Racing: Outside draw jolts Gosden's Oasis Dream

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The Independent Online

Popping the pills they call the draw ceremony at the Breeders' Cup, rather appropriately for John Gosden, the trainer of Oasis Dream. Gosden will have needed medical help after Europe's champion sprinter drew the No.10 box yesterday for Saturday's Mile at Santa Anita, which means he will be fighting to get across a flurry of limbs on the short run to the first bend. Oasis Dream's prospects have diminished. He is now a 6-1 shot.

The 2,000 Guineas winner, Refuse To Bend, was luckier and will emerge from stall No 5. "I am very pleased,'' Pat Smullen, his jockey, said. "My lad is quick away so there should be no problems. Being on the outside going to that first turn would have made it next to impossible. It looks like Oasis Dream will be coming from a bit further off the pace than me but I'm sure he'll be coming at some stage. I'll be keeping my head down.''

Even Oasis Dream, though, has a better chance than Aidan O'Brien's Statue Of Liberty who missed the cut by one. This came after a workout from which Statue Of Liberty, like his stablemate High Chaparral, returned awash with sweat, despite just cantering for a circuit.

O'Brien, though, seemed relaxed about the condition of his horses, though he was not so phlegmatic when pressed on why Edgar Prado, rather than stable jockey Michael Kinane, would be riding Hold That Tiger in the Classic. Kinane has received bad press for several efforts at the Breeders' Cup. "I make enough mistakes myself and, in my opinion, Mick is top class, a world-class jockey,'' O'Brien said. "Where can you get a better jockey than Mick?''

* Gary Stevens yesterday described Storming Home, his mount in the Breeders' Cup Turf, as "the most gifted turf horse I've ridden". The jockey, who was speaking, and fighting back tears, at a ceremony to honour the recently deceased local hero Willie Shoemaker, was unseated by Storming Home in the Arlington Million, but said: "He's an intelligent horse, an alert horse. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body."

* Teleprompter, winner of the 1985 Arlington Million for the Yorkshire trainer Bill Watts, has been put down at the age of 23.