Veteran Soca Warriors midfielder, Kevin Molino, announced his retirement from the Trinidad & Tobago national team in a social media post on Friday.

The 33-year-old Molino, who currently plays for MLS outfit Columbus Crew, is the joint-second highest goal scorer with 23 goals in 59 appearances.

Molino reflected on the various stages of international football he played with the Soca Warriors.

“It has always been about passion and pride- from my first days with the U15 team, to being a part of a special group in the U17 World Cup & U20 World Cup,” said Molino in the social media post.

“Along the way, I’ve been able to make lifelong friends, face fierce rivals and lead the nation as captain of the senior team. Now, that dream has come to an end. It’s time to say goodbye for now. Thank you to all those who have supported me through the highs and lows-my family, teammates, fans and coaches across T&T. I cherish every moment, every memory and they will all live with me forever,” he added.

Molino, who has battled several injuries during the course of his career, captained the Soca Warriors at the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. Molino started the first fixture vs St Kitts and Nevis as TT got their lone win in the group stage. He then featured from off the bench in a 4-1 defeat against Jamaica, before returning to the starting lineup for TT's 6-0 defeat to the United States.

Heredia finished with a flourish to land the Virgin Bet Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.

Richard Hannon’s charge was a convincing Listed winner at Haydock last time out and was duly sent off the 5-2 favourite to add to her tally in this Group Three affair.

Settled towards the back of the field as Roman Mist cut out the early running, Heredia was clearly travelling well coming into the straight and when Sean Levey gave the signal, she made rapid strides down the middle of the track.

Heredia seized the advantage inside the final furlong and while Queen For You tried to match her, the winner proved three-quarters of a length too good at the line. Last year’s race winner was a further length and a quarter back in third.

Brave Sussex Stakes runner-up Facteur Cheval will be seeking big-race compensation on home soil in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Jerome Reynier’s ultra-consistent performer is yet to finish outside the first three in four outings this term, beaten less than two lengths on each occasion.

He finished a valiant second to Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, with the four-year-old beaten a length and a half after a less than ideal passage/

Now connections are hoping that mammoth effort on the Sussex Downs has not left a mark as they go in search of an elusive Group One triumph in a race that that also includes Prix du Jockey Club and Jacques le Marois runner-up Big Rock.

“We’re looking forward to it but I’m a little bit nervous because he had a very hard race last time, plus he had a trip,” said Barry Irwin, CEO of Team Valor, who own the horse in partnership with Gary Barber.

“Even though it’s back in four and a half weeks which sounds like a reasonable amount of time, in the back of my mind I’m hoping he doesn’t react to that last race, it certainly knocked out Paddington.

“He is facing a pretty darn good horse in Big Rock. We have a very big, strong horse and Mickael Barzalona is going to get on him this time. We are hopeful for a good race because Big Rock likes to go off in front and we need to have a target. The races where he hasn’t ran quite up to scratch this year are when he got too far behind in a paceless race.”

A bold showing for Facteur Cheval in Paris this weekend could tee up a potential Qipco British Champions Day rematch with his Goodwood conqueror Paddington in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot later in the autumn.

Irwin added: “I’m planning on coming over for the Queen Elizabeth and I see Paddington might run in that one as well, so that would be a hell of a contest.

“Both horses love it soft to heavy and at that time of year you might get a racetrack like that. That will be a good contest and the layout of that straight course at Ascot, going uphill, favours a miler that has got stamina and can go at least another furlong, which we have proved that we can do and it could be a pretty exciting contest.”

Remarkably, Christopher Head’s Big Rock is also seeking his first top-level success and is another to bring some high-class form to the table.

He finished second when sent off favourite for his last two big-race assignments and with connections persevering with the one-mile distance, they will hope to see the Rock Of Gibraltar colt regain a winning thread which saw him string together four impressive victories earlier in the campaign.

Jean-Claude Rouget’s Erevann is without a victory since winning last year’s Prix Daniel Wildenstein, but is a proven Group-level performer and will have the chance to emulate his dam Ervedya who struck gold in this for connections in 2015.

Patrice Cottier’s Sauterne has placed in both the Prix Jean Prat and Prix Rothschild recently following defeat at the hands of Kelina in Chantilly’s Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly prior to that.

Both are well worth their place in the field, with the latter having the chance to add to trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias’ 2018 triumph in the contest.

Andre Fabre is also no stranger to success in this event and will saddle Group One-winning juvenile Belbek, while Yann Barberot’s hat-trick-seeking Fast Raaj and Fabrice Chappet’s Topgear complete the line-up.

Jamaica’s senior Reggae Boyz Head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson says his team will not only draw inspiration from senior Reggae Girlz Fifa Women’s World Cup exploits, but more importantly, build on the positives from their own Gold Cup campaign to achieve future success.

Hallgrimsson’s sentiments came as he named a 23-player squad for the upcoming Concacaf Nations League tournament, where they will be hunting qualification for next year’s 48th edition of the prestigious Copa America to be staged in the United States.

The Boyz, who will contest League A of the Nations League, are grouped with Suriname, Haiti, Honduras, Cuba and Grenada.

They are scheduled to open their account on home soil against Honduras on September 8, before tackling Caribbean rivals Haiti, four days later. Both games are scheduled for the National Stadium.

Following those games, Hallgrimsson’s side will play away to Grenada on October 12, before visiting Haiti on October 15.

To get to the Copa America, the Jamaicans are required to finish in the top six, as such, they will need to secure one of two spots from their group to progress to quarter-finals.

Should they do so and go on to win their quarter-finals fixture, the Boyz would automatically secure berth to Copa America, however, if not, then they would take the playoff route for a second shot at qualification.

With that in mind, Hallgrimsson, alluded to the Reggae Girlz, who became the first male or female team from the Caribbean to contest the knockout rounds at a World Cup since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

On the way to that accomplishment, the Girlz held top-ranked France and Brazil to goalless stalemates and also secured a first ever World Cup win with a 1-0 scoreline over Panama.

“A lot of positivity surrounds Jamaica’s football at the moment, the Girlz performance should give us energy for our games and we should try to use that to our benefit to go forward. But before I go forward, I want to look back at the Gold Cup, we were very satisfied with that tournament and we got even more positivity from analyzing those games,” Hallgrimsson said during a press conference on Friday.

“We feel that we are getting stronger as a unit and as a team. We had some good performances from players, some were new faces at the tournament with very little preparation period prior and we know those players will grow into the team and play an even bigger role than they did in the Gold Cup. So lot of positives, if we talk tactically, we know we can improve in areas like our attacking game, as well how we possess the ball,” he added.

On that note, Hallgrimsson only made four changes from that Gold Cup squad with Jonathan Russell, Kaheem Parris, Javain Brown and Kemar Lawrence being replaced by Tayvon Gray, Kasey Palmer, Greg Leigh and former Arnett Gardens standout Renaldo Cephas.

The American-born Gray, 21, who currently represents New York City FC, won the MLS Cup in 2021 and Campeones Cup in 2022. The right-back also represented the United States in multiple games at the youth level.

Aware that Jamaica contested the Copa America in 2015 and 2016, the Icelandic coach is hoping to also achieve the feat during his tenure, as he believes playing at that level will be integral to their preparations for a shot at making the 2026 World Cup.

“As I said we were very pleased with the Gold Cup so there are not much new faces for this camp. Time spent together is hugely important to us, so again qualifying for the Copa America will help us even more in preparation for the World Cup,” Hallgrimsson declared.

“Firstly, we want to win and be number one in Nations League. That is one thing, it is just an extra spice that doing well in this competition will give us a chance to play in the Copa America, an even bigger competition than the Gold Cup.

“In the process of growing as a unit, it is really important that we qualify for competitions like this to keep the growth going. So, we are just preparing ourselves playing in big tournaments like this,” he reasoned.

Moving up the Fifa rankings is another component of added significance for Hallgrimsson, who again made note of the Reggae Girlz rise from 43rd to 37th, as well as his team’s own move from 66th to 58th.

“Fifa ranking means a lot in national team football today. For example, in the Nations League the top four ranked teams United States, Canada, Mexico and Panama, don’t need to play in the group stage, they automatically qualify for the quarter-finals and that is a huge benefit for them.

“So we want to be in that position to not need to play a whole group stage to be able to play for top four. We want to be top four in the ranking and I would say if we get to 40, it would be a huge success for us,” Hallgrimsson noted.

Squad: Goalkeepers –Andre Blake, Jahmali Waite, Conniah Boyce-Clarke

Defenders –Damion Lowe, Tayvon Gray, Ethan Pinnock, Amari’i Bell, Di’Shon Bernard, Dexter Lembikisa, Adrian Mariappa, Greg Leigh

Midfielders –Kasey Palmer, Joel Latibeaudiere, Daniel Johnson, Kevon Lambert, Bobby Reid

Forwards –Leon Bailey, Michail Antonio, Demarai Gray, Dejuan Richards, Cory Burke, Shamar Nicholson, Renaldo Cephas

2023 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor long jump champion Carey McLeod has signed a professional contract with German apparel giants Adidas.

The 25-year-old specializes in the long jump but has also competed in the triple jump.

McLeod has personal bests of 8.34m in the long jump and 16.40m in the triple jump. Both those performances came in 2021.

Indoors, McLeod jumped a national record-equaling 8.40m on March 10 this year to win the NCAA Indoor title. That jump put McLeod in a tie with James Beckford for 20th all-time indoors.

Last week, McLeod narrowly missed out on a medal in the long jump at the World Championships in Budapest.

The Arkansas man had a best jump of 8.27m, the same distance as countryman Tajay Gayle, but was beaten to the bronze medal on countback.

His professional debut came at Thursday’s Zurich Diamond League meet where he jumped 7.60m for ninth.

The Frankie Dettori farewell tour will hit Budapest on Saturday where the Italian will take centre stage on one of the biggest days in the Hungarian racing calendar.

Dettori will have six rides on the nine-race card but will be linking up with some familiar faces at the capital’s Kincsem Park as officials prepare to welcome British-trained raiders for the first time.

All four horses making the journey from the UK are owned by Fitri Hay and her husband Jim, whose connection with Hungarian minister of defence Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky – also a key figure on the Hungarian horse racing scene – has led to this somewhat unexpected leg of Dettori’s international swansong.

The 52-year-old is set to partner Ian Williams’ Silent Film in a local Group Two contest before getting the leg-up aboard Paul and Oliver Cole’s Splendent in the feature Kincsem Stakes, a race which carries local Group One status.

Andrew Balding’s Sceptic and David Simcock’s Tides Of War are the other Hay-owned runners in action and their racing manager Alex Cole is hoping he has selected the correct squad for a fruitful venture to eastern Europe.

He said: “It’s very difficult to gauge the level for which they race, but I hope I’ve picked the right ones out of the stable rated around the 90s mark to be highly competitive.

“Horses can make days or ruin days, but fingers crossed.

“We’re all here now, Jim and Fitri are here, Frankie is here and the trainers are here. It all revolves around the Hays’ business interests, which ties in with the minister of defence who is also in charge of horse racing in Hungary.”

Dettori is no stranger to winning major contests around the world but a win in Bratislava in the Slovakian Derby is the closest the well-known racing figure has come to stepping foot on Hungarian turf, with officials hoping the Italian’s visit will provide a shot in the arm for racing in the country.

They also hope the ‘Dettori factor’ will see a bumper crowd in attendance for the feature of their Autumn International Meeting, which also sees greyhound racing and trotting take place at Budapest’s Kincsem Park.

“There are four major stakes races and Dr and Mrs Hay have four horses running, two in the mile race and two in the mile and a half,” said Botond Kovacs, international liaisons officer at Kincsem Park.

“It is the first time we are hosting English-trained horses here in Budapest and we are absolutely thrilled and over the moon, especially that Frankie Dettori is here. It is a huge privilege to have both Frankie and the Hays. It is his last season and he was gracious enough to accept our invitation.

“Frankie has arrived and he says our racecourse is 10 out of 10 and hopefully we will get a good crowd, we are hoping for a number around 6,000 to 7,000, perhaps more.

“The meeting is part of a horse and greyhound festival and the Autumn International Meeting is the highlight of the year, with obviously the Kincsem Stakes the feature race of the day with 55,000 euros in the pot up for grabs.

“We are very hopeful that this meeting can put Hungarian racing back on the map of racing in Europe.”

Jewel Andrew and Adrian Weir both hit half-centuries but they weren’t enough as the West Indies Under-19s came up short by 51 runs in the series-deciding third ODI against Sri Lanka Under-19s at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Friday.

Weir hit a 41-ball 52 at the top of the innings including seven fours and two sixes while Andrew, a wicket-keeper/batsman, made a top score of 80 from just 64 balls including eight fours and two four sixes.

Joshua Dorne also hit 32 as the tourists were restricted to 253 all out in 40.3 overs, 51 runs short of their target.

Vishwa Lahiru starred with 3-48 from 8.3 overs for Sri Lanka while Sineth Jayawardene (2-29 from three), Vihas Thewmika (2-29 from four) and Garuka Sanketh (2-44 from nine) all provided support.

Earlier, Sri Lanka made 304-8 off their 50 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

Opener Pulindu Perera starred with a mammoth 155 off 140 balls including 17 fours and four sixes.

Nathan Edward took 3-66 from nine overs for the West Indies while Deshawn James (2-70 from 10) and Tarrique Edward (2-41 from 10) provided good support.

The teams will now turn their attention to a pair of youth Tests with the first beginning on Monday.

Heredia will be out to uphold family honour in Sandown’s Virgin Bet Atalanta Stakes on Saturday.

It is eight seasons since the four-year-old’s dam Nakuti secured the Group Three prize and Heredia arrives at the Esher venue in peak condition following an impressive Listed success in the Dick Hern at Haydock three weeks ago.

Richard Hannon’s daughter of Dark Angel thrived for the return to a mile on that occasion, surging to a three-and-three-quarter-length victory over William Haggas’ reopposing Purplepay and the 2022 Royal Ascot scorer will seek further glory at the distance.

“She’s a homebred filly of Andrew’s (Stone, owner) and she gave us a tremendous day out at Ascot last year when she won the Sandringham,” said Richard Brown, racing manager for owners St Albans Bloodstock.

“Then we’ve sort of played around with the trip a little bit, probably fairly unsuccessfully, so we’ve gone back to a mile.

“She did it nicely at Haydock in the Dick Hern and she was off to America after Haydock. She’s got herself a reprieve and we’ll have a go in the Group Three and see where we are after that.”

Heredia disappointed on her only previous visit to Sandown when sent off the odds-on favourite for last year’s Coral Distaff.

However, connections are confident of correcting the record in a race that was the obvious fit for the ultra-consistent performer.

“Her only real bad run was our fault and not hers when we ran her back too quickly after the Sandringham last year,” continued Brown.

“We’ve slightly spaced her races a bit more since. We’re probably a bit quicker back again this time, but she’s a four-year-old and it’s a bit different – and this was really the most obvious race for her.

“Interestingly, her mother won it so hopefully she can go and follow in her footsteps.”

Potapova was a ready winner of this contest 12 months ago and Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old returns to defend her crown in a race the Freemason Lodge handler has won four times in the last 11 years.

She has not been seen since not being disgraced at Royal Ascot as the wet summer has somewhat curtailed her campaign and connections will again be keeping a close eye on the weather.

“Sir Michael is very happy with her. On her day, she is great and Ryan Moore rides and she likes Sandown, so we just need a little luck with the weather,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud.

“I’m a little bit nervous about the forecast and there’s a chance that if the forecast rain comes we might have to review things I suppose.

“Goodwood (earlier in the season) was a bit of a disaster when it was heavy and she pulled up so we know that is not going to suit her and if we get this rain forecast we won’t want to risk her again.

“But she’s an exciting filly with plenty of ability.”

Potapova denied John and Thady Gosden’s Grande Dame in this last year and Clarehaven are well represented once again with Sandringham scorer Coppice and the talented Queen For You.

Both have appeared in Group One contests this year, with the Juddmonte-owned Coppice a respectable fifth in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last month.

“It looks a nice race for her and she’s had a little freshen up since her last race at Newmarket,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“I thought she ran a nice race in the Falmouth, she got stuck out on the wing and that heavy shower just before racing probably just took the ground away from her a little bit. But I thought she ran a great race and Tom (Marquand) gave her a good ride and was very complimentary about her after.”

Connections had hoped Coppice would be a 1000 Guineas candidate earlier in the season and despite tasting success at Royal Ascot, she is remarkably still searching for her first piece of black type.

Mahon added: “We think this is a good opportunity and having started out the year with some big aspirations it would be nice to get some black type with her. We haven’t got any yet so it would be good to get some.

“We know she handles a mile and she won very well at Ascot and we know she likes fast ground so hopefully that will stay right. She appears in good form and both John and Thady are happy with her work at home so it looks a nice opportunity.

“It’s a competitive race and they are a good bunch of fillies in the line-up but we’re hopeful she can get the job done.”

Archie Watson’s Roman Mist enjoys cut in the ground and was back to near her best when beaten a neck in the Valiant Stakes in her most recent outing, while Richard Fahey’s Midnight Mile has been a model of consistency for her Malton-based handler and now drops back to a mile with options limited over 10 furlongs.

Fahey said: “She’s in good form. She does seem to travel well in her races so it is worth giving it a go and she did win a Group Three over seven furlongs.

“There’s not many options for her at the moment over a mile and a quarter. She’s been running OK all year and is in great form so fingers crossed.”

Ismail Mohammed’s Nibras Angel is unbeaten in two starts but this is without a doubt her toughest task to date, while Gary Moore’s Goodwood victor Novus and David Menuisier’s Mysterious Love complete the 10-strong field.

Starlore bids to add his name to an illustrious roll of honour in the Virgin Bet Solario Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.

The Group Three contest has proved a breeding ground of champions in recent years, with star miler Kingman (2013), Derby hero Masar (2017) and triple Group One winner Too Darn Hot (2018) all on the winners’ board.

Like his sire Kingman, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Starlore carries the Juddmonte silks and is well fancied to successfully step up in class after making a winning debut over the course and distance.

While the margin of victory was only a nose, the form looks strong, with the third placed Arabian Crown now a Listed winner and the fifth home Devil’s Point subsequently scoring at Ffos Las.

“He’s had a nice amount of time since his first race and it’s going to be another stepping stone,” said Juddmonte’s racing manager Barry Mahon.

“Hopefully he’ll have improved. He’ll need to improve, but hopefully he will.”

David Menuisier’s Devil’s Point was only a length and a half behind Starlore in early July and is set to take him on again after a demolition job in Wales three and a half weeks ago.

His trainer would, however, like to see some rain in Esher.

Menuisier said: “Devil’s Point ran well at Sandown on his first start. He was a bit green, but the form of the race is good, with Arabian Crown subsequently winning a Listed race.

“I’m hoping that the rain comes and there’s a significant amount to make the ground slower than good, as that would help us.

“The horse has been absolutely fine and has improved after each race so we’ll see how he goes.”

The bang-in-form Ralph Beckett saddles impressive Leicester victor Mortlake, while Charlie Appleby is represented by Aablan, who justified cramped odds on his introduction at Newmarket.

Speaking on the Godolphin website, Appleby said: “Aablan has done well since winning on his debut and we feel that the stiff seven at Sandown will suit.

“Like the rest of the field, we are dipping our toe at this level for the first time and it should hopefully provide a nice springboard into an autumn campaign.”

Cerulean Bay has his sights raised by David O’Meara following a couple of low-key wins north of the border, with maiden success at Hamilton followed by a novice victory at Ayr.

The field is completed by Brian Meehan’s Inishfallen, who turns out little over a week after finishing third in a valuable nursery at York.

Zoulu Chief will be given the chance to repeat his explosive front-running exploits in either the Flying Childers or the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes as Heather Main targets a step up in grade for her in-form youngster.

A shock 150-1 winner when blazing a trail at Newbury earlier in the season, he has left disappointments in both the Coventry Stakes and at Goodwood in the past by registering back-to-back nursery victories in devasting fashion recently, scoring in both the Racing League at Windsor and then a competitive event during York’s Ebor meeting.

Zoulu Chief will now be tried in Group company as he seeks to extend his winning run and although heading to Newbury on September 23 would see the Zoustar colt continue to ply his trade over the six furlongs he has made his name, Main is also considering a drop back to five furlongs at Doncaster on September 15 for the Carlsberg-sponsored Group Two.

“He’s an exciting horse,” said Main.

“We found out at Goodwood he doesn’t like soft ground and that was fact finding. At Ascot he was good enough to be in the race but things just didn’t go our way, so we have drawn a line through that. But we have never lost faith in him.

“We were thinking of the Mill Reef, but I’m slightly worried the ground might be gone by then.

“We are also thinking of the Flying Childers as well. It would be a drop back to five furlongs, but he is showing he has tons of pace and I don’t think it would be a bad thing to do.

“He deserves to be in a Group race, definitely.”

Zoulu Chief has been easy to spot when making all in each of his three victories so far and Main sees no reason to change successful front-running tactics aboard the thriving juvenile.

“He just loves doing it and he has such a strong natural pace it seems a shame to interfere with it,” she added. “That just seems to be the way he loves to race.

“Obviously if we stepped him up in trip we might have to think of different tactics, but it seems to be working at his current trip.

“He’s got this special stride where he really gets down and grabs the ground. It’s quite nice to watch.”

Tis Marvellous will bid to go out in a blaze of glory by securing a record third victory in the William Hill Beverley Bullet on Saturday.

A Group Two-winning juvenile some seven years ago, the Clive Cox-trained sprinter is set to be retired after his latest trip to the Westwood this weekend.

The winner of nine races in all, Tis Marvellous became the third horse to notch back-to-back Beverley Bullet wins 12 months ago after Chookie Heiton (2004 and 2005) and Take Cover (2017 and 2018).

The nine-year-old has been well held in three starts so far this season – finishing last in the Palace House at Newmarket and the Wokingham at Royal Ascot before coming home seventh of 10 at the Shergar Cup – but Cox believes the fire still burns bright.

“I think it’s fair to say his form has waned a small bit this year, but his work at home is better than ever,” said the Lambourn handler.

“I’m really proud and pleased that he’s been such a wonderful servant over the years and we’ve targeted this race, being a race he’s won the last two years, and I think it’s fair to say and let everyone know that this will be his swansong and we’ll be retiring him afterwards.

“He’s giving us every confidence in his well being at home and he’s getting to the time of life now where we’re keen to give him a last roll of the dice on a course that he loves so much.

“Hopefully he can put his best foot forwards. From what we’re seeing at home there’s no doubt he’s in good form with himself and it will be really nice to give him another opportunity to have another run on a track he’s been so productive on.”

Among those looking to deny Tis Marvellous the perfect send-off is his stablemate Kerdos, who was beaten just a neck in the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes at Royal Ascot and was last seen finishing fifth behind star sprinter Highfield Princess at Goodwood.

Cox added: “Kerdos has been a work in progress, but he’s a horse we hold in high regard.

“He had an amazing run at Royal Ascot and hopefully this is a perfect step for him to take at this time of year really.

“Both horses deserve to be there, so we’ll see what happens.”

Other contenders include Julie Camacho’s 2019 Beverley Bullet hero Judicial, Karl Burke’s course and distance winner Silky Wilkie and the consistent Apollo One from the Newmarket yard of Peter Charalambous and James Clutterbuck.

Soul Sister’s three-year-old campaign has come to an end, with connections looking forward to the Oaks heroine returning to the track next season.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the daughter of Frankel left a disappointing reappearance in the Fred Darling behind her when storming to Musidora Stakes glory at York, putting herself firmly in the picture for Classic success at Epsom the following month.

She thrived for the step up to 12 furlongs as she enjoyed her finest hour in the hands of Frankie Dettori on the famous Surrey Downs, handing her owner Lady Bamford a second victory in the fillies’ Classic, 14 years after the triumph of Sariska in 2009.

Soul Sister was last seen finishing a gallant third when taking on the colts in the Grand Prix de Paris but having suffered a small setback, she will now head to her owner-breeder’s Daylesford Stud before returning as a four-year-old.

“It’s only a temporary thing and precautionary and as we wanted to have her for next year it was the prudent thing to do,” said Charlie Gordon-Watson, racing manager to Lady Bamford.

“It’s the sensible thing to do and she will be better next year, she’s going to be stronger. She’s not the strongest but she’ll strengthen up for next year and it is the right thing to do.”

Although stealing all the headlines at Epsom when a stylish winner of the Oaks under an inspired Dettori, it was perhaps her one-and-a-quarter-length defeat at ParisLongchamp when mixing it with Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe candidate Feed The Flame and Irish Derby runner-up Adelaide River that advertises Soul Sister’s star potential the most.

And with a winter of strengthening and developing ahead of her, there is plenty for connections to look forward to in 2024.

“I think the Longchamp run was a very good run looking back on it,” continued Gordon-Watson.

“The winner came wide of her and from behind her and Kieran Shoemark rode her very well. In hindsight it was probably a really good race.

“Looking back on it, the ground in Ireland in the Irish Oaks wouldn’t have suited her and as it turned out she ran in the right race.”

Highfield Princess is firmly on course to defend her crown the Flying Five Stakes in Ireland next weekend, having come close in her bid for back-to-back wins in the Nunthorpe at York.

John Quinn’s superstar sprinting mare completed a hat-trick of Group One wins last season, with her Nunthorpe and Flying Five victories following success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

Having opened her account for the current campaign in dominant style at Goodwood, the six-year-old was a hot favourite to win her second Nunthorpe on the Knavesmire, but had to settle for the runner-up spot behind the front-running Live In The Dream.

Highfield Princess produced arguably her most impressive performance to date in the Flying Five 12 months ago, and Quinn is looking forward to seeing her return to the Curragh on September 10 for day two of the Irish Champions Festival.

“She’s come out of York well, touch wood she seems fine,” said the Malton-based trainer.

“We’re just ticking her over and all being well we’ll head to Ireland a week on Sunday. There’s no reason to change the plan just because she got beaten.”

Following her Flying Five triumph last season Highfield Princess was saved for a trip to the Breeders’ Cup, where she performed admirably in defeat in finishing fourth.

But whether she returns to America this year is open to question, with Quinn eyeing an appearance on Arc weekend in Paris on October 1.

He added: “All being well, if she comes out of the Curragh well, we’d like to run her in the Abbaye and we’ll see from there.”

Inspiral will skip a trip to the Irish Champions Festival in favour of seeking further Group One riches in Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes later this autumn.

John and Thady Gosden’s daughter of Frankel bounced back to her very best at Deauville last month, providing her owners Cheveley Park Stud with a thrilling afternoon on the Normandy coast as Inspiral secured back-to-back victories in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

That victory secured her a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile later in the season, but before any Stateside ambitions enter the equation, the four-year-old has duties closer to home to attend to and she will head to the Rowley Mile on October 7 in search of a fifth top-level victory.

“We all enjoyed a real high that day (at Deauville) and Mrs Thompson was thrilled. Richard (Thompson) obviously represented her and what a fantastic day he had and they all enjoyed it, as did I,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud.

“She’s in good form and we are probably favouring Newmarket and the Sun Chariot is a possible race for her. I think that is favoured.”

The Sun Chariot would provide a four-week lead into the Breeders’ Cup if connections did elect to travel to Santa Anita in early November and it appears a season-ending swansong in California could well be on the cards.

“I think so and I suppose it really depends on what she is going to do next year,” continued Richardson when asked about the chances of Inspiral cashing in her ‘win and you’re in’ ticket to America.

“If she is going to retire, I can see her going to America and retiring, but if she was to stay in training then I don’t know, and maybe she will make the Breeders’ Cup, but it would depend on what Mrs Thompson would like to do.”

Cheveley Park’s Sacred could also have the Breeders’ Cup on her radar, but will have to prove her well being before that is seriously considered having failed to sparkle in the City Of York Stakes most recently.

Trained by William Haggas, the Royal Ascot runner-up has now failed to find the scoresheet in three visits to the Knavesmire and could head to the more favourable territory of Newbury for her next outing, where she could bid to get back on track in the Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes the five-year-old claimed last season.

“We now know she just does not want to perform at York. She was in great form going in there but she was never happy,” added Richardson.

“Tom (Marquand) came back and said she went down unhappy, was unsettled in the stalls and just took a hold and was never prepared to put her best foot forward.

“We’ve got various options and the Breeders’ Cup is a thought. At the moment it is at the back of our minds when we were hoping it would be at the forefront.

“We might go back for the Listed race at Newbury which she won last year. That could be another opportunity for her.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.