A firm declaration of intent for William Jarvis's colt had been delayed while Lord Howard de Walden, who recently sold a three-quarter share in the St James's Palace Stakes winner, debated running plans with his new partners, the Coolmore Stud in Ireland and the Woodlands Stud in Australia. Pat Eddery, who appeared to give Grand Lodge plenty to do in the International Stakes at York last week, will again be in the saddle. 'I will leave the tactics up to him,' Jarvis said yesterday. 'It's a different trip this time and Grand Lodge is in great form.'
Turtle Island's requirement for good or soft ground is such that he has not seen a racecourse since finishing just under two lengths third to Grand Lodge at Royal Ascot. Prior to that defeat, however, Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt had Grand Lodge almost 20 lengths behind in fourth when he strolled away with the Irish 2,000 Guineas. On good going, a rematch is a compelling prospect.
Chapple-Hyam will need to set his video if he wants to catch up on Turtle Island's performance, as he will be in Chicago this weekend to saddle Colonel Collins in the Secretariat Stakes. The British challenge in America this weekend is a serious one and the local bookmakers are offering just 3-1 about John Gosden's Muhtarram in Arlington Park's feature race, the Million.
Only Paradise Creek, at 8-5, heads him in the betting (though the second British runner, Clive Brittain's Spartan Shareef, is out at 30-1). Muhtarram was lightly exercised on the track yesterday morning and showed no ill effects after his long journey.
Lindsay Charnock vigorous defence of his role - or lack of one - in Wednesday's five-horse pile-up at Redcar continued yesterday, when he announced that he is to appeal against the 10-day suspension imposed by the local stewards.
'I have spoken to Michael Caulfield of the Jockeys' Association and he will lodge an appeal on my behalf,' the veteran rider said. 'He backs me up 100 per cent and said I'll definitely get justice. I think I've been very harshly treated,' he added.
'It seemed to me and the other jockeys that Mena (the first horse to fall) fell independently on a very boggy patch of ground where they had been watering.' If Charnock's ban, due to begin on 2 September, is not overturned, he will miss all four days of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster.
There may be more than two months to go before the Flat racers finally pass the baton to the jumpers, but most National Hunt performers are already putting in road work and gentle canters as they edge their way back to fitness. One of those is Mysilv, last year's Triumph Hurdle winner, who was sold for a record 155,000gns at the Doncaster Sales in May, and is thus the nearest thing jumping has to Chris Sutton.
Egerton's record signing is being brought along steadily, and will start her new campaign without a prep-race on the Flat. There was also news yesterday of another former inmate of David Nicholson's yard, Go Ballistic, the best British-trained bumper runner of last season. The promising five-year-old has been moved to the Stratford yard of John O'Shea.