Racing: Singspiel benefits from jockey switch

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The Independent Online
Although only eight horses were declared yesterday for Saturday's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, that number was sufficient to create a dearth of jockeys deemed worthy of a mount in Britain's premier all- aged event.

The chief sufferer of the shortage was Shantou, or rather the punters who had latched on to the colt since Frankie Dettori was announced as his partner. Last year's St Leger winner does his best only when Dettori is on his back, so it is rather galling for his followers to find that Dettori has been switched to Sheikh Mohammed's other representative, Singspiel, because Olivier Peslier will be unable to take that ride due to commitments for Daniel Wildenstein in France.

Shantou, whose price had contracted to 12-1 over the weekend, was thus pushed out to 16-1 by Ladbrokes, while Singspiel was cut from 9-4 to 15-8 by William Hill.

The sheikh's racing manager, Anthony Stroud, explained: "In the light of not getting Olivier Peslier, Frankie Dettori will ride Singspiel. We are looking at the alternatives for Shantou. We want to explore every option and there may not be a decision until Thursday.

"Singspiel worked satisfactorily over the weekend, although the papers seem to have gone overboard about it. He should run a very good race but you mustn't underestimate Helissio and it will be very tough."

With his stable-jockey, Richard Quinn, injured Paul Cole is searching for a rider for Strategic Choice, unplaced in two outings abroad this term. "We probably won't know about a jockey for a couple of days," the trainer said. "Strategic Choice is fine but he has no chance of winning; he has the chance of a place at best. He was going to go to Germany but the owner doesn't want to go there."