Feature Story

Arabian’s ambitions of a Derby Crown dealt harsh blow

Arabian’s ambitions of a Derby Crown dealt harsh blow May 17, 2024

By Duane Fonseca - 

Arabian Crown, one of the top names in the mix for this year’s Derby, is set to miss the Classic at Epsom on June 1, with owners Godolphin announcing their main hope had suffered a setback.

In a statement on its X account, Godolphin announced the Dubawi colt would miss the race, and instead be aimed at a late summer campaign.

“Unfortunately Arabian Crown will miss the @EpsomRacecourse Derby due to a setback. He will now be aimed at a late summer campaign,” read Godolphin’s X account.
Unbeaten in four starts since marking his debut with a third at Sandown last July, Arabian Crown emerged as one of the top contenders on the ante-post market for the Derby and was second-favourite after City Of Troy. He started his unbeaten run with a maiden success at Sandown before landing the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury in August.

Arabian Crown followed those triumphs by winning the G3 Ghaiyyath Zetland Stakes at Newmarket in October by an impressive five-and-a-half lengths and marked his seasonal bow with another commanding success, a gate-to-wire, in the G3 Classic Trial at Sandown on April 26.  

News of a setback to Arabian Crown follows a difficult Derby trial period for Appleby, whose trainee Hidden Law became a live contender for the Classic when winning the Chester Vase last week before suffering a fatal injury moments after the race.

Moulton Paddocks-based Appleby has Dante runner-up Ancient Wisdom entered in the Derby as he looks to win the race for a third time after claiming the 2018 and 2021 editions with Masar and Adayar respectively.