Coolmore’s Ten Sovereigns could head straight to Australia for The Everest with the Sprint Cup at Haydock doubtful because of soft ground.
The July Cup winner had been in doubt to take Coolmore’s slot in next month’s $14 million Everest at Randwick after his failure in the Nunthorpe won by Battaash.
But Coolmore trainer Aidan O’Brien said Australia was still the goal and if Ten Sovereigns did not run in the Everest on October 19, there were other races for him.
“The Everest is in Sydney and I think two thirds of the time the ground has been soft there,” O’Brien said.
“If it is soft he won’t run there, but he could go down to Melbourne, where he might get better ground.
“There are a couple of sprints down in Melbourne. I wouldn’t think he will stay in training next year.
“He is a real fast ground daisy cutter.”
Fellow Irish horse, the evergreen Gordon Lord Byron, will take his place at Haydock in a race named in his honour.
The winner of the 2014 Group One George Ryder Stakes in Sydney in 2014, the 11-year-old will be having his 103rd start on Saturday.
“Gordon Lord Byron has raced all over the world – Australia, Hong Kong, France and the United Arab Emirates, but winning the Sprint Cup at Haydock Park in 2013 was his finest performance,” trainer Tom Hogan said.
Gordon Lord Byron is the highest-rated horse in a field of six runners for the seven-furlong (1400m) Gordon Lord Byron Stakes and will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
“It is a really lovely gesture by Haydock to put on this race,” Hogan said.
“I take him to the beach most weeks, it is a 100 miles journey from where I train, but it is well worth it because he loves the sand and sea under his hooves.
“He gets five-star treatment and it is all about keeping him happy and content.”
“He really enjoys his life – and I don’t see any reason why he will not stay in training next year.”