Racing: Singspiel on the mend

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Singspiel was back in his box at Hollywood Park last night after surgeons successfully completed an operation to repair the fracture that ended his racing career. Europe's record prize- money earner is on his feet again and on the road to recovery following surgery to insert two screws into his right fore-leg.

The globe-trotting Singspiel, winner of the Japan Cup, Dubai World Cup and Juddmonte International, broke down on Thursday as he was completing his final piece of work before last night's Breeders' Cup Turf for which he had been the even-money ante-post favourite. He now faces up to eight weeks recovering in the United States before he can be shipped back to Europe to take up stallion duties.

A surgical team, headed by Dr Larry Bramlage, carried out the operation on Singspiel's cannon bone at Hollywood Park's equine clinic. Assisted by Dr Rick Arthur, anaesthetist and president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the procedure took two hours.

Afterwards Dr Arthur said: "The surgery and recovery went very well and he's ready to become a fine stallion. How long he stays here depends on where they want to ship him after surgery but if it's back to England he could be here as late as the end of the year."

Back at this side of the pond, Royston Ffrench , the champion apprentice Flat jockey rounded off a fantastic season with victory on 10-1 shot Sabadilla in the November Handicap at Doncaster.

Held up off a good pace set by Shaft Of Light, the John Gosden-trained three-year-old made good headway down the centre once in line for home.

Hitting the front with two furlongs left to travel, Sabadilla kept on in spirited fashion to draw eight lengths clear of the staying-on Taunt, who, following overnight rain, was backed from 9-1 in the morning to 11- 2 favourite, with Shaft Of Light three-quarters of a length back in third. The winner was giving Gosden his third success in the race, following the wins of Hieroglyphic in 1991 and Turgenev a year later.

At Chepstow, Marello put up a tenacious display to retain her unbeaten record in the Tote Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle.

The Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March is a possible long-term target for Marello but Mar Reveley, the mare's trainer warned: "It would have to be bottomless ground."

At Wincanton, Lively Knight, the chaser found to have been got at after being beaten at odds of 1-7 at Plumpton in the spring, showed he has suffered no long-term ill-effects from the ministrations of the dopers with a seven- length victory in the Badger Beer Handicap Chase. Ironically, Lively Knight was ordered to be dope tested here, this time because of his easy win. The results, of course, are expected to be negative.