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Shamardal goes to stud after injury.

Byline: By Tom Peacock

Shamardal will miss his intended showdown with Derby winner Motivator in today's Coral-Eclipse Stakes after chipping a bone in his ankle.

The Godolphin three-year-old suffered the setback on Thursday and will now be retired to stud.

Shamardal, winner of the French 2000 Guineas and Derby, was set to face his Epsom counterpart in front of a sell-out crowd at Sandown and connections had been confident of a good show.

"Everyone is very sad, especially Sheikh Maktoum as he was very fond of this colt and he was very much looking forward to the Eclipse," said Godolphin's racing manager, Simon Crisford.

"He worked on Wednesday morning and had a very easy blow out after which we expressed great satisfaction at the way he moved and the way he worked.

"He was clinically absolutely fine afterwards and it was only at evening stables last night when he came out for a pick of grass that he took just one lame step.

"As a consequence we put him straight back in his box. The vet immediately went to work to try to establish what the problem was.

"At that time it looked as though he had a possible foot condition but X-rays on his ankle revealed a fresh chip which would require surgery if he was to continue to race, so the decision was taken.

"Sheikh Maktoum has taken the view that he should really retire to stud. He's had a very illustrious career and this is the right thing to do."

Connections of Motivator offered their sympathy to Shamardal's camp after the long-awaited clash between the pair had to be called off.

Harry Herbert, racing manager to Motivator's owners the Royal Ascot Racing Club, said: "It's an absolute tragedy. It really is and a reminder to us that anything can happen.

"It has robbed the public of a wonderful racehorse. We wanted to take on the best and were all looking forward to a fantastic contest between the two. I am desperately sorry for Sheikh Mohammed and his team, it reminds us how fragile these beautiful creatures are.

"He was one of the best three-year-olds around."

The injury, was described as an osteochondral fracture fragment of his right fore fetlock.

"We don't really know if it occurred during his last piece of work, but it seems likely that's what happened," he added.

"It was a very easy bit of work but it's more than likely that it occurred at that time."
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2005
Previous Article:Motivator now left with a clear run.
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