Connections of Khaadem believe a foot problem may have contributed to his disappointing display in the Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
Having looked every inch a top-class sprinter in the making when turning the usually competitive Stewards’ Cup into a procession at Goodwood last month, the Charlie Hills-trained colt was well fancied as he returned to Group One level on Merseyside.
However, the son of Dark Angel trailed home last of 11 runners behind Kevin Ryan’s impressive winner Hello Youmzain.
Angus Gold, racing manager to Khaadem’s owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “He had a bit of a bruised foot at the end of last week, but he trotted up sound on Friday night and again on Saturday morning, so there was no reason not to run him.
“We didn’t think beforehand the soft ground would be a problem, but Jim (Crowley) felt he wasn’t letting himself down. That may have been down to the foot problem, but unfortunately the horse can’t tell us.
“I’m not saying that’s the only reason (he disappointed), but I know Charles was very happy with him going into the race and clearly he hasn’t run up to his best on the day.”
Khaadem could bid to redeem himself in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot on October 19 – provided Hills and the rest of his team are happy with him in the meantime.
Gold added: “He could go to Ascot, but we’ll see. I think we just have to put a line through his run at Haydock and move on.”