©© Photo Healy Racing
Mick Halford has discovered a viable excuse for Surrounding’s disappointing display in Dubai last week.
The usually consistent mare has won nine of her 26 career starts and been placed on a further nine occasions.
Having claimed a Listed prize at Dundalk on her previous outing, the seven-year-old was strongly fancied for the Group Two Cape Verdi at Meydan, but finished seventh of the eight runners.
Halford said: “Surrounding was disappointing — so we’ve had some blood tests done, and they have confirmed she was in season.
“It’s unlike her to throw in a bad run like that, and she was a bit quiet afterwards.
“She’ll run again in Dubai, but I’ve not made any plans for her at this stage.”
The Kildare-based trainer could be far more encouraged by the performance of Simsir on the same card.
Making just his fifth career start and his Dubai debut, the son of Zoffany was only narrowly denied by Mick Channon’s Certain Lad in the Zabeel Turf — and Halford is confident his charge will continue to progress.
He added: “He ran a good race, and we were delighted with him. It was his first run — and it looked like he’d come on for it.
“All being well, he’ll run in another 10-furlong handicap next week. He had to run off 99 the other day, because that was the minimum rating, and he’s gone up a pound to 100.
“He’s a fine horse, and I hope there’s more improvement in him.”