APROPOSED winter comeback for Godolphin’s Mystic Guide, winner of the 2021 Dubai World Cup, has been delayed after the 5yo Ghostzapper entire encountered a physical setback while training this winter, trainer Mike Stidham has revealed.

Off since a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Suburban Stakes at Belmont in July, after which he had surgery to have a knee chip removed, Mystic Guide worked twice last month at Fair Grounds, the last of which was a 600m breeze on Boxing Day.

“We weren’t completely happy the way he came out of it. So we decided to send him up to Kentucky to Rood & Riddle, where Dr Bramlage did the surgery and is overseeing his comeback,” said Stidham. “Nothing serious, but enough to where we are in a holding pattern, where we had to slow down again and give him a little more time before he resumes his training.”

The trainer expressed doubt that Mystic Guide would be retired so close to the upcoming breeding season. He said Mystic Guide, currently stabled in Keeneland with trainer Johnny Burke, would be monitored in Kentucky for the next three weeks before being further evaluated. He could resume light training there before rejoining Stidham.