Workforce Goes Back to School


Despite his momentous win at the Epsom Derby, it seems that something has gone seriously wrong with Workforce which was demonstrated clearly at Ascot when he failed in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and finished a full sixteen lengths behind Harbinger in sixth place. He had been the favourite to win the race at 8-11 on.

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He has now undergone a series of extensive tests and examinations to see if there is anything wrong with him physicals, but nothing has shown up. The result is that it has been decided that he will not race again until he can demonstrate that he again has what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Essentially he has gone back to school for retraining and it could be that this will include the whole of next year. It all depends on if and on how quickly he can improve.

Workforce was born in 2007. His win at Epsom when ridden by Ryan Moore broke the course record. His trainer is Sir Michael Stout and the colt is owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah. Harbinger, the winner of the 2010 Derby is also trained by Sir Michael Stout and is Workforce’s stable mate. Ironically this win was also a course record.

It is unusual but not unknown for an apparently excellent horse to show such a rapid decline in performance. Generally when this happens physical reasons are the cause but it is also possible for horses to suffer psychological trauma which can diminish their performance. Sometimes they just do not wish to perform. We can only hope that Workforce returns to form before too long.

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