Epsom Derby hero Adayar will not make his intended seasonal reappearance in the Coronation Cup after a minor setback, instead heading for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The 2021 Derby and King George winner was expected to return over 12 furlongs at Epsom, but will now drop back in trip over 10 furlongs at the Royal Meeting in the Prince of Wales’s, won last year by Aidan O’Brien’s Love.
This comes after news that the four-year-old colt had a minor setback, with red-hot trainer Charlie Appleby admitting that he wouldn’t be ready to run in just over a fortnight.
“Adayar who was an intended runner some months ago has met with a minor setback and was coughing for a few days,” said the Moulton Paddocks handler.
“I just eased off on him for a week and just in doing so he came on a lot in the week. We’ll probably be giving the Coronation a miss just fitness-wise I won’t have him there in time.
“Adayar is most likely to be heading towards the Prince of Wales’s [at Royal Ascot] for the first start of his four-year-old career.”
The Appleby team will have an able deputy for the race in Group Two winner Manobo – who was last seen finishing second in the Dubai Gold Cup – dropping back in trip for the Epsom Group One.
“Manobo was last seen finishing second in the Dubai Gold Cup and we’ve always mooted that we wanted to drop him back to the mile-and-a-half,” Appleby added.
“His preparation has gone very well towards the Coronation, we worked him this morning and he did very well.
“He is most definitely an intended runner in the Coronation.”
Pyledriver set for Coronation defence
Defending champion Pyledriver will run in the race, with trainer William Muir giving a positive update on his stable star’s wellbeing ahead of his Coronation Cup defence on June 3.
The Muir and Chris Grassick combo bagged a first Group One victory when he gamely held off Al Aasy in the 12-furlong contest in 2021, but a mid-season injury saw him sidelined until winning the Churchill Stakes at Lingfield in November.
He was denied by just a length in the Hong Kong Vase in December and despite a disappointing trip to Saudi Arabia in January, was back to his best when brave in defeat in the Dubai Sheema Classic, beaten a length in fourth following a less than ideal passage in the closing stages.
Muir is now targeting the five-year-old towards a return at Epsom and could not be happier with the signs he is seeing from his horse.
“He’s in good form, he went to Newbury (to work) on Sunday and I was as happy as I could be. I was delighted with it because he has had a break and he has come back and just shown he is exactly where he was before his other races all through the winter,” said Muir.
“He’s looked great out the past few days and we now have to just get through the next two weeks and we will be in with a great chance. Things can change with racehorses day by day, but at this present stage he’s in good form.
“He’s been a superstar for himself and never lets you down. He’s run on fast ground in Hong Kong, fast ground in Dubai, really soft at Epsom lasthat year, so you never have to worry about the ground because he seems to handle anything. “
He’s in really good shape, I took him to Newbury on Sunday, he went round and worked well and just because I know where he is and I know what he does, that’s why I’m really excited, not because he broke any land-speed world records.
“He just did what I wanted to see, like out in Dubai and Hong Kong, he just seems to be in that sort of place.”