Oxted, a first Group One winner for trainer Roger Teal and apprentice Cieren Fallon, when he landed the Darley July Cup is now joint-leader in the Cartier Racing Awards sprint category with Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde who was third in the Newmarket race.
Teal’s master-stroke was missing Royal Ascot having won the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket earlier in the season and the gelding, given an uncomplicated ride by Fallon having only his third ride in a Group One, beat a host of winners and placed sprinters from Ascot headed by Sceptical by a length and a quarter.
The trainer now has options aplenty; the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville over six and a half furlongs – Oxted has won over seven – the Nunthorpe over five at York or the Haydock Park Sprint. Unsure before Saturday whether he handled soft despite being bred for it – he clearly does – also means his direction of travel is no longer ground dependent.
Golden Horde was by no means disgraced in third and he will get more chances and, of course, waiting in the wings is the King’s Stand winner Battaash who connections will be hoping wins his first Cartier Sprinter award aged six.
The other Group One action over the weekend involved last year’s Cartier two-year-old colt, Pinatubo.
The Godolphin colt, who was third in the 2,000 Guineaas, second in the St James’s Palace, was a three quarter of a length winner over Lope Y Fernandez of the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville which means he leap-frogs the Irish Derby winner Santiago to go top of the Three-year-old colt category.