Shark Hanlon is in no rush to firm up the next plan of attack with Hewick after he finished down the field under a big weight in the Tote Galway Plate on Wednesday.

The eight-year-old was bidding for back-to-back wins in the Ballybrit feature, but after racing prominently he weakened to finish 14th of 20 finishers.

Hanlon believes the rain-softened ground was to blame for his stable star’s below-par performance and he will now give him a short break before returning him to competitive action later in the year.

“He’s come out of it perfect, the ground was just softer than he wants it and that’s it,” said the Bagenalstown handler.

“He obviously had a lot of weight and you can give away weight on good ground, but you can’t give away weight on soft ground.

“He ran a cracker until they came down the hill when the ground got soft.”

Following his Galway Plate success 12 months ago Hewick looked set to land another major handicap in the Kerry National at Listowel until unseating his rider at the final fence.

He famously sparked scenes of wild celebration by winning the American Grand National before being saved for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in which he was still going well when falling two from home.

And while Hanlon is unsure on the route, he is keen to head back to Prestbury Park in March for another crack at National Hunt racing’s blue riband prize.

He added: “I don’t think we’ll go to Listowel this year as he’d have to give a lot of weight away again, maybe we’ll go back to America but we’ll see.

“We’re going to plan back from the Gold Cup, that’s what we’re doing. America might be in the plan and a run at Leopardstown over Christmas might be in it.

“I want to give him a bit of a break now. He’s gone back to the owner for a couple of weeks and we’ll see where we are after that.”

Courage Mon Ami has the Prix du Cadran on his long-range radar after connections admitted they failed to learn anything new from the Ascot Gold Cup winner when he suffered his first defeat at Goodwood on Tuesday.

Run on unseasonably good to soft ground, Quickthorn turned the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup into something of a procession, with Hughie Morrison’s charge routing his 10 opponents by six lengths and upwards.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Courage Mon Ami, having just his fifth lifetime start, was sent off the 2-1 favourite to back up his Royal Ascot victory, but having taken a keen hold, did not get a clear run. His jockey, Frankie Dettori, realised he had no chance once the winner quickened clear.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani owns the gelding under his Wathnan Racing operation and Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock buys the horses on his behalf.

He was responsible for the purchase of Courage Mon Ami from Anthony Oppenheimer after the son of Frankel had won twice on the all-weather as a three-year-old, before opening his four-year-old campaign with a Goodwood handicap success.

Brown was left non-plussed by his latest display, however, and said: “He has come out of the race well, but it was a bit of a non-event, to be honest. It was a frustrating race to watch. We have just got to put a line through it.

“Frankie was very easy on him early when he knew his chance had gone.”

Courage Mon Ami is likely to take on Quickthorn again in the Prix du Cadran over an extended two miles at ParisLongchamp in October.

Connections hope to find out a little more about the inexperienced gelding in the meantime.

“He’s come out of it fine and the obvious end-of-season target would be the Cadran,” said Brown.

“We’ve got to decide what we do before then, but it was frustrating to be part of. We saw at Ascot what he is capable of.

“The problem is we didn’t learn anything. We didn’t learn anything about ground. Frankie said he went fine on it.

“Obviously, he has only run four times before then, including twice on the all-weather, and we are still learning about the horse.

“He is probably going to be better on top of the ground, and I’m hoping he’s going to be ground versatile.

“He already owes us nothing, but I very much hope there is a lot more to come from him.”

The unbeaten Gregory is on course for the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York later this month, after looking like he would represent the Wathnan team in the Goodwood Cup, only for the ground to change running plans.

The Golden Horn colt has won all three starts for the Gosdens this year, culminating in an emphatic Queen’s Vase win at the Royal meeting.

“All roads lead to the St Leger,” Brown added. “Although we are not committing to anything, John is quite keen to run him again before Doncaster, so the Voltigeur is quite an obvious race that we might take in along the way.”

The Ralph Beckett-trained Remarquee, who finished runner-up in both the top-class Coronation Stakes and the Falmouth, will be given a break after her latest fourth-placed effort in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

Winner of the Fred Darling at Newbury on her seasonal bow, she has proved herself as one of the leading milers without yet winning over that distance.

She will likely have another opportunity to do that at Newmarket on October 7, bypassing an engagement in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown next month.

Brown said: “Remarquee came out of her race in good shape. She has had three quick runs, so we have put a line through the Matron and are going to give her a little bit of a rest.

“She might have one more run, which is likely to be the Sun Chariot.”

Simone Biles says she always knew she would return to gymnastics after her experience at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 26-year-old – the most decorated gymnast in history – ended her two-year hiatus on Saturday as she won the US Classic in Chicago.

It was her first competition since the Olympics in 2021, when she suffered “the twisties” – a phenomenon which temporarily affects an athlete’s spatial awareness – and withdrew from five of her six finals to focus on her mental health.

And the seven-time Olympic medallist and 19-time world champion, who is still doing weekly therapy, said her successful return “means the world”.

She told CNBC: “It felt really good, especially after everything that’s happened over the past year.

“I always kind of knew (I’d be back) as soon as everything that happened in Tokyo.

“So, this time I’m doing it for me. I worked a lot on myself and I believe in myself a little bit more, just coming back out here and starting the first steps again.

“It means the world because after everything that kind of transpired in Tokyo and it took a lot.

“I worked on myself a lot, I still do therapy weekly and it’s just been so exciting to come out here and have the confidence I had before.”

Biles recorded the meet’s best mark in three of the four disciplines as she scored a total of 59.100 to finish five points in front of second-placed Leanne Wong.

And Biles was happy with the fan support she received.

She added: “Everyone that was cheering, made posters and all that in the crowd, it just made my heart melt that they still believe in me.”

Biles has not confirmed whether she plans to compete at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris but her efforts on Saturday earned her qualification for the US Championships later this month.

Peter Fahey notched up his fourth winner of this year’s Galway Festival when Ambitious Fellow scored in the feature BoyleSports Handicap Hurdle.

Fahey had already struck with A Law Of Her Own, The Big Doyen and A Sign From Above earlier in the week before Ambitious Fellow prevailed at odds of 14-1.

It was the second of Fahey’s winners partnered by Sam Ewing, who was also on A Law Of Her Own – his first winner of the season.

Ambitious Fellow always appeared to be travelling within himself before Ewing made his bid for home two out.

Once he hit the front, he had to be kept up to his work to see off Noel Meade’s Bugs Moran by three-quarters of a length, with the favourite Icare Allen six lengths away in third.

“Sam made a good move to nip up the inner before coming down the hill and it could have been the winning and losing of it. It was a brave move but it worked out great for him,” said Fahey.

“He lost his form a little bit but had an issue after he ran at Limerick last year and it took him a while to get back right. He had a lovely run the last day when he was completely wrong at the weights, but it gave him confidence coming here.

“I was worried about the ground but it worked out great.”

He added: “There are four involved in the OGB Partnership including Ber (his wife) and after he won a bumper, we brought him to the sales but couldn’t get anyone to buy him. We brought him home and he has now won at the Punchestown Festival and has landed a big pot today.

“We had four winners last year, we’ve had good old craic again and it has been brilliant.”

Aidan O’Brien enjoyed a short-priced double through Navy Seal (1-4 favourite) in the BoyleSports Casino Irish EBF Maiden and Portland (15-8) in the Gra Chocolates Irish EBF Nursery Handicap.

Stable representative Chris Armstrong said of Navy Seal: “He was a still a bit babyish throughout the run but came on from Killarney, where he ran a nice race on debut.

“Seamus (Heffernan) felt once the penny dropped, he showed a nice turn of foot to quicken up and peg back Joseph’s horse (Bad Desire). He will come on from it and will be a nice middle-distance horse for next year.

“He’ll probably step up to stakes company now and into something like the mile Group Two at Leopardstown during Champions Weekend.”

Tom Marquand reflected on a thoroughly satisfactory Qatar Goodwood Festival that saw him pick up not only the top jockey title but all the riding accolades.

The rider ended the week with four victories to his credit, all of which demonstrated his undeniable range of skill in the saddle.

While Hamish’s win in Friday’s Glorious Stakes was a pretty straightforward affair, Marquand twice exhibited his excellent front-running abilities, first stealing the march on Quickthorn’s rivals in Tuesday’s Group One Goodwood Cup – a trick he repeated on Saturday aboard Sumo Sam in the Lillie Langtry Stakes.

In contrast, Desert Hero had to be delivered with precision timing in Thursday’s Gordon Stakes, prevailing by just a neck to cement his St Leger claims and raise hopes of a Classic winner for owners the King and Queen.

Marquand admitted there was only ever one set of tactics with Quickthorn, but was delighted to be able to show the full range of his powers in the saddle.

He said: “Obviously with Quickthorn it was plan A – and plan A only – and I was always going to do it, and everybody knew I was going to do it.

“It was pretty special and to do that in a Group One, as a jockey I’m always conscious that you don’t want to fall into that lull of if you’re riding 140/150 horses a month, you can very easily just sort of go into an autonomous routine and you go out, you get on, you canter down, you jump out the stalls, and you can end up riding without any flair or passion.

“And I think it’s important to make sure that you ride like you enjoy it, because you do enjoy it.

“Quickthorn showcased that and then being able to go opposite and ride with a bit of playfulness in the opposite regard on Desert Hero the next day, it makes it fun as a jockey.

“I know that ultimately you have one job and that is to win and get it done, but sometimes by making sure you’re enjoying it, it can actually be the way to ride best.”

Marquand spent his formative years with the Hannon team in Wiltshire and admitted the yard’s success over the years at the meeting put an extra shine on taking the leading jockey honours.

He added: “It’s great. It’s been a good week. Coming to big meetings, you walk away with one winner and when you start that’s obviously a big deal. But the further you go through your career, you want to put your name on the placard. It’s great.

“I grew up at Hannon’s as an apprentice and Goodwood was a big, big deal. You only have to look at the table on the wall to see how many times Richard Hannon senior won it, and obviously Richard junior after, so it’s always been something you would have your eyes on from when you are an apprentice, so it’s great, it’s nice.”

Ralph Beckett came out on top in the trainers’ division, sending out three winners including the King and Queen’s Serried Ranks on Friday and Lennox Stakes hero Kinross, who was one of two winners for Frankie Dettori at his final Goodwood Festival.

Beckett said: “I am amazed, what a lovely surprise!

“It has been a very satisfying week, I have really enjoyed it and am delighted with how the horses have been running. There were too many seconds, but that is the nature of it!

“Kinross’ win in the Lennox Stakes is the obvious highlight, but also the double yesterday was pretty special.

“Classical Song’s second on debut in the maiden fillies’ race was a pleasing run, and Balance Play’s win in the handicap yesterday was a long-held plan.”

While they remain on course to achieve their objective of breaking a 16-year Netball World Cup medal drought, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls hopes of making it a gold or silver, were dashed, as they fell 54-57 to the Australian Diamonds in a semi-final contest that lived up to its billing from the very first centre pass.

With the number four-ranked Jamaicans having never contested a World Cup final before and number one-ranked Australia having never missed a final, both teams had all to play for inside a packed Cape Town International Conventional Centre in South Africa, especially after witnessing England’s historic rise in making their first ever final when they defeated now dethroned champions New Zealand 46-40 in the first semi-final.

Both the Sunshine Girls and the Diamonds were evenly poised for most of the way, much to the delight of the vociferous crowd that was seemingly rooting for a Jamaica triumph to spur another historic feat, but it was not to be at the end.

Captain Jhaniele Fowler, who would have wanted to celebrate her 100th cap in winning fashion, again led her team from the front with 45 goals from 46 attempts, while goal-attack Shanice Beckford shot nine goals from 10 attempts.

At the other end, Cara Koenen starred for Australia with 29 goals from 30 attempts, with her vice-captain Steph Wood contributing 28 goals from 31 attempts to put the 11-time champions on course for a 12th title.

Sunshine Girls vice-captain and outstanding defender Shamera Sterling expressed disappointment with the end result.

“We are gutted that we lost because we came here determined to go all the way to the final, but it was a good fight and I am very proud of my team and how we came out,” Sterling said in a post-game interview.

The Jamaicans were gradually slow into rhythm at the start, as they gave away an early turnover which allowed the Diamonds to race to a three-goal lead in the early exchanges. However, when the Sunshine Girls started flowing, the quickly erased the deficit and even forced a few turnovers of their own and also took a two-goal lead at one point. 

They could have widened that gap, but a few wayward passes allowed the Diamonds to rally and from there it was end-to-end action all the way to the whistle, as the quarter ended with both teams locked at 14-14.

After initially matching strides at the top of the second quarter, the Sunshine Girls let possession slip twice and that coupled with a rare miss from Fowler saw the Diamonds opening a three-goal lead. In fairness, the Jamaicans did take a few hits that should have been called but were instead ignored by the umpire.

The most blatant was when Beckford got bounced by Brazill while aerial, but nothing came of the play.

Still, the Jamaicans maintained their composure and consistent pressure in defence, particularly by the outstanding and gritty Shamera Sterling shifted momentum back in the Jamaicans favour, as they scored three unanswered goals to pull level and then go up by one.

But the deficit was short-lived as the Diamonds hit back in a heated goal-for-goal battle which saw both teams again evenly poised at 29-29 at the half-time break.

The momentum gained by the Jamaicans at the backend of the second quarter were dashed at the top of the third, as they struggled to complete passes and Australia duly capitalised and raced to a five-goal lead, the widest lead of the game at that point.

Australia could have and should have extended the lead even further while the Jamaicans laboured, but much like she did in the second stanza, Sterling came up with a big deflection that once again sparked a rally and soon they were back on level terms at 40-40, before the Diamonds stuck their noses in front at 40-42 at the whistle.

Jamaica, with what was their most efficient start to a quarter, easily erased the two-goal deficit and later opened up a three-goal lead of their own and seemed well on their way to join England as first-time finalists. But all their hard work was undone by a few poor decisions in mid-court and once Australia got their feet on the accelerator in the last five minutes, they never let up.

The win sent the Diamonds supporters into frenzy, while it was heartbreak for the Jamaicans and their loyal followers, who will now be hoping to make amends in the third-place contest against New Zealand on Sunday at 9:00am Jamaica time. The Australia England showpiece will follow at 11:00am.  

The final three races on Saturday’s Goodwood card were abandoned after the track failed an inspection.

Following the Coral Stewards’ Cup at 3.35pm, a deputation of officials, trainers and jockeys went out to check conditions, with attention focused on the bend into the home straight.

The Lillie Langtry Stakes, run at 3pm, took place in a torrential downpour and some jockeys raised concerns about the state of the going on the round course.

As the Stewards’ Cup took place on the straight course there was no issue there, but all the remaining races were to be run around a bend.

Ed Arkell, Goodwood’s director of racing, told Racing TV: “The jockeys expressed concern after the Lillie Langtry Stakes that there were some areas on the bend that they weren’t happy about.

“They were happy to race on the straight course, hence we ran the Stewards’ Cup and then after that we’ve gone out to have a look and see what state the bends are in.

“There is an area of false ground on the bottom bend and unfortunately we are unable to get around it. All three of the remaining races come round the bottom bend.

“We were happy that the Stewards’ Cup was fine, the issue was on the round course, not the straight course.”

The cancellation of the final three races brought a premature end to the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival fixture.

Arkell added: “Obviously none of us want to end the meeting like this, it has been a very challenging week and I’d just like to thank my groundstaff.”

Aberama Gold ploughed through the Goodwood mud to win the Coral Stewards’ Cup for David O’Meara and Andrea Atzeni.

Having joined O’Meara following former trainer Keith Dalgleish’s retirement, Aberama Gold was winning his second big prize within a week having also triumphed at York last Saturday.

The six-year-old was a Listed winner at his peak for Dalgleish but had fallen down the handicap last season and O’Meara is reaping the rewards now.

The victory capped a fine week for Atzeni who won the Richmond Stakes on Vandeek and only recently announced his intention to take up a six-month contract in Hong Kong later this month.

Aberama Gold was always travelling well in the middle group with Mr Wagyu and having seen off his fellow northern raider, it was Apollo One who emerged as the only danger.

The 2021 Ayr Gold Cup winner Bielsa was third with Mr Wagyu fading into fourth.

Atzeni said: “It was pretty straightforward for me, but the only thing I would say is that the horse drawn in 16 tried to go under (the stalls, Rumstar) and became loose. I was aware of that, but we got a nice tow into the race and my horse travelled well. It’s hard going out there, but when I let him down he picked up. It was the longest final furlong.

“The loose horse gave me something to aim at, but you never know what he might have done and I was just aware in case he came across me – luckily he didn’t.

“I never regret anything in my life and I made the decision (to ride in Hong Kong) a little while back. I’m looking forward to it and taking each day as it comes, and it’s a great result to win this race.”

Tom Marquand excelled from the front at Goodwood as Sumo Sam ran her rivals ragged to win the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes.

Having stolen a decisive advantage on Quickthorn in the Group One Goodwood Cup earlier in the week, Marquand was again allowed to do his own thing on a stayer.

He bounced straight into an early lead on Paul and Oliver Cole’s filly, and in a race run in very testing conditions, he never looked like being caught at any stage.

Frankie Dettori briefly looked a threat on Free Wind who moved into contention on the bridle, however, as soon as Dettori asked his mount for an effort, she floundered in the heavy ground.

Sumo Sam (25-1) was allowed to come home unchallenged, with River Of Stars staying on from the rear to claim second, some eight and a half lengths away, with a further five and a half lengths back to Time Lock in third.

Marquand was a late jockey booking and Oliver Cole said: “Tom’s given her a brilliant ride and she’s a very good filly.

“Out in front like that, she was not going to be pegged back. It’s great for the old man and Sir Martyn (Arbib) as they have been together so long.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do next, she’d have a penalty in the Park Hill. She’s got the class to run in a Cup race but she’s got to have her conditions.”

Cole added: “We’ve done a lot of stalls work with her since her last run – she’s gone in twice a week. In her last two races she’s been left and that hasn’t been helpful. She takes a lot of pushing in and a lot of cajoling, and the stalls handlers make it look so easy. We’re always standing a few lengths behind because we don’t want to get booted!

“Full credit to the team at home, and thanks very much to the guys at the stalls who are the unsung heroes. They do what a lot of us wouldn’t do, so full credit to them. Also to the boys who have ridden her in the stalls at home, because I know I wouldn’t ride her.

“I was as confident as you can be with the ground because you never know how they will go through it, but she’s gone through it like a really, really good horse. Someone said to me a few weeks ago if you want to get the best out of that horse leave her until next year, so this just shows you have to persist with horses. They are not there to be decorations.”

Marquand was thrilled to secure a winning ride and said: “I’d be lying if I said I did any research into the race.

“I came back in from the last race and they said ‘can you do 8st 11lb?’ so I jumped aboard. I’ve seen plenty of her and was due to ride her on the day I got kicked at the Guineas weekend. I watched her go and finish second and it looked like she wanted a trip.

“Mr Cole and Olly were keen to go and make it a solid test, and as the other day showed if you find a rhythm in front it’s a hard track to get horses back. She’s done well, and while she was getting tired in the last half furlong the damage was already done.”

Beaten Irish 2,000 Guineas favourite Royal Scotsman will not run again this season but will return next year.

Trained by Paul and Oliver Cole, last year’s Richmond Stakes winner ran a fine race to finish third behind Chaldean in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Off the back of that run, connections decided to supplement the Gleneagles colt for the Irish equivalent, but he could finish only ninth of 11 as the 6-4 favourite.

Royal Scotsman was reported to be suffering from bruised feet following that run, although he was believed to have recovered in time for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

However, he finished eighth of nine runners in that Group One and subsequently underwent a full examination.

“He’s suffered from bone bruising, which is quite rare but not a long-term issue,” said Paul Cole.

“Sadly he won’t run again this season.

“My intention is to win as many Group Ones over a mile as I can with him next year.”

Sweet William’s rapid progression continued apace at Goodwood with another smooth success in the Coral Summer Handicap.

John and Thady Gosden’s stayer finished second on his first three outings, admittedly never beaten far, but has come into his own in recent weeks.

He opened his account in a mile-and-a-half Doncaster novice before landing a valuable pot when upped to an extended two miles at Newbury last time out.

Sent off the 9-4 favourite to bring up his hat-trick, his supports never really had much to worry about.

Having moved into contention smoothly to take over from Torcello at the head of affairs, Adjuvant appeared as a threat.

With Rab Havlin maintaining his partnership on Sweet William, it was Frankie Dettori who he had to beat on Michael Bell’s charge, but when Sweet William’s stamina kicked in the race was over.

He ended up pulling two and three-quarter lengths clear and while bookmakers were quick to chop his price for the Sky Bet Ebor, his owner Philippa Cooper had previously stated she is not a huge fan of the race.

However, John Gosden would be eager to run at York next month, with Sweet William the 5-1 favourite with the Ebor sponsor.

He said: “He only ran a fortnight ago at Newbury, he’s fresh and well and has won again decisively which is great.

“He’s a lot of fun to train. It was a long time before he could race but he has a strong view on life. As soon as he hits the front, he looks around and goes where he wants to go.

“I hope personally that Philippa elects to run him because the York Ebor meeting is my favourite of the year.

“It will be touch and go whether he gets in, and if not we will take it on the chin and step him up into Cup races.”

Cooper could yet be persuaded to run at York, although Sweet William sits some way down the field with a weight of 8st 11lb at this stage.

She added: “My husband is an Ebor person – he loves the Ebor and trying to find the winner.

“I’m willing to go with the flow. I’m not going to tell the trainer what to do because without the trainer I wouldn’t even have the horse.

“If they want to do it – could he get in off a low weight? I’m just grateful and it’s one day at a time, so let him come through today.”

Alana Reid claimed 100m gold on day one of the Pan-Am Junior Championships on Friday at the Jose A. Figueroa Freire Stadium in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Reid, 18, ran 11.33 to comfortably win gold ahead of the American pair of Kaila Jackson (11.41) and Camryn Dickson (11.48).

This is the third major 100m title of the season for Reid. She won the Class One final at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships in March in 10.92, a national junior record, before running 11.17 ten days later to win Under-20 gold at the 50th Carifta Games in Nassau.

Reid, now a professional athlete, reached the final at the Jamaican Championships in July, running 11.10 for seventh.

The Men’s final saw Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, who also set a national junior record at Champs when he ran 9.99 to win Class One gold, run 10.31 for silver behind the USA’s Tyler Azcano who won in 10.26.

Puerto Rico’s Adrian Canales Correa ran 10.35 for bronze.

Moving to the 400m hurdles where USVI’s Michelle Smith ran 57.99 for silver behind the USA’s Sanaa Hebron (56.90). Another American, Allyria McBride ran 58.32 for bronze.

In the mixed relay, Jamaica’s team of Enrique Webster, Sabrina Dockery, Tariq Dacres and Oneika Brissett ran 3:25.03 for third behind Brazil (3:24.23) and the USA (3:18.07).

In the field, Bahamian Brenden Vanderpool was third in the men’s pole vault with 4.75m. The event was won by the USA’s Jack Mann with 5.00m while Brazil’s Aurelio de Souza Leite was second with 4.90m.

 

Connections of Art Power believe Sunday’s Prix Maurice de Gheest presents the flying grey with his “best chance ever” of striking gold at the highest level for the first time.

Not beaten far when fourth in last month’s July Cup, Tim Easterby’s six-year-old turned out just seven days later for the Group Two Sapphire Stakes and produced a dominant display to extend his unbeaten record at the Curragh to four.

He faces another quick turnaround and a step up in trip for this weekend’s Deauville feature, but confidence is high that he can strike whilst the iron is hot.

Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing, said: “He’s got his favoured ground and he’s thriving at the moment. He seems to love travelling and in French conditions we feel six and a half furlongs shouldn’t be a problem – he actually ran pretty well last year over seven at York.

“The style of racing in France should really suit us as he might be able to dominate and this is possibly his best chance ever to win a Group One.

“We’ve still got a month until the Flying Five back at the Curragh, so he can get a bit of a break after this weekend and he is a six-year-old gelding, so you may as well race them.

“He’s been a great servant and it would be great if he could add a Group One to his CV.”

Art Power is part of a strong British contingent that also includes the Karl Burke-trained duo of Cold Case and Spycatcher.

Cold Case was last seen being beaten just half a length into third place in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, while his stablemate Spycatcher returns to Deauville having carried the colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing to an an impressive Group Three win at the track four weeks ago.

“The horse is in really good form and he loves this ground and the track. We just thought he deserves to to take his chance,” said Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert.

“It’s a rather unique race obviously in that it’s run over six and a half furlongs and that would be his ideal trip.”

He added: “We’re really excited. He’s been such a fun horse, he was so impressive last time and having thought he might be retired last year with a little issue he had, he now seems to be better than ever.

“The turnaround has been incredible for his shareholders, he’s been very well trained by Karl and it’s amazing to be heading over to Deauville for a Group One.”

Archie Watson’s Saint Lawrence, the David Evans-trained Rohaan, Andrew Balding’s Sandrine and Brad The Brief from Hugo Palmer’s yard complete the raiding party.

With Aidan O’Brien’s Little Big Bear not declared having been supplemented earlier in the week, the field is completed by Nicolas Caullery’s pair of Fort Payne and King Gold and Egot, trained by French maestro Andre Fabre.

England have reached the World Cup final for the first time by beating reigning champions New Zealand 46-40 in Cape Town.

The Roses stayed on course to become the only nation other than Australia or New Zealand to lift the trophy in the modern era and sparked scenes of jubilation on their bench at the end of a thrilling semi-final.

Jess Thirlby’s side will now face either top-ranked Australia or Jamaica in Sunday’s final after holding their nerve against the Silver Ferns and grinding out a thrilling win.

Thirlby told the BBC: “Everyone wants the same thing. Every team will say they are tight and they have learned and grown, but for the last few games there has just been a different feel to this campaign.

“Sometimes you just have to sit tight through the ups and downs, the wins and the lossess, and we have done that.

“To see out a game goal for goal hasn’t really been characteristic of us yet. But to overcome Australia and then finish a game like that with a five or six goal run against the defending champions…

“I think the mental side of our game has massively shifted. Sometimes it takes 56 minutes before you get the reward but they kept at it and got it in the end.”

England will be full of confidence after securing wins against both Australia and now New Zealand for the first time at a World Cup, having beaten the former 56-55 on Thursday.

Their semi-final against the Silver Ferns hung in the balance going into the final quarter with the scores locked at 32-32.

The decisive moment came with four minutes remaining with England 41-40 ahead when Fran Williams made a brilliant clean intercept to help the Roses extend their lead.

When Helen Housby missed a chance to put England 43-40 up with the clock ticking down, Eleanor Cardwell pounced on the rebound to make it.

Imogen Allison then produced another crucial touch to keep the ball in play as England added five points without reply and it was left to Housby to seal a historic win.

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