AMONG THE FAVOURITES for next month’s Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin, Shadwell’s Hukum will miss the race as connections have instead decided to target the classy 4yo homebred colt by Sea The Stars at the Dubai Sheema Classic in March. Only Lambourn counterpart Pyledriver and Glory Vase, who won the 1m4f Group One in 2019, were shorter in the betting than Hukum, who has won four of his seven starts in 2021 and was last seen recording a career best in October’s Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot.
He is trained by Owen Burrows for Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, the legacy operation of owner and breeder Sheikh Hamdan, who died in March. His daughter Sheikha Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum has maintained the family’s interest in the sport but it has been decided not to field Hukum, an older own-brother to star miler Baaeed, in the £1.9 million Vase on 12 December.
The Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan on 26 March is now the next aim. Burrows said on Sunday: “We’re not going to Hong Kong. He’s having an easy time now and then he’ll go to Dubai for the Sheema Classic. “I’ve spoken to Angus Gold, Shadwell’s racing manager, who has spoken to Sheikha Hissa and we felt he’s been on the go for quite a while and we’d give it a miss.
“He’ll have an easyish time and then get busy again in January and Meydan should suit him, while it would be wonderful to take him out there for Sheikh Hamdan’s family. “It would be great to have a runner out there, he’d be my first, and if he could do well it would be brilliant. “We’ll see about a prep race, but he won first time out last season at Royal Ascot and he might have a couple of racecourse gallops in Britain.
“He won’t be roughed off and is the type of horse you keep ticking over because he can get quite fresh if he doesn’t do enough. I’d like to think a couple of racecourse gallops would put him spot on.”