William Haggas will consider options at home and abroad for Addeybb after ruling him out of the Unibet Doncaster Mile on Saturday.
Last year’s Lincoln winner had been installed as favourite to make a winning return to action in the Listed prize on Town Moor.
After beating only one home in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, the Pivotal gelding signed off 2018 by finishing third on his first start over 10 furlongs in a Listed contest at Lingfield in November. Haggas said: “Addeybb is not going to run at Doncaster on Saturday. He has been in good form, but not flying form. If it was soft I would have run him, but it doesn’t look like it is going to be and we have a long season ahead.
“We’ve got lots of races in this country and abroad in mind. With Brexit who knows whether we can continue racing horses abroad like we do, though. We will make a plan at some point for him.”
Haggas is considering the Middleton Stakes at York as a potential comeback target for his star filly Sea Of Class. The daughter of Sea The Stars enjoyed a magnificent three-year-old campaign, winning four of her six starts including the Yorkshire Oaks, before being denied narrowly by Enable in a thrilling renewal of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Haggas is not keen to commit to future targets, but raised the Dante meeting as a possible starting point.
“She’s fine. I’m very happy with her at the moment,” said the Newmarket handler. “It’s a bit too early to be making any definite plans.
“There is so much talk about Enable and Almond Eye, I think we’ll just keep things quiet. We could start off in May in the Middleton Stakes, but we’ll see.
East is set to bid for Classic glory on her seasonal debut in either the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket or the French equivalent, the Poules d’Essai des Pouliches, at ParisLongchamp.
Kevin Ryan has been pleased with the daughter of Frankel through the winter and is happy to go straight to her first big target without a prep run.
“East has done great. She’s in good form and has wintered well,” said the Hambleton handler.
“She’s in the English and French Guineas. She’ll go to one or the other, she won’t have a prep run. She did nothing wrong last year and with natural progression, you would look forward to her.”
East showed tremendous progress in all her three starts last season. After winning a novice event at Hamilton in September, she took a Group Three at Saint-Cloud before winding up her campaign by finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.
n Top weight Bristol De Mai has been scratched from the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey was due to carry the burden of 11st 10lb in the world’s most famous steeplechase on Saturday week.
However, having run his best race at Cheltenham when a fine third behind Al Boum Photo in the Magners Gold Cup earlier this month, connections have decided to run the dual Betfair Chase hero in the Betway Bowl two days before the National. Twiston-Davies said: “He’s fine and the plan is to run in the Bowl. It was just decided that on his Gold Cup form he ought to win the Bowl and it’s possibly the easier option. He’s in good form.”
Bristol De Mai was a disappointing fifth in the Bowl two years ago, but filled the runner-up spot behind Might Bite in last year’s renewal. His defection from the National means the weights will rise at least 4lb, with Tony Martin’s Anibale Fly the new top-weight and last year’s hero Tiger Roll – hot favourite to become the first dual winner since Red Rum – moving up to 11st 5lb.