here is still time for a change of heart but connections of Kameko are minded to send him to York next week for the Juddmonte International, rather than France on Sunday for the Jacques le Marois. It will mean a first attempt at a mile and a quarter for the Guineas winner, whose best distance is not yet established.
“I think he’s going to go to York,” said Andrew Balding, the colt’s trainer, on Wednesday evening. “It’s a change of plan but I’ve just spoken to the clerk of the course at York, who feels they won’t get dramatic amounts of rain between now and Wednesday.”
Just the same, Kameko was left in the Marois at the latest entry stage on Wednesday, making him one of just nine possible runners in the Deauville contest. That would mean staying at a mile, the trip at which he won the Guineas and the Vertem Futurity, but was also an unlucky fourth in the Sussex a fortnight ago.
Kameko tried a mile and a half in the Derby but the way that race was run made for anything but a satisfactory test. The intermediate distance might yet prove ideal.
“It’ll be very interesting,” said Balding. “I just don’t know. I’ve always felt 10 furlongs would bring out the best in him but we won’t know until we try. It’s been a funny season, I just feel like we’re experimenting with him the whole time.”
Kameko saw little daylight during the Sussex and was never able to express his ability but Balding can take some consolation. “We’d like to have had a proper crack at them but, look, he didn’t have a hard race as a result, so he should be bouncing back.”
In the York race, Kameko will be an intriguing representative of the three-year-olds against what Balding describes as “a strong older generation”, headed by Ghaiyyath and Lord North. The Marois features Palace Pier, Persian King, Circus Maximus and Romanised.
Mohaather, the Sussex winner, was withdrawn from the Marois on Wednesday and his trainer, Marcus Tregoning, can imagine him going straight to the QEII on 17 October. “I’d like to have a run before then but to be honest there’s nothing suitable. There’s a big gap,” Tregoning said.
Thursday’s horse racing tips
12.45 Olivia Mary 1.15 Modmin 1.45 Little Downs 2.20 Queen Power 2.50 Almareekh 3.20 Iron Heart 3.50 Tuscan Oasis 4.20 Burguillos 4.55 Prince Llyr (nb)
1.35 Better By Far 2.10 Lady Celia 2.40 Credible 3.10 Alix James (nap) 3.40 Pour Me A Drink 4.15 Throne Hall 4.50 Tigerten 5.20 Millie The Minx 5.50 Be Bold
3.55 Silvestris 4.25 Swift Approval 5.00 The Golden Unicorn 5.30 Onebaba 6.00 Waseem Faris 6.30 Star Prize 7.00 Songo 7.30 Derry Boy 8.00 Agent Basterfield
Tregoning will consider the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp next month but that may become impractical if travellers to France are by then required to go into quarantine on their return.