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Champions Series Stars To Stud: Postponed

20 Dec 2017

In the latest of our weekly series we put the handsome colt who shone over middle distances under the microscope

Postponed and Andrea Atzeni after winning he King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, sponsored by QIPCO, in 2015. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Career details:

Postponed developed into a high-class middle distance performer who won nine of his 20 races and just short of £5 million in prize money for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

His victories included four Group 1 triumphs, including in three QIPCO British Champions Series races. He also won three more races at Group 2 level.

Sadly, the bold decision to keep him in training as a six-year-old was not rewarded. He ran below-par in his first two runs in Dubai and was retired in May after suffering a stress fracturevauqbsfdffvfx.

Postponed began his career in the care of Luca Cumani and was something of a slow burner, winning only a 7f maiden at Yarmouth among his first six starts.

The handsome son of Dubawi won the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on his final start in 2014 but it was the following year that he struck for the first time at the highest level – beating EagleTop by a nose in the QIPCO-sponsored King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

He followed up in the Qatar Prix Foy at Longchamp but a proposed tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was ruled out after his owner unexpectedly switched him to the nearby Newmarket yard of Roger Varian.

It was a move that provoked great debate but Postponed continued to flourish – winning the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold at Meydan on his first start for Varian before reeling off three successive Group 1 wins in the Dubai Sheema Classic, Investec Coronation Cup and Juddmonte International.

Before the latter success, he had also been odds-on to win a second King George but he was ruled out days before after a small setback.

Postponed started 15-8 favourite to extend his winning sequence to seven in the Arc but was not at his best and faded into fifth behind Found.

He did not run again in 2016 and then came his two subdued efforts in 2017.

Andrea Atzeni was on board for all bar one of his victories and quiz masters will probably defeat many if they ask who partnered him to his first success. The answer was the now retired Kirsty Milczarek.

Career highlight:

His King George win was his most tenacious; his Dubai Sheema Classic his most valuable and his Investec Coronation Cup victory perhaps his most effortless.

But his win in the 2016 Juddmonte International at York was possibly the pinnacle in his career. He started the easy-to-back 15-8 favourite, perhaps on account of having to miss the King George the previous month because of a setback and his stable being quiet.

However, those who backed him at inflated odds were always on good terms with themselves.

Andrea Atzeni had Postponed close to the pace, kicked on three out and never really looked like being caught despite hanging a bit in the closing stages.

Highland Reel finished a length and a quarter behind in second, with Mutakayyef another length back in third.

What they said:

Roger Varian issued a statement when announcing that Postponed had hurt himself and would be retired. It read: “Postponed has been a magnificent racehorse to have in the yard and it has been both a pleasure and privilege to oversee the second phase of his career.

“I am very grateful to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid for allowing me that opportunity and to Postponed himself for proving such a willing and talented ally.

“It’s a shame for everyone that we won’t see him on a racecourse again, and it’s especially sad for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, who showed such sportsmanship in keeping him in training.

“Postponed had all the attributes of the complete champion racehorse – the speed, the stamina, and a telling kick. He travelled like a machine.

“A stress fracture like this wouldn’t usually be a career-ending injury – except that it’s May and he’s six, and we don’t want to take unnecessary risks with him. He’s done us all proud, and we owe him a great debt of gratitude.”

Where he will he stand:

At Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket for an initial covering fee of £20,000.

Dalham Hall is the headquarters of Godolphin’s global breeding operation, which currently stands stallions in six countries around the world.

When purchased by Sheikh Mohammed in 1981, Dalham Hall stood only one stallion and employed fewer than 10 people.

The operation now is considerably bigger with Postponed among 14 stallions standing at the stud. Others include Dubawi (fee £250,000) and Golden Horn (£60,000).

What should we expect from his offspring?:

Postponed was a 7f winner as a juvenile and was seemed equally at home over 1m2f and 1m4f as an older horse.

Depending on the mares sent to him, you would imagine his progeny being effective over a range of distances and if they take after him then they might win a few beauty shows as well.

Postponed was blessed with a good temperament, high cruising speed and turn of foot.

It would be no surprise if his stock take part in the Derby a few years now. His own sire, Dubawi, has had few runners in the Classic despite his great success at stud but Postponed’s dam, Ever Rigg, was a 1½m winner and she was also half-sister to useful 13f winner Bite Of The Cherry.

Dubawi finished third in the 2005 Derby, while Postponed oozed class when winning the Investec Coronation Cup in 2017. That at least gives hope his progeny will handle the track when the day arrives.

Champions Series Stud – previous essays:

Almanzor

Caravaggio

Galileo Gold

Wings Of Eagles

Persuasive

Highland Reel