Racing: Muzzle pointed at Kentucky: The horse that was off target in the Arc and failed to fire for John Reid in Canada is now to be aimed at the Breeders' Cup Turf

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The Independent Online
WHITE MUZZLE will bid to redeem his reputation in the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs next month, when Yutaka Take may be afforded the same opportunity.

Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt yesterday emerged as an entry for the Turf event over 12 furlongs, though the identity of his jockey will not be confirmed until tomorrow. Ski Paradise, who runs under the same ownership as White Muzzle, will be partnered in the Breeders' Cup Mile by Take, who is vying with John Reid for the mount on Teruya Yoshida's other representative.

'At this stage nothing has been decided and we will come to a decision on Friday,' Patrick Barbe, the racing manager to Yoshida, said yesterday. 'But I can confirm that Take will be riding Ski Paradise in the Mile.'

The Japanese champion would not be the choice of Chapple-Hyam, who took him to task for his ride on White Muzzle in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Yesterday both the Manton trainer and Reid were adamant they would again be in partnership on 5 November.

Whatever the arrangements, White Muzzle has plenty of portents against him.

The four-year-old has won just one of his last nine races, most recently finishing ninth and last when favourite for the Rothmans International at Woodbine, Canada, at the weekend, when he was said to be suffering from arthiritis in his left shoulder.

This result, in the hands of Reid, rather muddied the waters for Chapple-Hyam, who was expecting a big run from White Muzzle following his sixth for Take in the Arc. Whoever the pilot in America, the earlier thoughts of the Manton trainer suggest White Muzzle should be the object of punter caution. For much of the summer, Chapple-Hyam has said that the tight turns of Churchill Downs would be against his horse, and at the weekend came further proof that he is a reduced performer when travelling anti-clockwise.

Since winning at Pontefract and Catterick as a three- year-old, the son of Dancing Brave has finished well beaten on all four outings on left- handed tracks.

Nevertheless, Chapple- Hyam said yesterday: 'White Muzzle has recovered from his journey to Canada and seems fine. It has been decided that he should go for the Breeders' Cup Turf before a decision as to his future is made.'

White Muzzle is likely to be among Europe's strongest challenge for a Breeders' Cup. There were 21 travellers from across the Atlantic three years ago, when the series was also run at Churchill Downs, and up to 30 animals are expected to have earned places when the provisional fields are announced next Wednesday.

Grand Lodge will have the final race of his career in the Breeders' Cup Classic following a smart recovery from his exertions in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. Connections are hoping their colt will be rewarded for some tantalisingly unlucky runs at the top level this season.

'It would be nice if things went his way just once,' Leslie Harrison, the manager of owner Lord Howard de Waldens's Plantation Stud, said yesterday.

De Walden will retain a 25 per cent share in the colt when he retires to Ireland's Coolmore Stud, which was yesterday announced as the new home for Chapple- Hyam's Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, Turtle Island, who has run his last race. Turtle Island's 15-length success in the Classic led Chapple-Hyam to say: 'This is some horse, as good as any I have trained.'

The trainer will hope to unearth a replacement this afternoon, when he saddles two runners in the Horris Hill Stakes, along with Saturday's Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster the final piece of Group- race evidence to be provided by juveniles in Britain this season. Chapple-Hyam's representatives are Citadeed and the colt who is reputed to be the leading two-year-old athlete on the Manton gallops, Painter's Row.

(Photograph omitted)

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