeed Mofeed will not head to Australia for The Championships.
“I think you can say that Dubai is confirmed for Akeed Mofeed, although we still have to think about which race – the Dubai Duty Free or the Dubai World Cup,” Gibson said.
“In the end, the quarantine situation with Australia made the decision for us.
“If we go there instead of Dubai, the quarantine requirements after the race ensure that Akeed Mofeed would be cancelled out of the QE II Cup.
“The QE II is worth a lot of money, too, it’s at home and at a course and distance where the horse has already won a Derby and a Hong Kong Cup.
“As a Hong Kong trainer, the QE II Cup has to be a big item on the agenda every year.”
Akeed Mofeed started his racing career in Ireland under the care of veteran trainer John Oxx, but was imported to Hong Kong after finishing fourth behind Camelot in the Group 1 2012 Irish Derby (2414m) and winning the Listed Platinum Stakes (1609m).
He made his Group 1 debut in Hong Kong with a sixth place finish in the 2013 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) and won the Taipa Handicap (1800m) in impressive fashion before scoring a narrow victory over Endowing and Gold-Fun in the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m).
Akeed Mofeed finished his summer campaign with a fifth place finish behind Military Attack in the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) in April and made a slow start when he returned to the races in October; finishing ninth in the Group 3 The National Day Cup (1400m) and seventh in the Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m).
The classy entire returned to his best form with a second place finish in the Group 2 Longines Jockey Club Cup (2000m) and showed impressive acceleration to win the Hong Kong Cup during the International Raceday at Sha Tin.
The withdrawal of Akeed Mofeed means that The Championships could be without an international presence, although Japanese gallopers Lelouch and Hana’s Goal remain a chance to contest the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) respectively.