Racing: Sham show gets official approval

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Bosra Sham's spectacular Royal Ascot victory on Tuesday has left her challenging Helissio as officially the best middle-distance horse in Europe, it was revealed yesterday.

Henry Cecil declared that Bosra Sham was the best he had trained after she romped to an eight-length triumph in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, a view backed yesterday by the handicapper Nigel Gray.

Gray, senior handicapper for the British Horseracing Board, has given the filly a revised rating of 133, putting her within 1lb of the 1996 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe victor, Helissio. Bosra Sham is rated 5lb superior to Singspiel, Europe's record money-earner. Wafic Said's filly was put on a mark of 131 in the 1996 International Classifications after winning the 1,000 Guineas and Champion Stakes.

Gray said: "Bosra Sham was so exciting, it is great to see her in training with the likes of Singspiel and Helissio. It was also great to see Kieren Fallon pushing her out to the line; presumably one of the reasons she is getting all the plaudits today is the distance she put between herself and Alhaarth in second.

"She received 1lb from Alhaarth who was on 121, so it was a question of how to translate the eight lengths. In the circumstances, I called it 13lb. To make it many more would be going too far."

John Gosden has booked Dominique Boeuf to ride his 1995 Derby second, Tamure, in the Group Three La Coupe over a mile and a quarter at Longchamp today.