Star sprinter Oxted ruled out for the remainder of the year

Oxted will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to remove a chip in his knee.

Roger Teal’s stable star, who landed the second Group One of his career in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, is a gelding so connections felt it best to take a long-term view with the sprinter.

The five-year-old has not finished out of the first three in four British outings this year, most recently finishing a creditable third to Starman in the July Cup.

“We’ve always known he’s had a floating chip which hasn’t been a problem, but after he hung in the July Cup we sent him for an MRI scan,” said Teal.

“You could actually see on the scan that the chip had moved and it was just between the joints, so the best thing was to have it removed as it had just gone in the wrong place.

“The fact he’s a gelding means we are here for a long time not a short time, so we all decided to have it removed now and hopefully he can have time to recover for next season.

“The surgery went well, there’s no cartilage damage and because he only had one race left this season, we didn’t want to risk him if it was in the wrong place.

“He’s home, he’s happy and has had his dressing changed today and it all looks good.”

Oxted to undergo thorough check after July Cup third

Roger Teal is to have Oxted “checked out” after finishing a gallant third when defending his crown in Saturday’s Darley July Cup.

Fresh from doubling his Group One tally in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, the five-year-old had to make do with minor honours at Newmarket after hanging badly right in the closing stages, while he was also found to be suffering from mild heat stress post-race.

It is testament to Oxted’s ability he was still only beaten just over a length by the Ed Walker-trained winner Starman, but Teal was left wondering what might have been.

He said: “He seems absolutely fine, but we’re going to have him checked out because we don’t know why he hung across the track. We’ll have the vet look at him and see if there’s anything untoward.

“He got a little bit hot after the race. It was a stifling day and we had to get some cold water on him afterwards as his body was a bit over-heated. There were a couple in the race the same afterwards.

“He’s never hung across the track like that before, so we’ll monitor him over the next few days and see if anything comes to light.”

Assuming Oxted is given a clean bill of health, next on his agenda is the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 4.

Roger Teal (top hat) with Oxted at Royal Ascot
Roger Teal (top hat) with Oxted at Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

“He still ran a huge race on Saturday. He lost a lot of ground hanging across like he did, so if he’d stayed straight it would have been interesting,” Teal added.

“It was a quality field – it was very scary to keep looking at it – but he’s run an absolute stormer and we couldn’t be more proud of him.

“We’re sort of running out of options now, so the Sprint Cup at Haydock would be his next target if all is well.”

Teal and Oxted up for the Cup again at Newmarket

Roger Teal is taking inspiration from England’s football team ahead of Oxted’s bid to become the first back-to-back winner of the Darley July Cup in over 60 years at Newmarket on Saturday.

In beating Denmark in extra time at Wembley on Wednesday, Gareth Southgate’s men became the first squad since the World Cup heroes of 1966 to reach a major final ahead of a mouthwatering Euro 2020 clash with Italy on Sunday evening.

Oxted is out to end an even longer wait for a sprinter to successfully defend the July Cup – with the Lester Piggott-ridden Right Boy the last horse to achieve that feat in 1959.

Oxted winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot
Oxted winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

Teal said: “England finally got to the final the other night, so it does happen! Maybe it’s the year for long waits to end.

“It hasn’t been done since 1959, so let’s hope we can end that and England can do the same on Sunday.”

Oxted returns to the July course at the top of his game, having doubled his Group One tally in the King’ Stand at Royal Ascot last month.

Having had his enthusiasm tempered initially after Oxted was drawn on the far side in stall 16, Teal is more upbeat after the first three horses home in the six-furlong handicap on Thursday were drawn 16, 15 and 19 respectively.

“It gives us much more confidence now. It did boost us. When it first came out I thought ‘no, I don’t believe it, we’re drawn on the far side’,” he said.

“You can’t change it so you have to do the best from where you are. It just depends where the pace is. Hopefully there is pace around us. If not we’ll have to make our own.

“I don’t want any rain. It’s good to firm at the moment and hopefully that rain front stays away for Saturday.”

Rohaan shone in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot
Rohaan shone in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

Plenty of attention will surround the David Evans-trained Rohaan, who has progressed at a rate of knots this year and was last seen defying a big weight to win the Wokingham at the Royal fixture.

He had run in the valuable handicap as geldings are barred from the Commonwealth Cup – with connections left wondering what might have been, as Rohaan had beaten first past the post Dragon Symbol in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.

Evans said: “He seems fine. He just takes everything in his stride and it’s just another day out for him. If it rains it rains, and if it doesn’t it doesn’t – there’s nothing we can do about that. He’s been supplemented, so he’ll take his chance.

“Looking at the handicaps on the first day the draw looks OK, but we’ll see what happens on the day. You need luck in all these races – he got it at Ascot and hopefully he’ll get it again.”

Dragon Symbol (left) in the Commonwealth Cup
Dragon Symbol (left) in the Commonwealth Cup (David Davies/PA)

As well as Dragon Symbol, Archie Watson can also call on another Royal Ascot runner-up in Glen Shiel, who only found Dream Of Dreams too good in the Diamond Jubilee.

“He (Dragon Symbol) is not technically a stakes winner, but he is probably very unfortunate not to be unbeaten,” said Watson.

“He is still very much learning on the job. He ran a huge race at Ascot and he has proven himself to be a proper Group One horse.

“Things get serious when the three-year-olds step up against the older horses and I just hope he can continue to progress.

“On the balance of form he has got a very strong chance on Saturday.”

Of Glen Shiel, he added: “He ran a huge race at Ascot. He clearly just needed his first run back in the Greenlands at the Curragh and he tightened up for that. He obviously handled the soft ground well at Ascot, as did the winner, but he ran another very big race.

“The ground is not going to be as soft as his Ascot runs, but he ran a very good race on better ground in France last year when he was just getting the feel of things as a sprinter and I’m sure he can be just as effective on better ground.”

Starman winning the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York racecourse
Starman winning the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York racecourse (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Ed Walker’s Duke of York Stakes winner Starman arrives fresher than most, having been taken out of the Diamond Jubilee due to the rain-softened ground.

Walker said: “He’s in great nick and looks a picture at the moment – he’s an impressive looking hors.

“We were gutted to have missed Ascot. For me this horse is so exciting, but he only does what you ask at home. You could work him with a 60-rated horse or with the Derby winner and he’d go just the same with his nose in front.

“He’s done absolutely nothing wrong bar that one run on bad ground and I just don’t know how much is up his sleeve. Only he can answer that question and hopefully he does that this weekend.”

Frankie Dettori is praying Extravagant Kid can finally provide him with a first victory in the race.

The six-furlong showpiece is the only British Group One that has so far eluded the 50-year-old – a statistic he is keen put right aboard Brendan Walsh’s American speedball, who was two lengths behind Oxted when third in the King’s Stand.

Dettori said: “There are better horses in the race, but he (Extravagant Kid) is the best I could get.

“Brendan has confidence that six furlongs will suit him, but Oxted thrashed me in the King’s Stand. It will be very hard to reverse that form, but with 19 runners, you never know what is going to happen.

“I think I’ve had four seconds in the July Cup – I’ve had a few goes at the race!

“It’s sad that I’ve been in Newmarket since 1985, it’s our biggest race apart from the Guineas and I’ve never managed to win it.

“It’s quite bizarre really – I’ve won everything else around the world. I’ve been knocking on the door, (but) I am 50 and I haven’t got forever, so every year is precious.

“We’ll give it another go on Saturday.”

Godolphin's Creative Force
Godolphin’s Creative Force (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Charlie Appleby has high hopes for Creative Force and Glorious Journey.

The former has been a revelation in winning all four starts this year, most recently in the Jersey Stakes at the Royal meeting, while Glorious Journey arrives on the back of victory in the Criterion Stakes over seven furlongs of the July course.

Appleby said: “I think we’ve got two live shots really.

“We’ve got the young pretender there in Creative Force. He’s been a model of consistency all year, starting off in handicaps at the Craven meeting, and he’s shown versatility over six and seven furlongs and quick ground and soft ground.

“He comes into the race in great order. It’s a very competitive race on paper, but he’s not going to look out of place and I’m excited to see him run against the older horses.

“Glorious Journey is part of the furniture at Moulton Paddocks. Every year he’ll pick up some nice prizes for you and he goes into the race in very good form – I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so well.

“He really is in great nick. Coming here a couple of weeks ago gave him a nice bit of confidence and that’s what you need going into these Group One races.”

Miss Amulet finishing second in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes
Miss Amulet finishing second in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The only Irish-trained runner in the field is Ken Condon’s outsider Miss Amulet, who drops back in distance after beating only one home in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

“Her season really hasn’t got going due to the ground. With the Irish Guineas on our doorstep it was the last chance of a Classic so we let her run, but the ground was very testing. Hopefully the ground will be more in her favour on Saturday,” said Condon.

“She’s very like last year in that she is very undemonstrative at home, but she is in very good form. She’s fit and she’s healthy.

“It will be a very competitive field and she’ll be a big price, but some of her form from last year is working out very well. It remains to be seen has she trained on, but physically she has done well and we are looking forward to it.”

Oxted heads 19 declared for July Cup

Last year’s winner Oxted heads a field of 19 declared for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.

Roger Teal’s star sprinter bids to become the first horse since Right Boy in 1958 and 1959 to win the six-furlong showpiece in successive years.

Oxted showed he was back to his best when lifting the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, for his first success since he took this prize in 2020.

Heading the opposition in what looks one of the hottest renewals for years is Starman. Ed Walker’s Duke of York Stakes winner in May missed the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting due to the soft ground.

Archie Watson has two strong contenders in Dragon Symbol and Glen Shiel, who were runners-up in the Commonwealth Cup and Diamond Jubilee Stakes respectively at the Royal meeting.

Other winners there going for Group One glory are Charlie Appleby’s Creative Force, winner of the Jersey Stakes, and Wokingham Handicap victor Rohaan.

Appleby also has Glorious Journey, while others in the mix include American raider Extravagant Kid, Art Power, Chil Chil, Supremacy and Brando. Kevin Ryan’s nine-year-old is making his fifth appearance in the race, having finished second, third, sixth and seventh in his four previous attempts.

Winner of the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night and third in the King’s Stand, Extravagant Kid will be ridden by Frankie Dettori for Brendan Walsh, the Cork native who is making a name for himself in America.

Walsh flew in from the States on Monday – and was pleased to be back in Newmarket, where he spent time working for Godolphin and Mark Wallace.

He said ahead of a race that forms another part of this year’s Qipco British Champions Series: “I was delighted with Extravagant Kid when I saw him. He’s done great over here and looks fantastic. I’d forgotten what a great environment Newmarket is for a horse and he’s thrived.

“He ran his race (in the King’ Stand) and we were very pleased to run third in a race like that. Maybe if he’d been drawn on the near side it might have helped, but I’ve no excuses. If he runs as good as that, or maybe a little better, I think it should put him in the mix.

“Frankie was keen to ride him again and there’s nobody better, so we look forward to it. He very rarely runs a bad race and he’s run with the best of them. He was only beaten a length or so in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year, from stall 14 of 14. That was an excellent run and having already won the Al Quoz over six furlongs we’ve had a very good year with him.

“We’ll probably go home after this, but if he holds his form we’ll prepare him for another go at the Breeders’ Cup.”

The four withdrawals at the 48-hour final declaration stage were Lope Y Fernandez, Ventura Rebel, Final Song and Thunder Moon.

Oxted primed for July Cup defence

Last year’s winner Oxted is among 23 confirmations for Saturday’s Darley July Cup at Newmarket – with Rohaan and Line Of Departure both supplemented.

Roger Teal’s stable star arrived for the race last year as something of an unknown quantity, but blitzed the opposition that day and has subsequently added the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot to his roll of honour

He is likely to face Ed Walker’s Starman, who had Oxted behind him when making a winning reappearance in the Duke of York Stakes in May.

Walker decided against running his big hope at Ascot when the ground turned soft and will be hoping for a dry week as his only defeat came on Champions Day last year when the ground was deep.

Archie Watson’s Dragon Symbol was involved in one of the most controversial races of the season to date at Ascot.

He was first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup, but was adjudged to have caused enough interference to Wesley Ward’s Campanelle by the stewards to see the placings reversed. Connections lost their appeal against that verdict last week.

Watson also has another strong chance with Glen Shiel, winner of the Champions Sprint last season and a credible second in the Diamond Jubilee at Ascot.

Dragon Symbol (right) was first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup but lost the race in the Stewards' room
Dragon Symbol (right) was first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup but lost the race in the Stewards’ room (David Davies/PA)

The winner of that race, Sir Michael Stoute’s Dream Of Dreams, will be missing this weekend due to a setback.

Andrew Balding’s Chil Chil has taken her form to a new level on her last two starts, winning a handicap at the Guineas meeting and the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle. Her trainer is another hoping for a dry week.

Balding said: “She will go for the July Cup if the ground is good or faster. She showed some pretty useful form last year when conditions were right and she was a little bit unfortunate on a couple of occasions. Beat The Bank, her brother, got better with age and it appears she is.

“It is a big step up in class, but she likes the (Rowley Mile) track at Newmarket and I don’t see why she won’t like this one, so why not have a go?

“She travelled strongly at Newcastle and I was impressed with the way she picked up in the second half of the race. She is clearly a filly at the top of her game. It would be nice if she could prove up to this level.”

Another stepping up in grade is David Evans’ Rohaan, the Wokingham winner who has improved out of all recognition this season.

Roger Varian’s Line Of Departure also represents the three-year-old generation on the back of winning a Salisbury Listed event last time out.

Others engaged include Charlie Appleby’s Jersey winner Creative Force, Clive Cox’s Supremacy, Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon and the Tim Easterby-trained Art Power.

Oxted raring to go for July Cup defence

Oxted is on course to defend his Darley July Cup crown following his victory in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Trainer Roger Teal reports his star sprinter to have taken his big-race efforts in his stride and the five-year-old will head to Newmarket on July 10.

One of 29 horses left in six-furlong showpiece at the latest acceptance stage, Oxted will bid to become a rare dual winner of the race. The last horse to record back-to-back victories was Right Boy in 1958 and 1959.

“All is good. I’m happy with him. He’s come out of the race well,” said Teal.

“The plan is to go for the July Cup again – all roads lead to Newmarket.

“We never lost the faith and it was an impressive performance by him as well, so fair play to him.”

Extravagant Kid, two lengths behind Oxted in third place at Royal Ascot, is set to reoppose.

The American raider won the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March and will be stepping back up to six furlongs.

His trainer, Irish-born Brendan Walsh, is looking forward to the challenge.

“I don’t think going back up to six furlongs will be a negative. Although it is a little stiffer than Dubai, you are going downhill a lot of the way. It is probably as far as he needs to go but I think he will be fine,” said the Kentucky-based handler.

“We gave him plenty of time to get over his travelling turnaround, but you would think he would be in a better position now having had that run at Ascot.”

Frankie Dettori was aboard the eight-year-old at the Royal meeting and Walsh admits it would be “fantastic” if Dettori could take the ride again.

“I’m not sure yet who will be riding him as we haven’t looked into it yet and I will know more next week,” he added.

“We only decided to leave him in the race at the start of the week. It would be fantastic if we could get Frankie as he is always good to have.”

“He is eight now and is probably in his prime. He is not going to be up to this standard forever so we will just enjoy it.”

Supremacy is set to run in the July Cup
Supremacy is set to run in the July Cup (Mark Cranham/PA)

Lambourn trainer Clive Cox has left in Supremacy and Diligent Harry, who were both late withdrawals from the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot due to the soft ground.

“I would hope Supremacy is an intended runner. With the ground being too soft at Ascot, moving forwards this was always going to be the plan,” he said.

“He did have a high white cell count when he returned home from the Pavilion (Stakes at Ascot) which would suggest why he ran below expectations. At the same time the winner of the race (Rohaan) was underestimated as he clearly looks talented.

“We have been happy with Supremacy over the last few weeks and it was just unfortunate the ground went against him at Ascot.”

Diligent Harry, winner of the three-year-old All-Weather Sprint Championships at Lingfield, will run first in the Group Three William Hill Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle on Saturday.

“The intention is to run in the Chipchase Stakes on Saturday and that was the Plan B alternative when the ground went against us at Ascot,” Cox went on.

“He is proven on the all-weather and this gives us a stepping stone forwards and that is why we have kept an iron in the fire regarding his July Cup entry.

“I think it is doable to do both races but bearing in mind he has never run on turf in comparison to a lot of his competitors, he lacks the experience.”

Other acceptors include Diamond Jubilee Stakes hero Dream Of Dreams, Coronation Stakes heroine Alcohol Free, Jersey Stakes scorer Creative Force, Glen Shiel and Dragon Symbol.

Oxted delivers in King’s Stand thriller

Oxted returned to his brilliant best to run out victorious in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Roger Teal’s sprinter was reunited with an inspired Cieren Fallon – who had partnered him to success in the July Cup last season – and the young rider was able to stand up in his saddle to salute the watching crowd a few strides from the line.

The five-year-old was surprisingly running over the minimum distance for the first time in his career, although he had won the Portland Handicap over five and a half furlongs at Doncaster in 2019.

The pace in the early stages was red hot, with even Wesley Ward’s Maven struggling to keep tabs on the flying females Que Amoro and Winter Power.

A day to remember for the Oxted team
A day to remember for the Oxted team (David Davies/PA)

As Que Amoro began to weaken, Winter Power was left in front – but Jim Crowley appeared to have her covered on Battaash with a furlong to run.

However, last year’s winner, who had a setback in the off-season meaning he was making his seasonal debut, failed to pick up when Crowley asked for an effort and he was eventually swamped, although he clung on gallantly for fourth.

Oxted (4-1) had been under pressure for a while, but powered through close home to win going away by a length and three-quarters from Arecibo and American raider Extravagant Kid.

It was a first Royal Ascot winner for both trainer and jockey, the son of six-times champion Kieren Fallon who himself enjoyed so many memorable days at the showpiece meeting.

Teal said: “It’s unbelievable, like a dream come true. This horse has been such a wonderful servant and yet he’s only a young horse and hopefully there are more days to come.

Oxted returns in victory
Oxted returns in victory (Steven Paston/PA)

“With the Saudi trip we went because the prize-money was fantastic, but I probably ran him in the wrong race – it was just the turf sprint was almost seven furlongs. He wasn’t used to dirt and it’s a different style of racing.

“I probably backed off him too much before the Abernant and at York the ground had just gone a little. I was getting asked all the time if I was disappointed, but I thought he ran a blinder.

“The reason we came here was because if we were ever trying him over five it had to be at Ascot as it’s a stiff five. After two furlongs, I won’t lie – I was a bit dubious, but once he got to halfway his stamina came through and he was very impressive.

“Cieren gets on well with him, he won the July Cup on him. Unfortunately he was injured before the Abernant and then he had to ride The Lir Jet in France who ended up not running so he missed the ride at York.

“I think we’ll look at the July Cup again next and then see.”

An overjoyed Fallon said: “It meant a lot. It’s Royal Ascot. It’s a Group One race. They don’t come much bigger than this – it’s a dream come true.

“Crossing that line, I never thought I’d get a feeling like it. What a feeling.

“Dropping back to a stiff five was always going to suit. There was a lot of pace in the race. With all the pace on, I thought I’d take my time, get him into a nice rhythm, get him balanced and it’s paid off.

“He was very impressive. The July Cup last year wasn’t a fluke. He’s a proper Group One horse and all credit to the team for changing it round from his last two races.”

Of partnering a winner at this fixture, he said: “It obviously means a lot to ride a winner here and keep up the family tradition, there’s a lot of pressure with people always asking questions about it.

“I’m thankful and grateful for all these opportunities and hopefully I keep progressing.

“I was on the phone to my dad when I was walking the course after the first race, he was telling me where to go and obviously I spoke to Roger and everything went according to plan.

“All credit to Roger, he had faith in me last year when I had my claim and wasn’t allowed to use it – I’m very thankful to him.”

James Bredin, owners’ representative for Extravagant Kid, who is trained by Brendan Walsh, said: “Frankie (Dettori) said he was drawn on the wrong side, but I wouldn’t want to put that forward as an excuse.

I think his programme will be the norm, with Goodwood and York firmly on his agenda

“It will be David Ross’ decision about whether we stay on for the July Cup.”

Ross said: “After Dubai that’s his second trip on a straight sprint (track) and he appears to thoroughly enjoy it.

“We will think about the July Cup and if that means hopping back, so be it.”

Angus Gold, Shadwell Estate’s racing manager, said of the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash: “Considering he had four months at the stud and came in later than usual we have to be delighted.

“He came there to win his race cruising just like the Battaash we know, but Jim said he just needed it and he had a hell of a heave as he went past the post.

“I think his programme will be the norm, with Goodwood and York firmly on his agenda.”

Ocean Wind will miss Gold Cup

Roger Teal has decided against a bid for Gold Cup glory at Royal Ascot next week with stable star Ocean Wind.

The five-year-old established himself as a legitimate contender for the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece when pushing triple Gold Cup hero Stradivarius close in Ascot’s Sagaro Stakes at the end of April.

On the strength of that form, Ocean Wind was a hot favourite to claim Group Three honours in last month’s Henry II Stakes at Sandown, but finished a well-beaten third behind Henry de Bromhead’s Irish raider Lismore.

Teal does not feel comfortable about the prospect of running in the Gold Cup following such a below-par performance and will instead give his charge time to recover before a likely outing in the Goodwood Cup later in the summer.

“He underperformed at Sandown, so we want to freshen him up and we’ll put him away for Goodwood,” said the Lambourn trainer.

“You couldn’t go to Ascot and take Stradivarius on off the back of that run. His bloods were wrong afterwards, and I think that was probably because of the stress of the race – it was on very testing, gluey ground.

“He didn’t look happy from an early stage of the race. He’s gone on soft ground, but it was probably too tacky for him on the day.

“I’ve had a chat with the owner, and we think (missing Ascot) is the best thing to do.”

Roger Teal (left) with Oxted after winning the July Cup
Roger Teal (left) with Oxted after winning the July Cup (Hugh Routledge/PA)

In Ocean Wind’s absence, top-class sprinter Oxted will be Teal’s only runner at this year’s Royal meeting.

Last season’s July Cup hero is set to drop to five furlongs for the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday.

Teal added: “Oxted is in good form, so we’ve still got one to go there, which is nice.

“Ocean Wind was going to be number two, and we were hoping to run Whenthedealinsdone in the Commonwealth Cup – but he was too randy at Newbury last time, so he’s had a little (gelding) operation! He was just doing his racing in the paddock, thinking of other things.

“Oxted is a good bullet to fire. We’ll have to make sure it’s nice and shiny for next week!”

King’s Stand date awaits Oxted at Royal Ascot

Roger Teal is excited to see how his star sprinter Oxted performs over five furlongs in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.

Last season’s July Cup hero has failed to add to his tally so far this term, but has performed with credit to be placed in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and the Duke of York on the Knavesmire.

While the son of Mayson has been campaigned almost exclusively over six furlongs, Teal feels the time is right to test Oxted over the minimum distance for the first time.

The shortest race he has contested so far was the five-and-a-half-furlong Portland Stakes at Doncaster, which he won in 2019.

Roger Teal and son Harry with Oxted after the July Cup
Roger Teal and son Harry with Oxted after the July Cup (Hugh Routledge/PA)

“He’s worked on the grass this morning and I was very happy with him, so all roads lead to Ascot at the moment,” said Teal on Tuesday.

“We’re going to drop back to five (furlongs). I think he’s just been racing a bit aggressively and we’re going to take a step back. Whether it’s the right thing to do or wrong thing to do, we’ll find out at Ascot.

“It will be interesting to try it. It’s a stiff five at Ascot, so if you’re going to try it anywhere, that’s the place to do it.

“These sprinters live on their nerves a bit and when he gets to the races, he gets a bit more fired up.

“He’s been a bit on it on his last couple of runs, so we’ll see how he goes over five.”

Oxted in mix for Duke Of York

July Cup winner Oxted is among 13 remaining sprinters on course for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York.

Roger Teal’s stable star has failed to win since his Newmarket success – but he has had excuses at Ascot (ground), in Saudi Arabia (on dirt) and on his return to action when runner-up as odds-on favourite at the Craven Meeting.

The five-year-old escapes a penalty in the six-furlong Group Two, and Teal will be hoping he can get back to winning ways on Wednesday.

Tim Easterby’s Art Power may be booked for a big season, based on the progress he made last year.

A winner at Royal Ascot in handicap company, he was beaten just a length on Champions Day back at the same course.

Ed Walker has high hopes this season for Starman, who lost his unbeaten record at Ascot in the Champions Sprint.

Kevin Ryan has left in the veteran Brando, Emaraaty Anna, Last Empire and Queen Jo Jo.

David O’Meara’s Summerghand is seven but has put up two career-bests the last twice – at Lingfield and then when beating Oxted.

Molatham, Final Song, Lady In France, Nahaarr and Ventura Rebel complete the field.

The Group Three Tattersalls Musidora Stakes has attracted 14 entries, which include Sir Michael Stoute’s Noon Star.

A filly by Galileo out of Sir Henry Cecil’s champion Midday, Noon Star was impressive on her return to action at Wetherby and is as low as 10-1 for the Cazoo Oaks.

The Queen has a potential runner in Companionship – trained by William Haggas, who could also run Lady Rockstar and the once-raced Sea Empress.

Roger Varian’s Teona, second to Sea Empress on debut and then a winner by nine lengths, could take the Haggas filly on again.

Ralph Beckett’s Twisted Reality was impressive on her only start to date at Nottingham and could step up in class, while George Boughey may ask Mystery Angel to back up quickly following her win at Newmarket last week.

Jim Bolger, fresh from his Classic win, may run French Fusion – while Aidan O’Brien’s sole possible is Snowfall.

Auria, Glenartney, Quiet Assassin, Senita and Technique, declared at Lingfield on Saturday, complete the list.

Teal to make late call on Oxted’s York outing

Roger Teal will decide closer to the time whether Oxted takes his chance in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York next month.

Should last year’s July Cup winner sidestep the Group Two over six furlongs on May 12, he would go straight to Royal Ascot.

“He’s all good. We’re possibly heading to York for the Duke of York. We’ll just see how he is,” said Teal.

“We’ve left him in that and if we’re happy with him we’ll run him, and if we’re not happy with him we’ll wait for Ascot.”

Oxted was beaten into second place by Summerghand when bidding for back-to-back victories in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket on his seasonal debut.

Teal turns to Moore in place of sidelined Fallon on Oxted

Roger Teal has been forced to find a new jockey for Oxted as his star sprinter bids for back-to-back victories in the Group Three Abernant Stakes at Newmarket.

Cieren Fallon is Oxted’s usual pilot, and scored the biggest win of his career so far on him when they landed the Group One July Cup last season.

The champion apprentice suffered a heavy weekend fall on the all-weather at Lingfield, though – and despite returning for one unplaced ride at Newmarket on Tuesday, he will not be available to partner Oxted on Thursday.

“We’ve had to change the jockey today – Cieren’s not feeling to great, so Ryan Moore rides him now,” said Teal.

“Hopefully they’ll get on together – I’m looking forward to running him.”

Oxted, ridden by Cieren Fallon, (left) winning the Darley July Cup Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse
Oxted (left), ridden by Cieren Fallon, winning the Darley July Cup at Newmarket (Edward Whitaker/PA)

The five-year-old won the Abernant on his return last season, the second leg of a long-range hat-trick of successes which began with the 2019 Portland Handicap at Doncaster and culminated in the July Cup.

The Mayson gelding was then beaten just a length in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot and, on his only subsequent appearance, was hindered by a wide draw a trip when midfield in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint in Saudi Arabia.

Oxted was drawn in stall one when winning this race last season and has this time been dealt rather a different hand – widest of all in seven.

“It is a bit different to last year, but there are only seven runners,” said Teal.

“You can’t change it, and it’s not a disaster.

“He’ll love the good ground, so that won’t be a bother either. I’d love to have been drawn a bit lower, but that is what it is.

“He is well, we’re very happy with him – so fingers crossed for a big run.”

Leading the opposition is David O’Meara’s Summerghand, who returns to the turf after winning the All-Weather Sprint Championships Final at Lingfield on Good Friday.

Summerghand ridden by Adam Kirby riding (left) winning the Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield
Summerghand and Adam Kirby (left) winning the Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The seven-year-old, busy on synthetic surfaces since February and on the turf at Doncaster last month, has race fitness and a handy draw on his side.

“He’s in good form, he won on the finals day at Lingfield recently,” said O’Meara.

“He’s come out of the race well. He goes well at Newmarket and he’s won there in the past.

“He’s been running through the winter and he won recently, so he’s shown he’s in good form.

“I suppose if we were ever going to have a chance of beating the likes of Oxted, it might be on his first run of the season when we’ve got a few runs under our belt.”

The field of seven also features Karl Burke’s Exalted Angel, who finished just a head behind Summerghand at Lingfield, and the Andrew Balding-trained grey Shine So Bright.

Kevin Ryan is represented by Emaraaty Ana, second ahead of Summerghand in the Listed Cammidge Trophy on his seasonal return, with Henry Candy’s Jouska and John Ryan’s Marly also taking their chances.

Teal plotting route to July Cup defence for Oxted

Roger Teal is to prepare Oxted for a domestic campaign following his trip to Saudi Arabia.

The July Cup, which Oxted won last summer, will be ultimate objective for the five-year-old, possibly preceded by the Abernant Stakes which he won in 2020 on the way to Group One glory in a truncated season.

“We’ll just regroup, let him get over his journey and we’ll concentrate on our summer fixtures now,” said Teal.

“We’ll probably start off in the Abernant or the Group Two Duke of York. Those two are possible starters for us.

“Then we’ve got Ascot and obviously the July Cup as the main target again.”

Oxted tried his luck in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint, and while far from disgraced, he was ultimately out of the money in seventh place.

Teal felt Oxted was uncomfortable with the frantic early pace of the race having had to compete from a wide draw.

“It all happened a bit quick for him. He just never got to travel. Everything happened a million miles an hour and he was just taken out of his comfort zone a bit,” said the Lambourn trainer.

“The draw didn’t help. It forced us to go a bit more forward than we wanted. I don’t think I’d blame the surface. He moved well on the surface in the morning. I just think the style of dirt racing was probably a bit too fast and furious.”

Oxted must defy wide draw in Riyadh Sprint

Oxted has to overcome a wide draw as well handling a different surface in the Saudi Arabian Airlines Riyadh Dirt Sprint.

Trainer Roger Teal has been pleased the way his July Cup winner has worked on the dirt track in Riyadh, but admits a lower draw would have been preferable this weekend.

“He’s been happy on the dirt, and obviously we’ll find out more on Saturday,” said the Lambourn trainer.

“He’s training well on it, so we’re good to go, but he’s not got the best draw in the world.

“He’s been drawn 11. It will be a bit tougher out there, but we can’t do anything about it. We’ve just got to get on with it. Everything else is good.”

Hollie Doyle admits her mount Brad The Brief has something to find on form, but she expects Tom Dascombe’s four-year-old to put up a decent show.

“He won in France last time. He’s got a bit of improvement to be up to this, but I think he should run well,” she said.

Tilsit takes a shot at a mile and a quarter for the first time in the Neom Turf Cup, where he would be a poignant winner in the colours of the late Khalid Abdullah.

Tilsit steps up in trip for the Neom Turf Cup
Tilsit steps up in trip for the Neom Turf Cup (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Having had just the four starts over a mile, Charlie Hills’ four-year-old is unexposed.

“Not many horses can say they’ve won by 19 lengths, even over jumps!” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owners Juddmonte Farms.

“Obviously that Newcastle performance was striking, albeit in a weak race, but he followed that up by winning at Goodwood in a Group Three.

“He probably needed the race a little at Newmarket, but he still ran well in the Joel Stakes and wasn’t beaten very far. This race has always been in the back of our minds.

“It’s a little further than a mile, so that’s a little unknown, but the Prince’s family were keen for him to take a shot as he likes fast ground.

“He’s drawn on the outside, but over 10 furlongs I like to think that shouldn’t make too much difference.”

True Self is one of Hollie Doyle's rides in Riyadh
True Self is one of Hollie Doyle’s rides in Riyadh (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Willie Mullins-trained True Self drops down in trip, but Doyle feels that could suit.

“She’s dropping down in trip, a bit of a globetrotter, but she ran well over further here last year – and I think the step down in trip will be a positive,” she said.

Soft Whisper takes on the colts in the Al Rahji Bank Saudi Derby, having romped to victory in the UAE 1000 Guineas.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor reports the filly to be in tremendous shape.

“She won the trial and the Guineas very easily, and this time will face the colts – but she came back great from her race, and I think we can get the best result again from her,” he said.

Saeed bin Suroor reports Soft Whisper to be in fine form ahead of the Saudi Derby
Saeed bin Suroor reports Soft Whisper to be in fine form for the Saudi Derby (Mike Egerton/PA)

“She will have to be handy in the race, and I think that will suit her better.

“The pace will be faster this time, and I think it’s an open race with some very good horses in there.”

Godolphin have a second string to their bow in Rebel’s Romance, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial.

His trainer Charlie Appleby said: “Rebel’s Romance is a big, scopey horse and has quite a frame to fill – but he’s obviously shown some talent, which is nice to see, so let’s see how far we can get with him.

“This is a big step forward for him – Saeed’s filly was very impressive in the UAE Guineas and will get the fillies’ allowance.”

Trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam takes a punt with Albadri following his victory at Southwell.

Doyle was in the plate that day and continues the association.

“He won at Southwell, and I think he’s taken to the dirt really well – which is a good sign,” she said.

“Whether he’s good enough I’m not sure, but I’m sure he’ll run well.”

Charlie Fellowes reports the globetrotting Prince Of Arran to be on song for the Red Sea Turf Handicap.

Prince Of Arran's trainer Charlie Fellowes
Prince Of Arran’s trainer Charlie Fellowes (Simon Cooper/PA)

The Newmarket trainer said: “We’re delighted with the draw. I think if you’d given me free choice before the race of where I’d want to come out of, stall four would probably have been my first pick, so I couldn’t be happier with that.”

Red Verdon is another who enjoys travel and he has had the benefit of a pipe-opener two weeks ago. However, his trainer Ed Dunlop accepts this is a tough ask.

“He had a little break and then came back with a prep run at Lingfield,” he said.

“He hasn’t been away properly since Australia, when he was sadly unable to run in the Melbourne Cup, but he loves going abroad and won a Group Two in France last year.

Red Verdon represents Ed Dunlop in the Red Sea Turf Handicap
Red Verdon represents Ed Dunlop in the Red Sea Turf Handicap (Steve Davies/PA)

“I’m expecting him to come on from his Lingfield run, but I’m under no illusions – this is a very strong, competitive race.”

Andrew Balding was unable to get a prep race into Spanish Mission, but believes his runner has a lot going for him.

“He’s reasonably well-treated on the best of his form. Ideally we could have done with a prep race, but there was nothing suitable for him,” said Balding.

“He’s a talented stayer, and conditions should suit him.”

Mark Johnston is happy with Mildenberger following a brief scare on arrival.

The Middleham trainer said: “He had a temperature when he arrived, which was a bit of a concern, and he was unable to do any ridden work for the first few days.

“But he’s apparently been well throughout that time, eating well and bright and so on, (and) the temperature has come back down to normal.

“It’s a very competitive race, but I think he’s as good a chance as anybody. He comes here off a win, so I’m very hopeful.”

Appleby is double-handed with Space Blues and Glorious Journey in the STC 1351 Turf Sprint.

Trainer Charlie Appleby
Trainer Charlie Appleby (Simon Cooper/PA)

He said: “Space Blues went to Meydan last week for a racecourse gallop and has come forward for that gallop, which should hopefully put him spot on for the weekend.

“He comes into the race on the back of a good European campaign. It was great to see him get his Group One last year, and he was pretty faultless really.

“Glorious Journey has had a run at Meydan. He finished third in this race last year from an outside draw, and he has been his usual consistent self this campaign.

“He came out here and put up a sensible performance in the Al Fahidi. He has definitely come on for that run.”

Prince primed for latest globetrotting assignment in Riyadh

Prince Of Arran was reported to be “spot on” for the $2.5million Red Sea Turf Handicap after working on the track at Riyadh on Wednesday.

The eight-year-old, who has placed in the Melbourne Cup for the last three years, went six furlongs in the hands of Aled Beech ahead of Saturday’s engagement.

The jockey is looking after the horse while Fellowes remains at home in Newmarket due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“He started at the finishing line, cantered away for two furlongs and then picked it up for the final six,” said Fellowes.

“Aled Beech, who is in Saudi Arabia with the horse and who went to Australia with him, just let him roll home the last two furlongs, just a nice stretch to get a blow into him, and he was very happy with him.

“Aled said Prince Of Arran had a nice blow walking home but cleared pretty quickly, which has really put him about spot on now for his race on Saturday. He’s taken the trip well, as you’d expect from a horse with as much travelling experience as he’s got.

“He’s been eating and drinking well and moving good, and his temperature has been pretty much spot-on since he landed. So it looks like everything so far has gone smoothly, which is great.”

Oxted warmed up for his run in the $1.5m Saudi Arabian Airlines Riyadh Dirt Sprint by going six furlongs on the dirt course.

The July Cup winner was partnered by trainer Roger Teal’s son, Harry, and appeared to take well to the surface.

“We just let him have a nice stretch forward this morning,” said the trainer.

“I thought he looked really good and Harry said he felt great on the surface. He came round the bend nicely – we kicked up a gear on the bend and he handled that all right.

“He went six (furlongs) and Harry built it up as he went along. He quickened into the bend and let him freewheel around the turn and then for the last furlong let him have a good stride out. We were very happy with that.”