Ouija primed for Dubai return

OUIJA BOARD remains on course to have her first outing as a five-year-old in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba on March 25.

Ed Dunlop’s charge was last seen when adding another Group One race to her name at Sha Tin in the Hong Kong Vase in December.

And the Newmarket trainer is looking forward to another campaign with his stable star.

“I’ll train her at home for as long as possible and we’ll go to Dubai no later than two weeks before the race,” said Dunlop.

“She’ll have a well-deserved holiday after Dubai, but we’ll be looking towards Royal Ascot and obviously the autumn races next season.

“It would be great to go back for another Breeders’ Cup if she’s still well.”

Meanwhile, reports that Frankie Dettori could be in action at the Cheltenham Festival have been dismissed by his agent.

It had been suggested the popular Italian would follow other leading Flat jockeys Kieren Fallon and Jamie Spencer by taking a ride in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

However, Dettori’s agent Ray Cochrane said although it had been discussed in the past, it was out of the question as the jockey was committed to riding in Dubai for his employers Godolphin.

“He won’t be riding in the bumper this year,” said Cochrane, a former Flat jockey himself who had a spell riding over hurdles.

“There’s always a might be, might be, but I can guarantee you he won’t be riding in the bumper at Cheltenham, he’ll be in Dubai.

“It has been discussed before but it won’t be happening.”

Elsewhere, Jamie Spencer and trainer Seamus O’Donnell have been called to a Jockey Club Disciplinary Panel inquiry over the running and riding of Mickmacmagoole at Southwell on November 22.

After O’Donnell’s charge won the Press Red to Bet on ITVi Banded Stakes back at the Nottinghamshire track on December 12, the improvement in form was referred to Jockey Club officials in compliance with Instruction H19 so performances of the gelding in his earlier races could be reviewed.

A winner at Wolverhampton earlier in November, Mickmacmagoole’s penultimate run had seen him finish eighth. A provisional date for the hearing has been pencilled in for February 9.

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