Racing: Stoute plays down Singspiel scare

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The Independent Online
The temperature has damaged Britain's prospects every time the Breeders' Cup has been run at a warm venue, but the heat which threatened the team leader yesterday came from within.

Singspiel has developed a foot problem, and while its effect is said to be minimal it is hardly the preparation Michael Stoute would wish for his horse. Ladbrokes have pushed the five-year-old's Classic odds out to 5-4 (from evens).

Stoute has been caught in some amusing situations these last few days. He was cycling near Venice Beach the other morning when almost in collision with a female rollerblader, and yesterday there was an interview for Japanese television via an interpreter which achieved little more than establishing the trainer's name.

Singspiel's setback has done nothing to damage the general levity of his guardian. "It's a throbbing thing [with Singspiel]," he said yesterday. "I'm sure you've had one of those.

"There was a little problem last evening. Singspiel developed a pulse in his foot and we were rather concerned. But he is fine this morning and he will trot today and work on the course tomorrow and Thursday. I can live with it.

"We would have given him a little canter but he'll do that tomorrow now. He could probably have still done it today but I didn't want to risk him. He has not bruised a foot. He will run on Lasix, like he did last year." By Saturday, it is hoped, he will also run on four sound limbs.

BREEDERS' CUP TURF (Hollywood Park, Saturday): Tote: 11-8 Singspiel, 11-2 Borgia, 13-2 Val's Prince, 8-1 Chief Bearheart, 12-1 Majorien & Rajpoute, 14-1 Dance Design & Flag Down. William Hill: 11-10 Singspiel, 6-1 Val's Prince, 7-1 Borgia, 8-1 Chief Bearheart, 12-1 Flag Down, Majorien & Rajpoute, 16-1 Awad & Dance Design.

- Richard Edmondson