Ireland's premier all-aged championship on Saturday so perilously resembles a lap of honour for So You Think, who counts two stablemates among just five potential opponents, that people already seem more interested in his next race. And there was a strong hint yesterday that a return to Australia for a third Cox Plate might be abandoned so that he can replace Coolmore's retired Derby winner, Pour Moi, in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Though connections are naturally reserving any decision until after the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes, Australian quarantine regulations will oblige them to commit pretty promptly to a clear strategy. Were he repatriated for the Cox Plate, Saturday's race would almost inevitably prove his last in the northern hemisphere. Should he go for the Arc, however, he could still proceed to the Breeders' Cup. And the racing manager of his original owner, who retains a share in So You Think, yesterday ventured that "logic might dictate that it's better to choose the plan with more possible options".
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has also entered Cape Blanco for the Cox Plate, after all, and his patrons may decide that Australian breeders, already perfectly familiar with So You Think, might be more profitably introduced to a son of Galileo.
They have already reached one logical conclusion, in confirming that Seamus Heffernan will ride So You Think at Leopardstown – as if they had any other rational or conscionable alternative, after Heffernan rode the horse to win the Eclipse Stakes. Arrangements for Snow Fairy, ridden in the past by the sidelined Ryan Moore, have proved less straightforward. But Ed Dunlop, her trainer, hopes that Frankie Dettori can make the dash from Haydock, where he rides Delegator in the big sprint, to partner a filly he rode for the first time when she shaped so well in the Nassau Stakes.
Certainly, the Irish must be grateful that obscure red tape ruled Snow Fairy out of a scheduled engagement in France. "Our hand has been forced in this direction," Dunlop admitted. "But she's fit, ready to run, and we're running out of options for her. We knew she was going to need her Eclipse run badly, and she stepped forward in the Nassau. Again Frankie said she would improve, and I'd like to think she is 100 per cent now. But we're under no illusions: So You Think is going to be very hard to beat."
Sir Mark Prescott is sparing with Group One runners but Albamara, by Galileo out of the trainer's Group One winner Albanova, showed why she has been dignified by a Fillies' Mile entry when running away with her maiden at Epsom yesterday. William Butler, Prescott's assistant, said: "Her dam didn't turn out a real proper horse till she was four or five, so to win as a two-year-old augurs well for her future."
Chris McGrath's Nap
Silver Turn (4.30 Bath) Found instant improvement for her new stable when only collared late at Windsor last time. This latest drop in trip seems sure to suit.
Fast Shot (6.35 Carlisle) Flourishing handicapper who opened up a new frontier when tried over this trip the other day, only nailed on the line and finishing well clear.
One to watch
High Jinx (James Fanshawe) Made an encouraging start in handicaps after a break at Newmarket on Saturday, working his way from off the pace for third and promising better again for a stiffer test.
Where the money's going
Elzaam is 14-1 from 16-1 with Ladbrokes for the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday, while Pepper Lane is 12-1 from 14-1 with the sponsors for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.