Mr Malek to skip Singapore Guineas
The highly anticipated showdown between Inferno and Mr Malek in the $400,000 Singapore Guineas will now have to put off to another day.
Trainer Lee Freedman has pulled Mr Malek out of Saturday's Singapore Group 1 race.
He came to the decision yesterday morning as he wasn't 100 per cent satisfied with the gelding's condition, after his 600m gallop in 39.9sec.
"Mr Malek won't be running in the Guineas. I'm just not happy with him going into that race," said the Australian.
For racing purists, the withdrawal of the highly talented galloper is a shame, as the stage had been set for a mammoth battle between the Oscar Racing Stable's rising star and the Cliff Brown-trained Group 2 Singapore Classic winner.
Between them, the pair have won 13 races, with Inferno accounting for seven.
Mr Malek has won six races from eight starts and was expected to mount a serious challenge to Inferno in the third and last leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge.
With Mr Malek out, the field is down to nine runners.
While the withdrawal of such a leading hope might take the gloss out of Saturday's feature, the 1,600m race still has enough to whet racegoers' appetite.
There's Rocket Star, Strong N Powerful and King's Command. All three are oozing class and could threaten Inferno's supremacy.
Without Mr Malek, Oscar Racing 's colours will still be prominent in the Guineas. It is represented by the James Peters-trained Meryl.