Feature Story

Sprinting duo bid to give Sheikh Mohammed Obaid further Ascot success

Sprinting duo bid to give Sheikh Mohammed Obaid further Ascot success Jun 20, 2024

Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum has a great opportunity to add to Tuesday’s brilliant win with Rosallion in Friday’s Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, in which his supplementary entry Inisherin and Elite Status both hold strong chances.

The Kevin Ryan-trained Inisherin followed his fine sixth in the 2000 Guineas with an impressive three-and-three quarter length win over Orne in Haydock’s G2 Sandy Lane Stakes when dropped back to six furlongs. 

He took over as favourite in the international markets for the 1200m feature when last year’s top sprinting two-year-old Vandeek, only third at Haydock, was ruled out at the start of the week.

Ryan said: “Inisherin is a very fast horse but he was able to win at a mile at Newcastle as they went no gallop. He ran a hell of a race in the Guineas, but I said to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid afterwards that he could be a sprinter. The Sheikh said let's find out now and then we’ll know where we are going with him.

“We were confident he’d run a big race in the Sandy Lane, and he was very, very impressive. That was on soft ground and it will be different at Ascot by the looks of things, but he’s a great moving horse and I was more concerned about it being soft at Haydock. There’s only one way to find out, but a lot of these good horses can handle both.”


Elite Status represents Karl Burke, and he was similarly impressive in Newbury’s Carnarvon Stakes, the race used as a stepping stone by last year’s winner Shaquille, where Malc, Pocklington and Louis Barthas were well held.

Burke won the second running of this welcome addition to the programme with the filly Quiet Reflection in 2016. He has never made any secret of the regard he has for Elite Status, who started favourite when third in last year’s Norfolk Stakes, but he is a long-striding colt and the way he ‘tracks’, with his hind legs inclined to catch his front legs, continues to give the trainer headaches.

He said: “He suffers from knocking his joint pretty regularly and that can stop him, but if he can avoid doing that he’ll put up a big show. Kevin is very sweet on Inisherin and he’ll be hard to beat, but we are in great form and go there with a great chance too. 

“Elite Status is a high-class colt and he was running all over them from a long way out at Newbury. He had a hell of a blow afterwards and so he should come on a bit for fitness, but if he hits his sesamoid in the race it would stop him. They can grow out of it though, and the better ground will help.”