Cityscape failed to fire for Beckhampton’s Roger Charlton as he finished well out of the frame in the BMW Champions Mile at Sha Tin.
The Marlborough trainer’s charge was well fancied for the Group One event after his comfortable victory in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan.
However, he was slowly away under James Doyle and after working his way back into contention, the six-year-old did not find much room in the straight and just did not pick up.
He eventually passed the post in 10th place, with Godolphin’s African Story faring slightly better in sixth after racing fairly prominently under Silvestre de Sousa.
The prize went to ex-British runner Xtension, who was repeating his victory of last year for trainer John Moore.
Charlton felt Cityscape’s slow start counted against him as well as the early pace and the track conditions.
He tweeted: “Cityscape missed the break and no pace so was always struggling and he didn’t seem that happy on the ground.”
Marcus Tregoning feels Hawaafez could be a filly to follow this season ahead of an imminent reappearance.
The daughter of Nayef was considered a potential Oaks candidate early last year, but those dreams did not last long after she suffered short-priced defeats at Beverley and Pontefract.
However, she steadily improved as the year progressed and was a hugely impressive winner on her final start at Newmarket in late October.
She is set to start off the season in Listed company and Tregoning is excited about the campaign ahead.
“She has done really well. She is such a big mare, she's absolutely massive, but I think she has finally filled her frame,” said Tregoning.
“She is probably going to start off in the Aston Park Stakes at Newbury on Lockinge day and I am really looking forward to this year with her.
“I think now she has grown up a bit, she’ll take her work better and she’s a filly we’ve always liked.
“Paul Hanagan came and sat on her the other day and was really pleased, so I’m looking forward to running her.
“She is entered in the Yorkshire Cup and she’s in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot as well, but we’ll start her off at Newbury all being well.”
Tregoning’s smart stayer Askar Tau has not been seen since running creditably in the Ascot Gold Cup last June, but he is set to return on the Knavesmire later this month.
“He is in good form and he’ll probably go for the Yorkshire Cup.
“He’ll be fit enough to do himself justice,” said the trainer.
“He probably wants a bit further than a mile and six (furlongs) nowadays, but we have to start off somewhere and he’s in good form at home.”