The decision to send Horse of the Year California Chrome from Dubai to England in order to prepare for Royal Ascot has been the subject of much discussion in the press and on social media.
On Wednesday, Perry Martin, the joint owner/breeder of the 4-year-old colt released a statement defending the decision. In the statement, Martin said that he feels racing in England would only help increase the colt's profile as a stallion prospect.
“Stallion value can be increased by demonstrating superior performance at different distances and over different surfaces at elite venues,” Martin says. “Royal Ascot is such an elite venue and we are honored to be invited. The opportunity is not without risk—however, I believe the risk to be minimal.”
Martin also stated that “I do not believe that this trip [to Britain] is a mistake, however I freely admit I have made one mistake in the management of Chrome. I wanted to travel to Dubai early and prep in one of the [Al Maktoum] Challenge races there. This is a proven formula that allows the horse more time to recover from the long trip and gives him the benefit of a race over the surface.”
“Both Art and Steve wanted to prep in the San Antonio against Shared Belief. The argument was that the match up was good for racing. I did not want to disappoint them so abstained. This was an emotional decision and it was wrong.”
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