By Jon Lees
Tabdeed, ante-post favourite for the Wokingham Stakes, has been scratched from the Royal Ascot race.
He has been taken out of the six-furlong handicap by trainer Owen Burrrows as the four-year-old will not be ready to make his first start of the season at the Royal meeting.
Tabdeed contested the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes last year, but looked highly progressive as a sprinter, having won all his starts over six furlongs, including at Ascot in October. He was 10-1 favourite for the Wokingham and as low as 8-1 with other firms.
Burrows said: “He won’t be going. Unfortunately he wasn’t quite right at the end of last season after his win at Ascot. He didn’t come back to me until the end of March, so it was always going to be a little bit of catch-up.
“He won’t be ready in time and it looks like the ground would have been too quick for him anyway. We will be patient with him.”
Alhough Tabdeed has been ruled out, Burrows could still be represented in the Wokingham by 20-1 shot Shabaaby, who won a conditions race at Haydock in May.
“I left him in the race in case there was a bit of rain about,” he said. “We are due plenty of rain at the end of this week. Next week looks very dry. It all depends what happens the week of Ascot. He would need a drop of rain.”
Burrows could also run Elwazir and Laraaib at Ascot, with the meeting starting on June 18.
“Elwazir was obviously disappointing at Sandown in the Brigadier Gerard and I will give him an entry in the Wolferton,” said Burrows. “He is not a definite runner.
“Laraaib did nothing wrong behind Crystal Ocean at Newbury. Hopefully Sir Michael (Stoute) will send him to the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Enable won’t be there either.
“On the Newbury run I would give him a good chance in the Hardwicke Stakes. He is the one I am looking forward to the most.”
There were 16 scratchings from the Wokingham including Dubai Legacy, original joint top weights Emblazoned and Major Jumbo, Chessman and Makzeem.
Bacchus, winner of the race 12 months ago, now heads the handicap with the weights rising by 1lb.