Disappointed yet gracious in defeat, Newmarket handler Roger Varian has confirmed that Postponed, a disappointing third in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, will not be seen on the racetrack again until the Group One Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs in June.

The six-year-old won the Sheema in 2016 before going on to win Coronation Cup and Juddmonte International at York. However, the gelding has now been beaten in his last three outings, which started with a fifth placed finish in the Prix De L’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in November, before the son of Dubawi suffered a shock defeat in the Dubai City of Gold in March.

Varian is now keen to give his charge plenty of time to recover from his Dubai exertions, which culminated with a third to Jack Hobbs, the impressive two and a quarter-length winner of the £6 million event at Meydan. Varian said:

I suppose after the level he got to last year, you always have high expectations. We’re disappointed to get beaten, but the more we reflect on it, the more we think he hasn’t run a bad race at all. Without wanting to make excuses, I don’t think the ground would have suited him, there was also a headwind and a slow pace.

He just can’t quicken on that slower ground like he does on quicker ground, but I think you’ve got to congratulate the winner, who won very well on the night. He certainly won’t run before Epsom and we’d be very keen to get him back for the Coronation Cup again if we can. I’m sure he’ll bounce back in the summer.