Racing: Morley misses out

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SOFT ground at Leopardstown yesterday ruled out Morley Street from Sunday's AIG Europe Champion Hurdle. 'We don't need the aggravation,' said the horse's trainer Toby Balding.

The winner of the 1991 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham may be re-routed to the Gloucestershire track to take on Mighty Mogul in the Wyko Power Transmission Hurdle on Saturday.

Balding, fearing sticky conditions, said: 'If the ground stays wet at Cheltenham, he could possibly run there. He would go through those sort of conditions. But if it starts drying out, he won't'

Michael Roberts yesterday confirmed his interest in the position as first jockey to Sheikh Mohammed, but insisted that he had not yet been contacted.

'Anybody would be attracted because the Sheikh has the best bred horses in the world,' Roberts, at his home in South Africa, said. 'All I know is what has been reported, that I am a possibility.'

Roberts became the new favourite to succeed Steve Cauthen after Michael Kinane decided on Tuesday to reject the offer.