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‘I’m not scared of City Of Troy’ roars Roger Teal ahead of mouthwatering Coral-Eclipse showdown

ROGER Teal has told me he ‘won’t run scared’ of City of Troy in the Eclipse at Sandown while at the same time revealing his star sprinter Oxted has run his last race.

Teal always planned to run Dancing Gemini in the Coral-Eclipse after his colt was sixth to City of Troy in the Betfred Derby.

PA
Teal is confident Dancing Gemini can put in a massive performance in the Coral-Eclipse[/caption]

But that was before City of Troy was nominated for the Sandown feature.

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Having already run an unlucky second in the Poule d’assai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) Dancing Gemini stepped up to a mile and a half at Epsom.

Drawn in stall 15, Dylan Browne McMonagle found himself at the back of the pack before working his way into contention with a furlong to run, only to fade in the final 100 yards.

Rather than now skipping the Eclipse, the message from Teal is watch out City of Troy!

“We are going to have a crack – timing wise it was always what we were going for,” Teal told me today.

“City of Troy had a good day at Epsom but he has also had a bad day.

“Dropping back 2f will help us. I’m not going to run scared.

“We didn’t have a great trip in the Derby. City of Troy did. We will roll the dice.”

Meanwhile, Teal’s 2021 Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes and 2020 Group 1 Darley July Stakes victor Oxted has run his last race.

Oxted has been battling injury since he ran at Newmarket in 2021 finishing a terrific third behind Starman in that’s year’s July Cup.

Teal said: “We are pulling up stumps with Oxted and my wife Sue will use his as her hack. It’s time to call it a day.

“Sue always used to ride him out but then her knees went but she’s just had a knee replacement so she wants to get into shape and then she’ll be riding out Oxted.”

Cieren Fallon rode Oxted to his major victories, and he added: “Oxted was my first ride in a Group race and he was my second ride in a Group 1 as I’d ridden in the Guineas.

“He was a young jockey’s dream and in a race he was very straight forward although he could be a bit gassy from time to time.

“Oxted was the horse every young jockey needs to prove himself and I was given that chance. I really got on well with him. I didn’t ride him for two starts but then got back on him to win the King’s Stand. He’s one I will never forget.”

Oxted ran just 15 times. But he won on five occasions and was in the first three in ten races. He accumulated over £500,000 in prize money.

Meanwhile, one word: Debt.

That’s the Jockey Club’s issue, although its representatives rarely talk about it.

Since Epsom the weekend before last I’ve listened to a whole host of podcasts and conversations on TV about what will happen with the Derby fixture in years ahead.

Very few, though, have got to grips with the real issue that decides all the outcomes, and that’s the debt Jockey Club racecourses currently faces.

I have no idea of the exact figure, but I would hazard a guess that the Jockey Club is in the region of £60million in debt.

On that basis, how does anyone expect those in charge to tackle issues in a way they should?

Most would agree that moving forward a special day at Epsom featuring the Derby, Oaks and Coronation Cup is the ideal scenario with a star studded concert to close play and a superstar like Taylor Swift singing the National Anthem.

But that will never happen.

And it will never happen for exactly the same reason as the one thing Cheltenham won’t consider which is a three-day Festival, even though every racing expert in the country knows there are not enough good horses for four days.

That reason is simply the debt. Jockey Club racecourses can’t afford to rein it in.

And as such everything it plans is floored for the average racegoers looking in and thinking why the hell are they doing that?

The most laughable concept I’ve heard people chat about is a Wednesday Derby.

It’s as if those debating this topic are totally oblivious to the past, living in a time wharp.

Once the Derby was a success on a Wednesday. The reason it moved to a Saturday was because people stopped going on a Wednesday.

How in God’s name do people think moving the Derby back to a day when nobody was going will be good for the race? It’s bonkers.

Soon there will be a new chief in charge of the Jockey Club.

Hopefully their first words will be: “As an organisation we are riddled with debt. As such we can’t do any of the things most people might think is sensible.”

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