Wednesday 18 September 2019

Dylan lines up for last hurrah in Japan Cup

Tom Peacock

Breeders' Cup flop Dylan Thomas may not have run his last race as the Aidan O'Brien colt is a surprise acceptor for the Japan Cup later this month.

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner will be on the Coolmore Stud roster for next year and, while his participation is by no means certain, what was to be his final outing in the Breeders' Cup Turf was effectively wrecked by soft ground. O'Brien could be persuaded by the fact that the Tokyo event is nearly always run on firm ground, which usually brings the best out of Dylan Thomas.

Three other European horses have accepted invitations, with Halicarnassus and Papal Bull -- first and third in the Arc Trial at Newbury last time -- also possibilities along with German ace Saddex.

Breath test

Brian Meehan's Red Rocks, winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2006, was pulled out of Tokyo's November 25 showpiece.

Clive Brittain's Kandidate and the Gerard Butler-trained Jack Sullivan have accepted invitations for the Japan Cup Dirt the day before.

Meanwhile, English flat jockey Graham Gibbons has been urged to "sort himself out" as he faces a ban of up to two months after failing a racecourse breath test before he was due to ride at Hamilton on September 23.

Both readings provided by the 26-year-old, who was prevented from taking his two booked mounts at the meeting, were over the drink-drive limit, and the highest seen on a British track since random testing of riders for alcohol was introduced by the-then Jockey Club in June 2003.

It is also the first time a test finding has been sufficiently serious to warrant disciplinary proceedings. Jockeys who have failed in the past have been cautioned, rather than suspended.

Gibbons, who has been in good form recently and rode a double at Wolverhampton on Monday, has refused to discuss the case in advance of his hearing at which the penalty range for his offence under rule 66 (vii) is a ban of between 28 and 60 days.

Ed McMahon, one of the trainers let down by Gibbons at Hamilton but who successfully teamed up with him at Dunstall Park this week, said: "Obviously he has got to sort himself out a little bit, but he is a good jockey and can ride. I think he's had one or two problems over the last few years, but lets hope he can get himself sorted because he's a talented lad."


At Nottingham yesterday, Medicine Path gave his connections a welcome tonic when getting back on the right track in the Nestle Conditions Stakes.

The three-year-old lost his way earlier in the season but showed he is a smart performer when outpointing Fajr in his first race since June 25.

Pulling Neil Callan's arms out in the early stages, he took a few strides to quicken before storming to the front to score by a length and a quarter.

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

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