TRAINER Roger Teal has had a change of heart with his July Cup winner Oxted.
The plan had been to head to Deauville for the Prix Maurice De Gheest on Sunday, but his star will now wait for the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Given the heatwave set to hit Europe in the coming days, Teal believes keeping his four-year-old on home turf will pay off with young gun Cieren Fallon to remain in the saddle.
But Teal may need his passport at the end of the season with the Lambourn trainer hoping to take Oxted to the States for the Breeders’ Cup.
Teal told Sun Racing: “We’re going to go to the Sprint Cup up at Haydock with him instead.
“We’re just not sure how he travels still so we think it’s best to stay at home with him for now, especially in this hot weather.
“He’s a horse I like to give a nice break to as well, so this just gives him more time with it coming in early September.
“So he’s just been ticking along at home, we’ve let him freshen up a bit.”
Early antepost prices had Oxted as the 5-1 jolly for the Haydock showpiece, with Golden Horde and Glass Slippers at 6-1.
Teal had also weighed up taking on speedball Battaash in the Nunthorpe at York but wants to save that clash for another day.
He added: “I’ve always wanted to run him over five in a proper race, but with the way Battaash is going at the moment I’m not sure the Nunthorpe is the place to give that a go!
“He looks some horse at the moment. One day we’ll give it a crack.
“It can get soft up at Haydock but I still think he’ll be fine on it. We know he likes quick ground, but his breeding says he should like some cut too.
“He had two poor runs on it but I think that was down to other reasons.”
The Breeders’ Cup is then the dream for connections, with Teal hoping the meeting may be switched from Keeneland.
The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint would be run over five-and-a-half furlongs at Keeneland, but a switch to Woodbine or Belmont would add an extra furlong.
Teal explained: “If all goes well at Haydock, we could well end up at the Breeders’ Cup with him. That’s where we think we’d head at this stage.
“Obviously things need to be sorted there and they may even end up changing where it is run.
“I’ve heard whispers it may go to Woodbine and if that was the case I reckon he’d love it there.”
Teal also reported Kenzai Warrior will be back for an Autumn campaign once softer ground comes into the equation.
Connections had been tempted by Sunday’s Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury but will keep their powder dry with rattling quick ground expected.