Oxted set for champions' bid


Oxted will take his chance at the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes in Ascot on Saturday.

Connections has decided to bite the ball and see if the July Cup winner can handle the likely testing conditions.

While coach Roger Teal is hoping the ground will dry out Wednesday morning after the official description of soft and heavy in some spots, he thinks they should take the plunge.

Oxted showed his wellbeing in his final job to stamp his spot in the six-year-old Group One and run for the first time since winning the July Cup at Newmarket.

"He made his last hit in the grass on Tuesday and went really well. We are happy that he is going into Saturday. All systems are in operation," said the Lambourn handler.

"The plan is to run. We'll take our chance. Of course we have to find out if he'll drive in the softer conditions. We've confirmed we're running, so we might as well take our chance now." ""

He continued, "The sun is shining this morning. Hopefully it will stay that way for the next three days and tighten the ground a little. The tighter the ground, the better the chance we have."

"You have to find these things out. There's no point in digging into the subject. He's bred to keep going. His mother kept going and his father kept going, so his family tree has a good chance of dealing with it." now he's stronger.

"You can't guarantee it, but I think we're in better shape now to find out one way or another."


Steven Gregory