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Menuiser resists Breeders’ Cup temptation with Wonderful Tonight

David Menuisier is excited to see what Wonderful Tonight can achieve next season, after resisting the temptation to send her to America for next week’s Breeders’ Cup.

The three-year-old daughter of Le Havre has enjoyed a fantastic end to the European campaign, claiming Group One glory in the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend in Paris before providing her trainer with a first top-level success in Britain on Champions Day at Ascot.

With his star filly having taken those exertions in her stride, Menuisier hinted he had been slightly tempted by a trip to Keeneland, but he has decided to err on the side of caution with next year in mind.

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“She’s not going to the Breeders’ Cup – I don’t think it would be fair,” said the Pulborough-based trainer.

“If the filly was four and it was her last ever race, maybe we would have rolled the dice – but in this instance I think it would be greed.

“I would be scared to ask too much of her – and it’s a long way, especially to Kentucky because you have to catch a flight from Amsterdam to New York and then another flight from there. There’s no direct flight, so it would be quite daunting for a youngster.”

Menuisier already has the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 12 months’ time as a major target for his stable star, with several other top-level prizes under consideration between now and then.

He added: “It’s early days, let’s get through the winter and think about it next year.

“The programme will be written for her really, because being a Group One winner you don’t have many choices. Early in the season you have the Prix Ganay at Longchamp and the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, and we’ll see where we go from there.

“We hope she’ll be running in the Arc next October – and before that you have either the Prix Vermeille on the Irish Champion Stakes, or there’s the big race in Germany – the Grosser Preis von Baden.

“How we get to the end of next year, I don’t know yet – it will all depend on the weather. If Royal Ascot is wet we could think about that, or there’s the King George at Ascot at the end of July.

“For the moment, we’ll reflect on how good the year has been this year, enjoy it and reload for next year.”

Beckett’s Breeders’ Cup duo primed for Keeneland action

Ralph Beckett reports his two Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf contenders, New Mandate and Devilwala, to be in top form ahead of their date at Keeneland next month.

Both horses have some high-class Pattern-race form with New Mandate winning the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes and the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes, while Devilwala was fourth in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at odds of 100-1.

Beckett believes he could not have New Mandate in better shape ahead of his American challenge.

“I’m very happy with him. If anything he’s in as good a shape as he was going to Newmarket and we’re looking forward to it,” told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.

“We’re seeing at home he’s more relaxed in his work. He’s definitely going the right way the more experience he gets under his belt.

“Frankie Dettori rides. He understands the horse very well now. It’s a good fit.”

Beckett admitted being surprised by Devilwala’s performance in the Dewhurst, although the Kodiac colt had finished second in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes on the second of his three starts when in the hands of Archie Watson.

“He is a difficult horse to read because he hides his light under a bushel at home,” said the Kimpton handler.

“It was definitely his owner’s call to run him in the Dewhurst. I was going along for the ride there and astonished to see him run as well as he did.

“Devilwala is tough, hardy fellow now. He was a breeze-up horse. I’m his second trainer. He takes it all pretty much in his stride. That’s why he doesn’t knock himself out at home.

“Rossa Ryan is retained by the owner so he rides. He’s been riding well of late and he’s fitted in here very well. He’s been riding out here all year and has ridden a bunch of winners for us, so I have no problem with that at all.

“I’ll be going out next Monday. We look forward to days like this.”

Breeders’ Cup mission expected to suit Kameko

Andrew Balding believes Kameko will be suited by the American style of racing when his star colt lines up for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland next month.

The 2000 Guineas winner will retire to stud after the race – and Balding is hoping the son of Kitten’s Joy can end his career on a high.

The Kingsclere trainer was disappointed Kameko could not sign off his domestic racing days in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last weekend because of the testing conditions.

“It was a shame to have missed Qipco Champions Day, but we just didn’t feel we could risk him on the ground at this stage of his career,” Balding told Sky Sports Racing.

“I think it’s going to be a totally different test in America and we’ve got the travel and everything to contend with.

“I’m really pleased with his condition and how he has held his form in his home work since so early in the year. He’s an absolute star and worked really well (on Wednesday) – Oisin (Murphy) came in and had a sit on him.

“He’s a horse with a high cruising speed and loves a strong pace to aim at, and that is usually how those races are run. In any normal Breeders’ Cup Mile he’d be well suited.”

Siskin has Breeders’ Cup Mile target before stud duties in Japan

Siskin is being aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Mile and will then head to Japan to stand at stud.

Trained by Ger Lyons, the First Defence colt won the Irish 2,000 Guineas in tremendous style earlier in the season, stretching his unbeaten run to five.

Since then he has been beaten in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and the Prix du Moulin, losing his chance in the latter having become upset on loading into the stalls.

“He’s worked this morning, he’s in great order and looks fantastic,” said Lyons on Wednesday, speaking on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.

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“This year was about the Guineas, the Sussex, come back for a light campaign, maybe the Boomerang and have a look at the QEII ground depending, but that has been put on hold.

“I didn’t want to send him as a three-year-old to the Breeders’ Cup, but he won’t be staying in training at four so the Breeders’ Cup now becomes an option and at this moment he is being trained with that in mind.

“He’s going to stand in Japan. I’m gutted. In many ways I’m delighted for him as he’ll get a serious quality book of mares that he maybe wouldn’t get in Ireland, but I’d have loved to have trained him at four.

“It just goes to show where we are in the industry when powerhouses like Juddmonte and Coolmore still have to sell their best horses for economic reasons.

“I thought when I got to the stage of winning a Guineas and an Oaks we’d get to see their careers out. We got to this stage by selling our best horses yet here we are, at the top table, still selling our best horses which is disappointing and frustrating to say the least.”

Lyons is happy to put a line through his Moulin run, a second time Siskin has had problems at the start after the Middle Park last season.

He went on: “His run in France was a non event. The stalls thing reared its ugly head again. I keep saying he’s never shown issues at home, but he’s let me down twice now. They put the hood on him and then it became a non-event.

“The Moulin wasn’t part of my plan and any time I’ve changed my plan mid-season it’s never worked out. It changed because the ground was nice and there were sales and things going on behind the scenes. I would have personally loved to have played it safe and gone for the Boomerang.”

While Siskin is being trained for the Breeders’ Cup meeting, he would only run if the ground is on the quick side.

“It has been lovely ground at Keeneland, but I got a video through yesterday of torrential rain. I worked in Keeneland so I’ll have to touch base. I wouldn’t like to see him over there on soft ground,” said Lyons.

“If it was a three-year-old race you’d stick your chest out and take any of them on, but the older horses are the spoke in the wheel.”

Saffron Beach will sit out Breeders’ Cup

Jane Chapple-Hyam has decided against a trip to the Breeders’ Cup with her unbeaten filly Saffron Beach.

An impressive four-and-a-half-length winner on her debut at Newmarket, she followed up there two weeks later in the Group Three Oh So Sharp Stakes on soft ground.

In the immediate aftermath, Chapple-Hyam had intimated she was keen on a trip to America with the New Bay filly – but she will now be roughed off for the season before reappearing in a 1000 Guineas trial.

“She’s going to have a rest now, before she comes back for the Nell Gwyn and the Guineas,” said Chapple-Hyam.

“The main reason we’re not going is the owners wouldn’t be able to attend, and also she’d had two quick runs, so it’s best for her that she has a break with next year in mind.

“We’ll have the opportunity to travel with her next year.”

The Newmarket trainer anticipates further progression, adding: “She’s just a natural. She was a late developer – but as soon as she got fit, the fitter she got the better she got.

“Looking at her pedigree, most have got better with age, so that’s what we’ve got to look forward to.

“That’s why I think the best thing to do is rug her up now, and look forward to next year.”

Fallon fine-tunes Ward’s Breeders’ Cup squad

Kieren Fallon has joined Wesley Ward in America to put the finishing touches to some of his Breeders’ Cup contenders.

The six-time champion jockey rode the likes of Campanelle and Golden Pal before their appearances at Royal Ascot this summer, and Ward feels his experience could prove invaluable in preparation for next month’s showpiece meeting at the trainer’s home track of Keeneland.

“Kieren has come over to join is, which we’re all excited about,” said the Washington-born trainer.

Kieren Fallon is lending his expertise to Wesley Ward
Kieren Fallon is lending his expertise to Wesley Ward (Tim Goode/PA)

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“He’s going to help us take Campanelle and Golden Pal into the Breeders’ Cup.”

Campanelle lunged late to win the Queen Mary Stakes at the Royal meeting in June, before beating the boys in the Prix Morny at Deauville.

Ward considered a return to Britain for last month’s Cheveley Park Stakes, but decided to wait for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf on November 6.

Ward added: “Campanelle is doing great. She’s had some really nice breezes – she actually breezed this past Sunday on the turf and had a really nice workout.”

Another major contender for Breeders’ Cup honours from the Ward stable is Golden Pal.

Narrowly beaten by Michael Bell’s The Lir Jet in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting, the Uncle Mo colt was in line for a tilt at the Nunthorpe at York, but instead remained in America and has since bolted up in a Stakes race at Saratoga.

He was scratched from a recent Listed race at Keeneland, but Ward could not be happier with his charge as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint nears.

He said: “I figured it was better to train him right into the race. As good as he is, I didn’t think he needed a prep.

“He’s training fantastic right now.”

Asked which other horses he was looking forward to running across the two-day meeting, Ward added: “I’ve got a really nice colt named Outadore, who is two from two and won the big money race down at Kentucky Downs. His workouts in the morning are beautiful.

“We’ve got Royal Approval, who recently won the Matron

“She didn’t care for the soft ground at Ascot. But she got some firm ground, which she likes, and she skipped over it at Belmont.

Kameko to retire to Tweenhills Stud at end of the season

Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Kameko will be retired to stand at Tweenhills Stud, home of the Qatar Racing stallions, at the end of the season.

The Andrew Balding-trained three-year-old, the fastest ever winner of the colts’ Classic at Newmarket, will have his swansong on the track in the Breeders’ Cup in Keeneland.

Kameko won the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle as a two-year-old and gave weight and a beating to older horses in the Group Two Joel Stakes on his latest start.

Balding said: “Kameko is without doubt the best horse I’ve trained. He has all the attributes of a top-class miler and is a striking horse to look at. I feel very honoured to have had the opportunity to train a horse of such class.”

Kameko was a first British Classic winner for jockey Oisin Murphy, who said: “I felt from the very beginning that this could be a special horse.

“He’s the perfect model – he has size, durability and a great character. To ride, he has super balance, a great turn of foot and a good mind – you can put him anywhere in a race. He’s a machine.”

Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Racing, said: “My brothers and I are delighted to own another superstar in Kameko, whose record-breaking two and three-year-old campaigns will live long in our memory. We cannot wait to unveil him to breeders.”