Tuesday 7 October 2003<
br> By Richard Evans (Filed: 07/10/2003)

Aga sells Alamshar

Alamshar, winner of the Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, has been sold by the Aga Khan to the Japanese Racing Association and will commence stud duties next year.

Retirement plan: Alamshar could run in the Champion Stakes before being sent to stud

The announcement yesterday came just 24 hours after Dalakhani provided Europe's most successful owner-breeder with his third success in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

Having produced the two outstanding Classic colts of 2003, the Aga has taken full advantage of the commercial opportunity which presented itself.

Pat Downes, the Irish stud manager of the Aga Khan Studs, commented: "Alamshar is an outstanding racehorse and particularly at Ascot, when taking on the older horses for the first time, he showed us what a champion he is.

"However, we must on occasions capitalise on our Group One colts. We wish the JRA great success and are confident Alamshar will be an exciting addition to the Japanese breeding industry."

Alamshar, who inflicted the only defeat of Dalakhani's career when landing the Irish Derby, is still entered for the Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday week and he remains a possible runner.

John Oxx, his trainer, said: "He is super form at the moment. We had him ready to run in the Arc as a stand-by, and if he stays like that, he'll run in the Champion Stakes. There's no other race on the agenda for him."

Alamshar's purchase is the latest example of top middle-distance colts being bought by the Japanese for stud duties. In the 1990s, seven winners of the Derby at Epsom were sold to Japan.

Meanhwhile, Marcus Tregoning is considering returning to Longchamp in 12 months' time for a second crack at the Arc with Mubtaker following his excellent second to Dalakhani.

The six-year-old was beaten less than a length and had High Chaparral, last year's dual Derby winner, five lengths back in third. "Without Dalakhani, he would have been an easy winner, wouldn't he," he reasoned.

Although Tregoning reported Mubtaker to be "absolutely fine" following the career-best performance in France, he ruled out going for the Canadian International in Woodbine later this month. The Melbourne Cup is also a non-starter.

Instead, his thoughts turned to next year and mapping out a campaign targeted at the Arc. "It would be quite fun to try, wouldn't it, as Sunday's effort was pretty impressive."

"He's had his problems (with a hind joint) and while it does get any easier as they get older, hopefully we know how to get him right."

While Mubtaker stays in training, his galloping companion Nayef will run his last race in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket in a fortnight's time. "We are aiming to go out on a high. He is seemingly in good form and on course."

The Jockey Club investigation into the running of Hillside Girl at Carlisle in June, and the way the filly drifted alarmingly on betting exchanges beforehand, took a new twist yesterday with the decision to summon a farrier to a disciplinary hearing.

Steve O'Sullivan, who worked for Alan Berry, trainer of Hillside Girl, has refused to supply the Jockey Club with information relating to his betting accounts and telephone records. Hillside Girl, who drifted from odds-on to 21-1 on Betfair, was pulled up lame in the race.