Eldar Eldarov owners flying US specialist to Dubai after stalls accident

Eldar Eldarov remains at the Dubai Equine Clinic two days after banging his head in the stalls before the start of the Dubai Gold Cup, with connections hoping the imminent arrival of a specialist from the US can give further clarity to the extent of any trauma. 

Eldar Eldarov working on the training track at Meydan, photo Liesl King

Winner of the 2022 St Leger at Doncaster and the Irish St Leger at the Curragh last September, Eldar Eldarov became unsettled in the stalls after the horse in the next gate kicked out. 

After rearing up, he struck his head and was withdrawn by the starter, with racecourse vets diagnosing head trauma and sending Eldar Eldarov to the local equine clinic for further evaluation. 

Representing owners KHK Racing and their principal, Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chris Wall told the Racing Post on Monday: "Eldar Eldarov is still in the clinic and it was clearly more than just a bang on the head. 

"Sheikh Khalid was insistent that we pull out all the stops for the horse and so we're flying out a specialist from the US. Depending on what time they arrive, we should hopefully know more tomorrow."

While the injury may be more serious than first appeared when Eldar Eldarov was led away from the stalls, Wall reported the son of Dubawi to be "looking happier" than on the day of the race.

"The horse is comfortable, he's eating up okay and he looks happier than he did a couple of days ago," said Wall.

Eldar Eldarov had been one of the most impressive horses on the Meydan training track in the week leading up to the Dubai Gold Cup, which was won in his absence by Tower Of London for Aidan O'Brien. 

Christophe Lemaire, is expected to be discharged from hospital on Monday after suffering a punctured lung and breaks to a collarbone and a rib after Catnip suffered a fatal fall when breaking his right foreleg a furlong out in the Dubai Turf. 

Trained by Michael Stidham, Catnip won the Grade 3 Monmouth Stakes and was beaten only three-quarters of a length by Warm Heart in the Pegasus Turf at Gulfstream on his previous start in January.