Confidence bruised in Bosra

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The Independent Online
It may have been the equivalent of Linford Christie splitting a fingernail, but, nevertheless, the announcement yesterday that Bosra Sham had met with a slight setback was the epicentre of tremors.

The 2-5 favourite for the 1,000 Guineas on Sunday week will be an absentee from the Newmarket gallops for the next 48 hours. "Bosra Sham has suffered a minor setback," Henry Cecil, the filly's trainer, said yesterday. "She has bruised a foot, but hopefully she will be back in exercise in a couple of days. Hopefully the setback won't affect her participation a week on Sunday."

The news did not change Bosra Sham's position at the pinnacle of the Classic betting, which she dominates ahead of Bint Salasabil (9-2) and Bint Shadayid (7-1). The Bints are owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and the whisper yesterday was that one of them would be saved for the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas).

This uneasiness virtually immobilised the ante-post market, and just about the only filly going down on bits of paper was Michael Stoute's Dance Sequence, a 20-1 shot. She is the booked mount of John Reid, who had originally been appointed to partner Peter Chapple-Hyam's Sea Spray. That filly is now expected to contest the Irish equivalent at the Curragh although she may return to Rowley Mile consideration if the 1,000 Guineas cuts up further.

Chapple-Hyam also has Classic propects with Nash House, who was plonked into Derby betting at 10-1 after his seasonal debut win at Newbury. "I was very pleased with him," the trainer said, "but I was surprised to see his price for the Derby after he had just won a maiden."

Chapple-Hyam may clean up this afternoon with Myself (3.40) in the Sandown Mile, while Red Robbo (2.35) is sent out by the Cecil school of excellence for the Tudor Conditions Stakes earlier in the day.

The cleaning up will certainly still be taking place at Punchestown today following a three-day Festival which attracted record crowds. The final day of the meeting is La Touche day, when Punchestown's banks course and its 33 fences of varying make-up and complexity come into play. It is Jeux Sans Frontieres for horses, but is not the lottery it might appear. Risk Of Thunder has shown something of a liking for this obstacle race and won for the second consecutive year yesterday.

Derrymoyle is another horse who appreciates Punchestown and he repeated his trick of beating Cheltenham's Stayers' Hurdle winner in the Tipperkevin Hurdle under Mark Dwyer. Last year the victim was Dorans Pride and yesterday it was the Martin Pipe-trained Cyborgo who disappointed.

David Bridgwater was already hard at work on odds-onCyborgo trying to hold off What A Question as Derrymoyle cruised up at the second last. The Michael Cunningham-trained winner beat What A Question by two and a half lengths with Minella Gold coming from off the pace to run Cyborgo out of third place. The winner and Cyborgo are to be sent novice chasing next season.

Richard Dunwoody got off the mark for the week when working hard to keep Ventana Canyon a short-head in front of Double Symphony in the novice chase, while Tony McCoy rode a treble on Mayasta, Shaunies Lady and Have To Think.