Mystic Guide in the paddock for the Grade 2 Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park on July 3, 2021. NYRA/Chelsea Durand photo.

Dubai World Cup Winner Mystic Guide Sidelined with Knee Chip

By Alicia Hughes

Godolphin homebred Mystic Guide, winner of the Dubai World Cup (G1) in March and an expected leading contender for this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6, will undergo surgery to remove a chip in his right knee and be sidelined for at least 60 days, his connections announced on July 17.

Mystic Guide most recently ran second as the favorite in Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 3, finishing a neck behind Max Player. Following that loss, trainer Michael Stidham sent the 4-year-old son of Ghostzapper for precautionary x-rays and a follow up CT scan, which revealed the chip.

“Initially he came out of the (Suburban) and looked in good condition. But when we went back to the racetrack with him, the rider and to my eye we felt he wasn’t moving perfect,” Stidham told TVG Insider News. “So we took some preliminary x-rays, which really didn’t show us anything, but we sent him in for a CT scan at New Bolton and that’s where they detected a small chip in the upper joint of his right knee.”

Stidham added that the images have already been sent to Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, who will perform the procedure, and that Bramlage indicated he expects the surgery will be very straightforward and uncomplicated.

“Hopefully it will be 60 days of recuperation and at that time, we’ll determine if we would put him back into training or if they (Godolphin) would retire him to stud,” Stidham said. “But that’s something that we won’t determine until we get closer to the end of his 60 days.”

“Mystic Guide is in great hands with Dr. Bramlage so it now becomes a question of doing what’s right for the horse,” Godolphin President Jimmy Bell said in a statement. “It’s too early at this time to make a decision to either continue racing or retire him but we will give him some time to recuperate and we will then make that determination.”

Out of the multiple Grade 1-winning A.P. Indy mare Music Note, Mystic Guide has won four of nine career starts with $7,593,200 in earnings. The chestnut colt earned his first graded stakes triumph when he captured the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) last September and opened his 2021 campaign with a six-length win in the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn on Feb. 27 prior to his 3 ¾-length victory in the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on March 27.

“It’s part of the business, but the best news is we found it early on and are able to correct it,” Stidham said of the injury. “Hopefully we’ll be able to bring him back next year.”