Bateel to miss Champions Day after suffering career-ending injury

Last season's Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares runner-up Bateel will not travel to Ascot on Saturday after suffering a setback during her last piece of work in Chantilly on Monday. 

She had been trading as a general 4-1 second favourite to go one better, but Johnnie Peter-Hobyln, representing owner-breeders Al Asayl Racing, announced that Bateel would be retired as a broodmare.

The winner of four Group races, including last season's Prix Vermeille, the six-year-old daughter of Dubawi struck at Listed level with David Simcock in 2017 before being sent to Francis Graffard in the hope she would more regularly encounter her preferred soft ground in France.

Speaking on Monday, Peter-Hoblyn said: "The ground had come right for her and she was in really good form. It's very unlucky because we kept her in training and it's been the driest year in history. It's just been one of those gambles that hasn't paid off because, while the Corrida was a nice race to win, the owners have been very patient because she has been entered in every single mile and a half and mile and a quarter race since the beginning of the season, yet she has only run twice."

Peter-Hoblyn added: "She will have a screw put in her leg this afternoon and we won't be in any hurry with her. We'll get her rehabilitation done and then hopefully she will make a lovely broodmare."

Graffard had a dream run with Bateel in 2017, picking up the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock before adding the Prix de Pomone and the Group 1 Vermeille. 

However the prolonged dry spell in France has made life tougher for his charge this year and meant she skipped engagements in the King George, the Vermeille and the Arc. 

"She's a mare who achieved a lot and brought us a huge amount of satisfaction last year – a season when everything went right for her," said Graffard.

"Unfortunately, following a very good comeback win in the Prix Corrida in May, the weather has made planning her season extremely difficult. Her career ends at an unfortunate time, just as the rain arrived for her at Ascot.

"Everything had gone well and she had her final piece of work with Pierre-Charles Boudot this morning, but she didn't pull up brilliantly and you can't take a risk with a mare like her. Both her pedigree and her performances on the track means she deserves her place at stud."