Connections of Inspiral will consider a trip to the Breeders’ Cup for their star filly after deciding against running in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

John and Thady Gosden’s four-year-old was a brilliant winner of the Sun Chariot at Newmarket two weeks ago, her fifth victory at Group One level following previous triumphs in the Fillies’ Mile, the Coronation Stakes and back-to-back wins in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

Owner-breeders Cheveley Park Stud were keen on another tilt at the QEII after failing to fire in the race 12 months ago – but with conditions in Berkshire sure to be testing, Inspiral will sidestep Qipco Champions Day and a decision on both her short and long-term future will be made soon.

“We’ve obviously been monitoring the weather and the rain that’s fallen. I know John Gosden walked the track yesterday (Wednesday), there’s been a subsequent 12 millimetres and it looks like there’s more to come,” said Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson.

“As we know when she ran on soft ground in the Sussex at Goodwood in the summer, Frankie looked after her as it wasn’t the sort of performance she was enjoying.

“The decision now is whether the Breeders’ Cup (Filly & Mare Turf) is an option. John is going to speak to Mrs Thompson about it and then we’ll know more, but it’s very much up to her to decide whether she wants the filly to go to America.

“They’re liaising between them and there’s decisions to be made on whether she runs again this year and whether she’s kept in training next year.

“She’s a wonderful filly, Mrs Thompson is the owner of the horse and will make the decision.”

Daniel Doram took a career-best 7-29 to lead the Leeward Islands Hurricanes to a resounding eight-wicket victory over the Jamaica Scorpions in their opening encounter of the CG Insurance Super50 Competition at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.

The lanky left-arm orthodox spinner from St Maarten proved unplayable to the Scorpions, who were bowled out for 123 in 32.5 overs. Only Odean Smith, who scored 26 and Nkrumah Bonner, 24, offered any real resistance. Alzarri Joseph took 2-24 in support.

Led by Kieran Powell’s unbeaten 80, the Leewards made quick work of the target racing to 124-2 in just 14 overs. Karima Gore was not out on 19 at the end. Nicholson Gordon dismissed Kofi James for 12 to finish with figures of 1-28. Kaecy Carty lost his wicket to Fabian Allen who conceded 33 runs from just overs in the lopsided affair.

Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, head coach of Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls concedes that without some the team’s best players, campaigning in next month’s Fast5 World Series Netball Tournament in New Zealand next month will be challenge.

However, she believes the coaching staff will get the available players ready for what are expected to be stern tests against Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malawi and England in New Zealand.

Jamaica recently named its team for the tournament set for November 11-12 and notably absent were the experienced Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson, key defensive stalwarts for reigning Suncorp Super Netball champions Adelaide Thunderbirds. Also missing is Jhaniele Fowler, arguably the best shooter in the world, who represents the 2022 Super League champions West Coast Fever.

However, the team that will be led by New South Wales Swifts’ star shooter Romelda Aiken-George will include Adean Thomas, Gezelle Allison, Theresa Beckford, stand out U21 player Amanda Pinkney, Kimone Shaw, Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland and former England U21 Rhea Dixon, the Loughborough Lightning attacking player, who recently became eligible to represent Jamaica.

Aiken-Pinnock revealed that the players have been undergoing rigorous training in preparation for the campaign.

"Fast 5 is tough,” she explained. “I have been to so many Fast 5s as a player and it’s really challenging. You’re playing five teams over two days. Even though it is a shortened version of the game, it still requires a lot more thinking. You truly have to understand what is it that you're about. You have to be ready at all times. So there is a lot that is required of you. There's no trying to feel sorry for yourself. So we're trying our best with the resources, with everything that we possibly have with the players.”

Providing some insight into how tough the sessions have been, Aiken-Pinnock drew reference to a shooter Gezelle Allison, who is returning to the national set up since giving birth to her first child mere months ago.

“Saturday morning we had a training session and literally we pushed them. We really, really pushed them a lot,” Aiken Pinnock revealed.

“I remember Gezelle, she was down on her knees and she was like “Coach” because it was really tough. They found this session to be one that was really, really tough for them. And I just had to remind them that this is exactly how you're going to be feeling when you get there. So they we have to bring them through the regime of what will be.”

Turning her attention to the absence of the defensive stars Sterling and Wilson, Aiken-Pinnock explained that after a busy schedule that included the Netball World Cup and the Suncorp Super Netball League, the players requested the time off.

"The senior girls, after the world championship they really needed the time off the rest and recover and we know how well all of them play Down Under and so they're also have to get their recovery in and going back down to their job. So we have to take all of that into consideration,” the coach explained.

"They have requested the time off from the association there's nothing we can do about that. And so for me, I try not to spend too much time thinking about that situation that because we can't fix that. So we just have to ensure that we pay close attention to the ladies who we are going to be working with and trying to get the best out of them so that they can perform and represent Jamaica.”

What this means is that the defensive players in the squad have big shoes to fill but the coach expressed confidence that they will deliver.

"So we definitely don't have any of our experienced defenders who would have gone to World Championship or any of the players who are playing Down Under. In terms of the defensive line up, definitely it's a challenge but we have to have faith in the ladies that we have and so while the time frame for preparation is also very short we are putting in as much work as we can,” she said.

“We have Kimone Shaw, she was at the World Championship in the squad of 15 as a reserve and she too went to the CAC Games. There's Teresa Beckford and Abigail Linton. So we just have to work on the confidence of these ladies and just getting them to be a bit more aware, getting them to be hungrier, getting their netball marks up and ready for what is to come.”

Linton will be playing in her first Fast 5 team but was a member of the Sunshine Girls gold-medal winning team at the CAC Games earlier this year.

Aiken-Pinnock shared her thoughts on what Dixon will bring to the Sunshine Girls line-up. The former England 21 qualifies to represent Jamaica through her grandmother with the move sanctioned by World Netball.

Aiken-Pinnock said she brings significant skills to the set up and has been working hard to achieve the required fitness standards.

"She put her hand up about expressing an interest in representing Jamaica. She has gone through interviews and that sort of thing. We have met with her, we have discussed with her. She's actually in training too at the moment. She has been in training for a little while too,” the former player turned coach revealed.

"It's an opportunity that I'm sure she's grateful for and she and she's very much excited about it. We just have to give her that platform for her to showcase her skills and wanting to represent Jamaica."

Aiken-Pinnock revealed that the Loughborough Lightning player, who is likely to be a starter, has been spent the past few weeks in the United Kingdom preparing for the competition.

“She's been training for a little while, weeks, because one of the things that we have done with her is that there's a test, a fitness test that she basically has to do on a weekly basis, just like our girls. She recorded herself doing the tests. She's in commission mode, not at the elite level in England, but I know that she's representing her university at the moment.

" She did pretty well on the fitness tests. So it's just about maintaining that consistency until she gets here to be with us, which is in a couple of days’ time. She has some experience with regards to high level competition and I'm sure that she's going to bring that same energy and effort to the Jamaica squad.”


Concacaf has confirmed the pairings for the 23/24 Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals. The four home-and-away series, scheduled for the FIFA Match Window of November 2023, will determine the four teams advancing to the Concacaf Nations League final, scheduled for March 2024, and the first four Concacaf teams that will qualify for next year's CONMEBOL Copa America to be staged in United States.

After the completion of group stage play for League A, which took place in September and October, the two top teams from each group: Panama and Trinidad and Tobago (Group A) and Jamaica and Honduras (Group B), advanced to the quarterfinals, joining the four top-ranked League A nations (based on the Concacaf Rankings of March 2023) that received a bye: Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States.

The four Quarterfinal pairings are as follows: 

QF1: Costa Rica (4) vs Panama (best group winner)
QF2: Canada (3) vs Jamaica (next best group winner)
QF3: United States (2) vs Trinidad and Tobago (best runner-up)
QF4: Mexico (1) vs Honduras (next best runner-up)

After the matches played in the September and October FIFA Match Windows, the CNL League A Group Stage standing are as follows:

Group A
1. Panama (10 pts, +7 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
2. Trinidad and Tobago (9 pts, +1 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
3. Martinique (7 pts, -1 gd)
4. Guatemala (4 pts, -2 gd)
5. Curacao (3 pts, -1 gd) – relegated to League B
6. El Salvador (1 pts, -4 gd) – relegated to League B

Group B
1. Jamaica (10 pts, +5 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
2. Honduras (7 pts, +7 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
3. Suriname (5 pts, +3 gd)
4. Cuba (5 pts, -3 gd)
5. Haiti (3 pts, -1 gd) – relegated to League B
6. Grenada (1 pts, -11 gd) – relegated to League B

The schedule for the quarterfinals is as follows, with the home team for each match listed first. As per the competition regulations, the four pre-seeded federations, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and United States, had the opportunity to decide whether they would play at home or away first.

Thursday, November 16, 2023
United States vs Trinidad and Tobago
Costa Rica vs Panama

Friday, November 17, 2023
Jamaica vs Canada
Honduras vs Mexico

Monday, November 20, 2023
Trinidad and Tobago vs United States
Panama vs Costa Rica

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Canada vs Jamaica
Mexico vs Honduras

After home-and-away play, the aggregate score winner in each pairing will advance to both the 23/24 Concacaf Nations League final and the CONMEBOL Copa America. The four losing quarterfinalists will still have an opportunity to qualify for next summer’s Copa America via a single-match direct elimination Play-In, where they will play for the two remaining slots for Concacaf nations. This Play-In will also take place in March 2024. 

23/24 Concacaf Nations League Finals

The third edition of the Concacaf Nations League final is scheduled to take place in March 2024. The final four, between League A's quarterfinal winners, includes semifinals, to be played on Thursday, March 21, 2024, followed by a third-place match and final on Sunday, March 24. 

To determine the semifinal pairings, the four participating nations will be ranked 1-4, according to their performance in the quarterfinals (points, and if required, goal difference), with the highest-ranked team facing the lowest-ranked team (1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3).

More details on the 23/24 Concacaf Nations League Finals and the Concacaf Copa America Play-In will be announced in due course.

Dual Champion Chase hero Energumene is likely to be out for the season, trainer Willie Mullins has revealed.

The nine-year-old, who has won 10 of his 12 appearances over fences, first tasted success at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022 and defended his Champion Chase title in imperious style earlier this year, registering a 10-length victory in the two-mile chasing feature.

He followed that up by also winning Punchestown’s version of the Champion Chase for the second year running and was widely expected to dominate the two-mile division once again over the winter.

However, Energumene – who is owned by Brighton and Hove Albion supremo Tony Bloom – is set for a spell on the sidelines having suffered an injury setback and is unlikely to get the chance to make it a hat-trick of Cheltenham Festival victories in the spring.

“Unfortunately Energumene has a hind leg injury and he will probably be out of action for the season,” Mullins told the Sporting Life.

Energumene’s absence opens up a vacancy at the top of the two-mile chasing division with Closutton stablemate and Arkle hero El Fabiolo installed as Paddy Power’s new even-money favourite for the Champion Chase next March.

Nicky Henderson’s Jonbon, second to El Fabiolo at Prestbury Park in the Arkle earlier in the year before winning at both Aintree and Sandown’s Celebration Chase, is next best at 5-1.

Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels feels it is “pretty likely” the races scheduled to be run on the round course at Ascot on Champions Day will take place on the inner track.

With Storm Babet set to batter the country in the coming days, the going is expected to turn testing.

Contingency plans are in place that allow officials to move the Long Distance Cup, Filly & Mares Stakes and the Champion Stakes to the inner hurdles track when situations like this arise, with switch last made in 2019.

“I walked it this afternoon with John Gosden at about 3pm when it had only just started raining and the current description is good to soft on the straight track and soft in places on the round course. We are describing the inner track as good, good to firm in places,” Stickels told Racing TV.

“If we have heavy ground on any part of the round course, we can move the round course races to the inner track and we have to decide that before 8am on Saturday.

“Looking at the forecast for Friday, I would say that is quite likely (for the races to move). I think the rain we will get overnight will turn us back to soft on the round course and maybe even if we get the top end, some heavy places on the round course.

“Thursday we might only get three to four millimetres, it is mainly a windy day but the forecast for Friday is a similar amount of rain as that we are due tonight again, so if we are not heavy in places by then, it would be highly likely to be by Friday.

“I think it would be pretty likely that we will end up on that inner track. If we can make a decision on that before 8am on Saturday that would be favourable, we’d like to make it Friday but we don’t want to be hasty and suggest that now before we have much rain.

“There is no ability to run the two races scheduled to be run over a mile and the sprint on the round course. There are no start positions and it isn’t wide enough to accommodate the scheduled 20 runners.

“It’s a shame we are a week later in the calendar this year and even today, John Gosden said if we were racing today the ground would have been perfect.”

Valvano followed in some illustrious hoofprints as he made an impressive start to his career in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes at Nottingham.

The top-class King Of Steel made a successful debut in a division of the the extended one-mile contest 12 months ago, while his St Leger-winning stablemate Eldar Eldarov was in the winner’s circle in 2021.

And while Valvano has a long way to go to scale those heights, the son of Night Of Thunder looks certain to go on to better things judged on this facile success in the hands of Hector Crouch.

Plenty was expected of the Ralph Beckett-trained youngster as an 8-11 favourite, but those who took the cramped odds will have had few concerns as after moving to the lead entering the final furlong, Valvano fairly sprinted clear in the testing conditions to pull six lengths clear of his toiling rivals.

Beckett, who won a division of the race with subsequent Derby participant Artistic Star last year, said of his latest victor: “He’s a nice horse who loved the ground and it was a good effort.”

On whether he could run again this season, the trainer added: “We’ll see what happens next, he could.”

Crouch was clearly impressed by the performance, telling Racing TV: “He’s very raw. He made it look straightforward because he’s got a lot of natural ability, but he took a bit of managing and organising and he’s keen to get on with things.

“He ran a little bit green, but once we straightened up he’s very talented. Amongst all the greenness he’s very responsive and he’s keen to learn.

“I think he’s got a bit of a fiery streak in him and is not short of speed, so I wouldn’t be in a rush to step him up to a mile and a quarter in his immediate future, but I’m sure he will stay that far.”

Beckett completed a quickfire double with another newcomer in the following EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, with Treasure carrying the King and Queen’s colours to a clear-cut win under Ben Curtis.

“She was immaculately behaved and has a great mind. She was a little bit behind the bridle, it’s tough going out there, but she learnt as we went around,” said the jockey.

“She loved the ground and the further she went, the better she went.”

George Boughey’s Mr Alan (3-1 joint-favourite) landed the Watch Irish Racing On Racing TV Handicap for the second year in succession, pipping Belhaven by a nose under William Buick.

Hollie Doyle enjoyed a double on the card, booting home William Stone’s Tipsy Tiger (15-2) in the Join Racing TV Now Nursery and the Jack Channon-trained Desperate Hero in the Watch On Racing TV Handicap.

Hollie Doyle’s appeal against a seven-day suspension will be heard by a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel next week and is set to determine if she can ride at the Breeders’ Cup.

Doyle incurred the ban aboard the Jonathan Portman-trained Rose Light in the Unibet More Boosts In More Races Fillies’ Handicap at Kempton on Monday evening, with the rider found to have cut across a number of rivals in the early stages of the 11-furlong contest.

The stewards report on the night read: “Doyle was suspended for seven days for careless riding as she allowed her mount to shift right-handed when insufficiently clear of Flying Circus on her inside, causing (Neil) Callan to take a significant check to avoid clipping heels which resulted in Sindri, Page Three and Typical Woman to all be tightened for room and lose their respective racing positions on the inside.”

Doyle’s ban is currently due to run from October 30 to November 4, plus November 6 as there is no Flat racing in Britain on November 5.

If she is successful in having the punishment reduced to five days or less, she would then be free to ride Bradsell in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on November 4.

Connections of Bay Bridge are unconcerned about conditions at Ascot ahead of the defence of his Qipco Champion Stakes crown on Saturday.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the five-year-old produced a career best to end the unbeaten run of Baaeed in the Group One feature last season and returns to British Champions Day looking for a repeat of that half-length victory which came in the hands of Richard Kingscote.

That success came on ground described as good to soft, but having also finished second at Royal Ascot on good to firm ground last year, Bay Bridge appears to have few going concerns ahead of a race which may be switched to the Berkshire venue’s inner track if forecast rain turns conditions heavy on the round course.

“If he can go back and defend his crown, that would be wonderful,” said John O’Connor of Ballylinch Stud, who own the horse in partnership with James Wigan.

“At the moment the intention is to run as far as I know, but all of those final decisions will come down to Sir Michael Stoute. All I know is he was happy with him when I last spoke to him and the intention is to go to Ascot on Saturday.

“He has good form on varying ground at Ascot. He’s run well there on summer ground as well and he was maybe a little bit unlucky when touched off in the Prince of Wales’s last year.

“I don’t know myself which track they will race on, but we will just turn up on whatever track we’re told to turn up on I guess.”

A proven performer at the highest level, Bay Bridge has been a regular in some of the hottest 10-furlong contests but made a brief foray up to a mile and a half for a crack at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The son of New Bay finished a creditable sixth behind Ace Impact in Europe’s richest middle-distance contest, with an urge to hold an early position taking its toll in the closing stages of that contest.

However, he is reported to have returned from the French capital in fine shape and now returns to his optimum distance for this Champions Day appearance.

“He appears to have come out of the Arc well and he ran very well there. For the moment we’re heading directly to Ascot, hopefully still in good form,” added O’Connor.

“In terms of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, he probably did a little too much too early. You obviously need to hold your position in a race with that many runners, but he probably did a little bit too much and it probably cost him a little bit in the straight. Nonetheless he ran a really good race.”

On returning to 10 furlongs, O’Connor said: “It looks like that (is his best distance) and his highest ratings are at that trip, so hopefully dropping him back will be beneficial to him.”

The group stage of League A of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League came to a thrilling conclusion on Tuesday night, with Panama and Trinidad and Tobago emerging as the top two sides in Group A to qualify for next month’s quarterfinals.

Panama topped the group with 10 points, one point ahead of Trinidad and Tobago, who ended with nine points.

Panama vs. Guatemala

Panama enjoyed a commanding 3-0 victory over Central American rivals Guatemala at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.

Adalberto Carrasquilla has been one of the best players in the Concacaf region in 2023 and he showed why again by scoring Panama’s opener in the 14th when an initial clearance from the Guatemala defense fell right to the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Best Player Award winner, who volleyed into net for a 1-0 lead.

Panama kept pushing and a pivotal moment came in the initial moments of the second half when a fantastic first touch allowed Cristian Martinez to get past Guatemala’s Nicolas Samayoa in the area, with Martinez then getting fouled. 

A penalty was whistled, and a red card was issued to Samayoa, followed by Eric Davis converting the spot kick in the 48th for a 2-0 lead and a man advantage for almost the entire second half. 

Panama’s dream night was then capped in the 90th when Abdiel Ayarza guided a header past Guatemala goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen to seal the win.

El Salvador vs. Martinique

Martinique came up just shy in their bid for a quarterfinal spot in a 0-0 draw with El Salvador at the Estadio Nacional Jorge Magico Gonzalez in San Salvador.

Martinique finish in third place with seven points, while El Salvador earned their first point of the campaign.

Martinique had some good looks early and almost forced an own goal in the 24th when a back pass forced El Salvador goalkeeper Tomas Romero into a stretch save to prevent the opener.

El Salvador started to find their footing toward the end of the half and Mayer Gil’s strong shot was saved by Martinique goalkeeper Yannis Clementia right before halftime.

The second half saw El Salvador create two good scoring chances. The first fell for Leonardo Menjivar, who ended up missing over the crossbar at the far post in the 66th with the goalmouth open, followed by a Brayan Gil header in second half stoppage time that was saved by Clementia.

Martinique would muster the final chance of the night, as Crifar Mael’s effort in the waning seconds was saved nicely by Romero, who ensured the points were shared.

Curacao vs. Trinidad and Tobago

Curacao earned their first win of the group stage in impressive fashion with a 5-3 triumph over Trinidad and Tobago at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad.

It was an ideal start for Curacao, who took a 1-0 lead in the seventh when a long ball was played up to Rangelo Janga and the experienced striker finished with aplomb past Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Denzil Smith.

Curacao were hungry for more and they doubled the lead in the 12th when Kenji Gorre found Godfried Roemeratoe, who fired into net past Smith.

The Curacao attack was unyielding and a hard run from Gorre in the 54th ended in a foul in the Trinidad and Tobago area and a penalty kick. Gorre stepped up and easily converted from the spot, extending the Curacao advantage to 3-0.

Trinidad and Tobago were finally able to pull back a goal in the 68th as Ryan Telfer found Reon Moore with a cross from the right wing and Moore finished.

That goal shifted the momentum in Trinidad and Tobago’s and they further reduced the deficit in the 74th when a rebound fell for Kristian Lee-Him to latch onto and fire into goal.

Curacao had a golden opportunity to restore a two-goal advantage from the penalty spot in the 75th after a Trinidad and Tobago handball, only to see Smith save Brandley Kuwas’ penalty.

But three minutes later it was 4-2 via the penalty spot after a foul in the area. This time Juninho Bacuna stroked it into net for Curacao.

Curacao’s three-goal lead was then restored in the 81st when Roshon Van Eijma’s header hit the crossbar, but Janga was there to head in the rebound to make it 5-2.

Their chances at winning the group were fading away, but Trinidad and Tobago wanted to make sure they held onto the second spot, and they made it a 5-3 final scoreline in the 86th when a free kick was played in front of the Curacao goal and Kareem Moses poked home the loose ball.

Migration will aim to land his second major handicap of the season off top weight when he runs in the Balmoral at Ascot on Champions Day.

Trained by David Menuisier, the seven-year-old won the Lincoln at Doncaster on the opening weekend of the season and is aiming to bookend his campaign in fine style.

He has only run once since, when failing to get involved in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown, but Menuisier hopes the return to testing ground and, more importantly, a big field will see him recapture his best.

“We gave him a break in the summer to try to run him in this race. We know he loves the big fields and it looks like he will have his ground, so we are looking forward to it,” said Menuisier.

“We know he can carry big weights and the hustle and bustle of the big handicaps suit him, so we’ve aimed at it.

“Look, off his weight I’m not saying he’s going to go and win, but I know he’ll give his best and we’ll see where he ends up. I’m not a statistician but I assume winning handicaps off 113 has not been done very often. Hopefully class rises to the top.”

It could be a big weekend for Menuisier who is sending Champagne Stakes second Sunway to France for a Group One, though whether he runs in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud over 10 furlongs or the Criterium International over a mile is not quite decided.

He said: “The plan is for Sunway to run I’m just not sure which race yet. I’ve left him in both races to have a look but sadly it looks as if all the other trainers did the same!

“It’s pretty much the same horses in both races. I think our preference is to run him over a mile but I have little doubt he would stay 10 furlongs.

“I’ll have a chat with the owner but at this stage we’re favouring the mile. His Doncaster run was good and the form, with Rosallion winning the Lagardere and Mountain Bear winning a black type race in Ireland, has worked out.”

A decision on whether Matilda Picotte will race on next season or be sold next month has yet to be made, her trainer Kieran Cotter has revealed.

Third behind Mawj and Tahiyra in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in the spring, the three-year-old made a successful return to the Rowley Mile in last week’s Group Two Challenge Stakes.

Given she has also won a Listed race and a Group Three, the daughter of Sioux Nation is clearly a valuable broodmare prospect and she holds an entry in next month’s Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale at Kildare Paddocks.

However, Cotter has not given up hope of seeing her return to training as a four-year-old next term, when he believes she is capable of striking gold at Group One level.

“She’s come out of Newmarket super, as she always does. She goes and gets the job done and comes home and relaxes – she’s a a super horse,” he said.

“She’s definitely finished for this year and the owners are still mulling it over. She is in the Goffs Breeding Stock Sale, so do they keep or do they sell her?

“I suppose where the lads are coming from, there’s 10 of them involved with her and by the time you’ve paid commissions and split it down 10 ways, it’s not going to be a life-changing amount of money.

“They know they’re not going to find another one like her – she’s brought them to places they couldn’t dream of going, so there is that to be factored in as well.”

While Matilda Picotte’s back-to-back Pattern race wins have been achieved over seven furlongs, Cotter is confident his stable star would be capable of contesting top-level sprints in 2024.

He added: “There’ll be a lot of options open to her next year as a four-year-old. If she is here, I’d say we’d look at dropping her back to six furlongs as there aren’t many seven-furlong races open to her at Group One level.

“She showed a lot of pace on Friday – her second and third furlongs were sub 11 seconds, so that’s very, very fast over that trip.

“We’ll keep minding her anyway and see what happens. We’ll enjoy her while she’s here.”

Dermot Weld looks set to make a late call on the participation of his star filly Tahiyra in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

The daughter of Siyouni has won five of her six starts to date, her only defeat coming at the hands of Mawj when beaten by half a length in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.

Tahiyra has since impressed in winning the Irish Guineas, the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown and Weld is keen to pitch her in against the colts on Qipco Champions Day – but admits the prospect of running on testing conditions is a worry.

“It’s pretty clear the filly herself has progressed from each of her Group Ones wins, I’m delighted with her and we want to run – but I do have to put in the caveat that she’s shown excellent speed on fast ground,” the trainer told Sky Sports Racing.

“She’s also won on soft ground and she’s a very adaptable filly, but I do have to advise that if the ground came up very heavy, she’s not a big filly and it would cause concern.

“She’s a brilliant filly and she will handle soft ground well, but I’m concerned about the weather forecast for that part of England, especially Friday night into Saturday.

“She will definitely travel over, (but) she is racing against some of the best colts in Europe and that (ground) is a concern.”

Weld has trained a host of top-class fillies during the course of his long and illustrious career and believes Tahiyra matches up to any that have gone before her.

He added: “She’s right up there. Homeless Songs was a brilliant filly the year before when she won the Irish Guineas and Tahiyra’s half-sister Tarnawa won at the Breeders’ Cup for us.

“I don’t like comparing horses from year to year. On this year Tahiyra is a very brilliant filly.”

Should Tahiyra sidestep Ascot, she would have the option of travelling to America for the Breeders’ Cup, although Weld is refusing to look beyond the weekend at this stage.

He said: “We haven’t even discussed that because it would be wrong to do so. Let’s concentrate on Saturday and let’s hope to be there.

“Champions Day has always been a very good day for me. Fascinating Rock won the Champion Stakes, we won the fillies’ and mares’ race with Sapphire and the Long Distance Cup I’ve won a couple of times with Forgotten Rules and Rite Of Passage.

“Ascot itself as a track has been very good to me. I think I’ve trained 19 Group winners at the Royal meeting and my horses always run extremely well at Ascot.

“Tahiyra is in great form, I couldn’t be happier with the filly, her final piece of work was excellent and her graph has gone the right direction throughout the year.

“I’m just very positive of a big run for Saturday.”

Autism in Racing has teamed up with the National Autistic Society to help find employment opportunities in the racing sector.

Autism-friendly racedays have been staged at a number of tracks and with the support of the Bloomfield Trust, it is hoped the collaboration will help encourage autistic people to work in the racing industry.

According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, only 29 per cent of autistic people are in any kind of employment

Bobby Beevers, founder of Autism in Racing, said: “I’m really thrilled that Autism in Racing and the National Autistic Society will partner up through their Autism at Work programme. One of our key aims is to create employment in the industry, and this a huge leap forward to support autistic individuals to find a role in racing.”

Included among the initiatives are webinars and training for those looking to employ autistic people as well as dedicated job coaches and ongoing advice.

Richmal Maybank, employer engagement manager and Autism at Work lead at the National Autistic Society added: “Employers often ask us what kind of jobs autistic people can do, whilst 68 per cent of employers worry about getting support for autistic people wrong.

“With the right support and adjustments autistic people can thrive across all types of roles and industries.

“The National Autistic Society has had previous links with the Autism in Racing team through their autism-friendly racedays and continue to work towards racecourses achieving the National Autistic Society Autism Friendly Award. This is why we are thrilled to be partnering with the racing industry to seek meaningful employment opportunities.”

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