Leading British trainer Charlie Appleby has expressed that it is unlikely that his superstar Ghaiyyath will make the trip to France next week to compete in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The son of Dubawi was known last season for jet setting all over the globe to win races which saw him land a Group One in Germany by 14 lengths a Group Two in France and also a Group Three in Meydan.
He headed to the Prix de l'arc de Triomphe on his final start last season and didn't run any sort of race but seems to be a completely different animal this term.
This term he looked a different animal starting in the Group One Coronation Cup at Newmarket at the start of June and saw off Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck along with three time Ascot Gold Cup winner Stradivarius, subsequently breaking the track record.
In the first weekend of July he stepped up for another Group One event at Sandown in the Coral Eclipse and although all the talk was about Enable's return, this horse was the one with the headlines after a stunning front running performance.
He stepped up again for the Juddmonte International at York as the favourite to beat and just like the Eclipse he set off in front and could not be caught.
However, having had a stellar season and being rated the best flat horse in the world, he was handed his first loss of the season when finishing second to the seven time Group One winner Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
(Credit ATR) Appleby said: “I think it is probably more a negative than a positive at the moment – I think we are saying the Arc is probably an unlikely next start for him.
“He has put up four big performances this year and the first two or three were nicely spaced out. We know that was one of his quickest back ups all season – from the Juddmonte to the Irish Champion Stakes.
“To go for the Arc and then look for a target afterwards, i.e. the Breeders’ Cup – that would be a big ask for a horse like him, in my opinion, as he puts in so much.”
Ghaiyyath still has big plans for the season with the British Champion Stakes at Ascot or the Breeders’ Cup Turf in America being his most likely options, but the Arc seems to now be off the cards.
Appleby added: “Without having a rubber stamp, we are looking like missing the Arc and looking towards Champions Day or the Breeders’ Cup.
“Plans will be dictated by the conditions. The horse had a quiet week after Leopardstown, as he has done after each race this year, but we’ve been pleased that he is showing his wellness again. Ascot is there as a possibility for sure.
“We’ve seen what he can do over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half. When you win an Eclipse, then a Juddmonte and then go and run a great race in the Irish Champion over 10 furlongs, I think people tend to forget what he can do over a mile and a half.
“He has only run three times over a mile and a half. He has broken the track record twice – in Germany and here in the Coronation Cup.
“We are in a lucky position. He is competitive over 10 furlongs and he is very good over a mile and a half in my opinion, and that brings the Breeders’ Cup into strong contention.”