By Alan Carasso
Wednesday 31 Jan 2018
Serjeant At Arms |Katelyn Jackson photo

Serjeant At Arms (Ind) (Ikhtyar {Ire}) drilled five furlongs over the Palm Meadows turf course in :59 1/5 Jan. 27 in the company of Grade I winner Ring Weekend (Tapit) and is about a month away from his U.S. debut, trainer Graham Motion said Jan. 30.

Owned by Mr. & Mrs. K. N. Dhunjibhoy, Serjeant At Arms was victorious in 12 of his 14 career starts in India, 10 of which came in black-type races, including the 2016 Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (2000m) (video) and the Indian 2000 Guineas at Mumbai (1600m) (video). The Southern Hemisphere 4-year-old cleared quarantine in Chicago in early November and was vanned to Motion’s base a Fair Hill in Maryland before recently joining the string at Palm Meadows.

The conditioner has been pleased with the way Serjeant At Arms has taken his travel and acclimated to the U.S.

“He really had a long trip,” Motion said. “I was surprised how well he handled it–condition-wise he looked really well and didn’t lose a lot. Knock on wood, he really hasn’t missed a beat since he got to us. We gave him the better part of a month of pretty much doing nothing when he got here [to Fair Hill] and then once we got him going, he’s gone on from there.”

Saturday’s drill was Serjeant At Arms’s fifth since his arrival in Florida and easily his stiffest to date.

“He worked down on the rail while everyone else was around the cones, so the time looks fast, but take nothing away from it,” Motion said. “It was a very good work, I was very happy with how he did it. He’s been very straight-forward and a pleasure to be around. He’s really taken to the training.”

He continued, “I haven’t noticed anything that he’s taken a while to get adjusted to. That Palm Meadows turf course can be a little tight, a little different for a horse to come to, but he’s taken to everything.”

All things equal, Motion said Serjeant At Arms will remain on a weekend work regimen for the next month.

“He and Ring Weekend will probably work together from now on, they’re very much on the same schedule,” Motion said. “I think they’re going to need another month, so we’re going to be looking for something around the end of February or the beginning of March or so. I’m getting to the point where I could start looking for something. I imagine we’ll be looking at similar races for both of them–mile or mile and a sixteenth, Grade III, Grade II.”

Motion said he was put in touch with Serjeant At Arms’s owners through Cheveley Park Stud Managing Director Chris Richardson.

“I think it’s a very sporting for them thing to [send the horse to the U.S.], Motion commented. “I think they felt he’d accomplished so much in India and wanted to see how he stacks up with our horses and I think they’re excited about the prospect. There’s a lot of interest in it in India, which is great.”

A son of Sheikh Hamdan’s SW & GSP Ikhtyar, Serjeant At Arms is one of six full stakes winners for Rahy’s Serenade (Rahy–Shihama, by Shadeed), who was exported to India after being purchased in foal to Allied Forces for $8,000 from the Walmac consignment at the 1999 Keeneland November sale. The further female family includes champion Sayyedati (GB) (Shadeed), her graded-stakes winning son Almushahar (Silver Hawk) and MG1SW Golden Snake (Danzig).

Serjeant At Arms’s lifetime record stands as 14-12-2-0 for earnings of $670,325.

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