Decision based on ground conditions and made after ‘lots of soul searching’.
William Haggas had made no secret of the fact he thinks the Shadwell-owned colt is not at his best on rain-softened ground, and following the significant downfall at Epsom on Friday, the going was officially described as good to soft for the premier Classic.
Haggas subsequently believed it best to sidestep the race with Mohaafeth, who is unbeaten in three starts so far this term, and instead point towards the Royal meeting with the Frankel colt.
He told ITV Racing: “After lots of soul searching and discussion – and my god, we’ve had some – we have decided to scratch and go to Ascot.
“It was a decision that was left essentially, by Sheikha Hissa (of Shadwell), to me, and I have never felt the horse is comfortable on soft, dead ground. It’s not soft, but it is dead and I don’t really want to run in a race I don’t think I can win.
“I’m very grateful for the support. I’m sure it’s right, but we’ll never know if it’s right or wrong. We all want to win the Derby, every owner, jockey and trainer wants to win the Derby, but we want to have a fighting chance.
“This is a young horse with a lot of potential and he’s got a lot more to offer, so I think it will be a bump in the road running him. So yes, it’s sad, but in a way I’m relieved.”