Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa has received a second setback in as many months with the announcement his Group 1 star Lizard’s Desire has been struck down by enteritis. On Friday, trainer Mike de Kock revealed Lizard’s Desire is also suffering from the onset of laminitis.
“Lizard’s Desire is fighting it with all the determination and courage he showed while racing,” de Kock said. “We’re hoping he will pull through. To do it so hard in Dubai and then go on to run so well in Hong Kong and Singapore showed great character.”
Lizard’s Desire (5g Lizard Island – Annsfield by Northfields) began his career in South Africa and won the G3 East Cape Derby at Arlington before finishing second to Australian bred colt Dan De Lago in the G2 Gold Circle Derby at Clairwood.
He joined de Kock’s international stable earlier this year and was narrowly beaten by Gloria De Campeao in the G1 Dubai World in March and by Viva Pataca in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in April.
Lizard’s Desire turned the tables on Gloria De Campeao with a half-length victory in the G1 Singapore International Cup at Kranji in May.
His sire Lizard Island was bred in Australia and was purchased by high-profile South African owner-breeder Sabine Plattner for $800,000 at the 1998 Inglis Easter yearling sale. He is by Danzig sire Lure and his dam Prawn Cocktail also foaled Danehill’s Group winning fillies Langoustine and One World.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa is a first cousin of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed and is best known in Australia through NSW Breeders’ Plate winner Murtajill (Rock Of Gibraltar) who is now based at stud at Patinack Farm.
He also races G2 UAE Derby winner Musir (Redoute’s Choice) and Listed UAE Oaks winner Raihana (Elusive Quality) who were subsequently repatriated to David Payne’s Rosehill stables.
Musir was about to embark on a Cox Plate campaign after clearing quarantine last month, however, scans revealed wear and tear on his joints. Vets advised the colt should be put aside and saved for next year’s autumn carnivals.