Excuses made for Aclaim flop

Aclaim: Blood tests showed he wasn't quite right at Newbury

Trainer Martyn Meade is confident Aclaim will bounce back to form this summer after finding a viable excuse for his disappointing reappearance in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Having rounded off last season with three successive victories, hopes were high the four-year-old could make his mark at the highest level this term.

He was thrown in at the deep end in Berkshire but finished a well-beaten sixth.

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"It was a very disappointing run and clearly something was amiss. The annoying thing is I had him routine blood tested the day before he ran and he was absolutely fine, brilliant in his coat and wonderful at home," said Meade.

"He ran flat in the race, we got him back and had him blood tested and his blood was wrong, so he had an infection which we are treating now.

"You can put a line through that run. Luckily he wasn't given too hard a race as he didn't perform at all.

"This must have literally happened and manifested itself the day he ran. He will bounce back and maybe we will now go to Royal Ascot for the Queen Anne.

"We will re-bleed him just to make sure he is clear of it now, but it is 100 per cent that is what it was."

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