Home sweet home for Delphini

Alpha Delphini will stick to racing in the UK next season after his disappointing debut foreign trip in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

The Nunthorpe Stakes winner at York in August looked like a fish out of water at ParisLongchamp on Sunday as he finished four lengths behind the winner, Mabs Cross.

Ironically, it was the same horse Alpha Delphini pipped to the post at the Knavesmire less than two months earlier, which led trainer Bryan Smart to conclude that the seven-year-old is better suited to staying on home soil.

“He’s finished for the season now. He didn’t travel or cope with it, being away,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“If a horse doesn’t take to it you know he’s not going to run to his best, but we’ve done it and we won’t be doing it again so we look forward to next season.

“She (Mabs Cross) upheld the form for the race (Nunthorpe). He’s still the same horse. He just didn’t cope with the travelling. We’ll be staying in this country.”

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