Mayson, one of the market leaders for tomorrow's Sprint Cup at Haydock, was the surprise omission yesterday from the list of starters for the last Group One dash of the domestic season. The Richard Fahey-trained four-year-old, who had been the 7-1 third favourite, will miss the six-furlong contest because of an infection in his upper respiratory tract.
"He scoped dirty this morning," reported Fahey yesterday, "which is a huge disappointment as he had been working out of his skin." Mayson, five-length winner of the July Cup at Newmarket, will be redirected to the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp early next month, with the Champions Sprint at Ascot two weeks later a second option.
Fifteen were declared for the Sprint Cup, with the two leading fancies drawn on opposite sides of the track. Australian star Ortensia, winner of last month's Nunthorpe Stakes and 5-2 market leader, will start from stall 15 and Bated Breath from stall one. In tomorrow's two other Group One races, both at Leopardstown, six will run in the Irish Champion Stakes, with St Nicholas Abbey the chief home defence against the two British raiders Nathaniel and Snow Fairy, and 11 in the Matron Stakes, headed by last year's heroine Emulous.
At Salisbury yesterday, Franny Norton was not allowed to ride after testing over the permitted limit for alcohol before racing, with the matter referred to the British Horseracing Authority. Last year Norton picked up a 40-day ban after failing a breath test at Chester in May.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Valais Girl (3.05 Haydock) Showed promise from a wide draw under an apprentice on her debut against some well-regarded rivals.
Winner's Wish (5.45 Haydock) Did not get home over two miles last time and drops to a more suitable trip.
One to watch
Oh So Spicy (Chris Wall) Will be the better for her recent run at Lingfield, her first after a mid-season break.
Where the money's going
Bronze Angel was cut to 20-1 from 25s for the Cambridgeshire by Ladbrokes.