TRAINER Roger Teal has changed his mind with his July Cup winner Oxted.
The plan was to travel to Deauville for the Prix Maurice De Gheest on Sunday, but its star will now wait for the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Given the heat wave set to hit Europe in the coming days, Teal believes keeping his four-year-old at home will pay off with young pistol Cieren Fallon staying in the saddle.
But Teal might need his passport at the end of the season, with Lambourn’s coach hoping to take Oxted to the United States for the Breeders’ Cup.
Teal said Sun race: “We’re going to go to the Sprint Cup at Haydock with him instead.
“We just don’t know how he’s traveling yet, so we think it’s best to stay home with him for now, especially in hot weather.
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“He’s a horse that I also like to take a nice break from, so it just gives him more time with the finish in early September.
“So he’s just home, we let him cool off a bit.”
The early pre-post prizes had Oxted as the happy 5-1 for Haydock’s centerpiece, with Horde d’or and Glass slippers at 6-1.
Teal had also considered taking the speedball Battaash in the Nunthorpe in York but wants to save this clash for another day.
He added: “I’ve always wanted him to spend over five years in a real race, but with the way Battaash is going right now, I’m not sure the Nunthorpe is the place to try!
“He’s looking at a horse right now. Someday we’ll give it a chance.
“It can get soft at Haydock, but I still think he will be fine. We know he likes fast pitches, but his breeding says he should like a cut too.
“He had two bad tries, but I think it was due to other reasons.
The Breeders’ Cup is a relationship’s dream then, with Teal hoping the reunion could be transferred from Keeneland.
The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint would take place over five and a half stadiums at Keeneland, but a stint at Woodbine or Belmont would add an extra furlong.
Teal explained, “If everything goes well at Haydock, we might just end up in the Breeders’ Cup with him. This is where we think we are heading at this point.
“Obviously things need to be sorted out there and they can even end up changing where they are performed.
“I heard whispers that he could go to Woodbine and if he did, I think he would love it there.
Teal also reported Guerrier Kenzai will be back for a fall campaign once softer soil enters the equation.
The connections had been attempted by Sunday’s Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury, but they will keep their powder dry with the fast and smashing ground expected.