You should never believe anything a boxer says in the ring after a fight. Along the same, you should probably dismiss anything a horse’s trainer says after a race. California Chrome finished second in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday and immediately after the race his trainer, Art Sherman, gave every indication that the horse was heading home. Sherman spoke of the difficulty of shipping overseas with Chrome and his entourage and observed that there are a lot of good races for him in the United States. He all but dismissed tentative plans made earlier in the year for California Chrome to ship to England for the Royal Ascot.
On Sunday morning, however, it was announced that California Chrome will ship from Dubai to England in a few days. It is either a last minute decision or one that was supposed to be a surprise. Chrome was booked on a flight back to the United States mid-week but instead will fly to England. He’ll be based at Newmarket according to trainer Art Sherman. For those who are unaware, California Chrome was the winner in the 2014 Kentucky derby horse race event. He was a favorite for many online betting enthusiasts.
There’s no indication of what caused the change in plans that reportedly surprised Chrome’s training team. Sherman was still unconvinced that Chrome should be shipping to England noting that “this is going to be a tired horse”. Reports indicate that there may be a difference of opinion between Chrome’s owners, Perry Martin and Steve Coburn. Coburn proclaimed that Chrome is ‘America’s Horse’ following the Dubai World Classic on Saturday but Martin—the majority owner—made the call to go to England. Terms of Chrome’s UK tour are unknown but he could be receiving an ‘appearance fee’ just for showing up much like top golfers like Tiger Woods receive for playing in mid-level tournaments.
Sherman is still California Chrome’s ‘trainer of record’ but will not be responsible for his day-to-day care while he’s in England. The International Racing Bureau will be in charge of arranging and supervising the horse’s day-to-day care. Sherman will travel to England to saddle the horse when he races. Sherman continued his skeptical tone explaining the training arrangements saying: “I feel like I’ve lost a friend. I’m going to miss looking down the shed row and seeing the horse in his stall.” He ultimately concluded that he “hopes it works out for the horse.”
So what will California Chrome do in England? He won his only career start on turf in the Hollywood Derby last December though the opposition in that race wasn’t particularly impressive. This reality further validates the theory that Chrome might be getting paid just to show up at Newmarket. Then again, the Royal Ascot is a huge event every year without a superstar horse shipping in from the United States.
There’s no indication of what race Chrome’s connections will target during the five day meet in mid-June. One target might be the Group One Prince of Wales Stakes run over a mile and two furlongs for horses four years old or older. The race is held on the second day of the Royal Ascot meet which will be held on Wednesday, March 17. There’s a number of other races that California Chrome could be pointed to—there are eighteen graded (‘Group’) stakes races run during the Royal Ascot including eight Group One events. Based on distance and competition, however, the Prince of Wales Stakes makes the most sense. To bet on California Chrome horse, there are many derby betting sites that are available online, but Twinspires is the official online horse race betting website in America.