Roger Teal is leaning towards next month's Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock over six furlongs with July Cup hero Oxted rather than taking on the formidable Battaash in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
Oxted winning the July Cup, photo Edward Whitaker
Oxted's success at Newmarket's July meeting gave Teal a maiden victory at Group 1 level and in the aftermath the trainer mooted a trip over the Knavesmire's rapid five furlongs on August 21 as the next destination for his stable star.
But the prospect of dropping back a furlong in trip to take on sprinting superstar Battaash now looks doubtful for Oxted, while a proposed tilt at Sunday's Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville has also been ruled out.
Teal said: "We haven't totally struck off the Nunthorpe but the favourite is the Sprint Cup at Haydock. We'd be dropping back in trip if we went to York and I think he could do that because he travels very strongly, but you never know as he hasn't run over that distance in Group 1 company.
"The problem, of course, would be turning up against Battaash. He just destroys you in the first two furlongs of those five-furlong races. I'd like to try it but you'd don't really want to be taking on horses like him when you do try it.
"I think we're probably better off staying at six as he has proven he's top class over that distance.
Members can click here to watch Oxted win the July Cup
"He's all good at the moment and has just gone back into full work after we gave him a nice break after the July Cup."
Oxted is the general 5-1 favourite for the Group 1 Sprint Cup on September 5, a race won in recent years by top-class sprinters Harry Angel and Hello Youmzain, who trailed Oxted by four lengths when fifth in the July Cup and is a 6-1 shot to gain vengeance at Haydock.
Nunthorpe Stakes betting (August 21)
William Hill: 10-11 Battaash, 6 Art Power, 7 Sceptical, Oxted, 10 Golden Pal, 12 Glass Slippers, 14 Hello Youmzain, Frenetic, A'Ali, 16 The Lir Jet, 25 bar
Betfair Sprint Cup betting (September 5)
Betfair: 5 Oxted, 6 Hello Youmzain, Golden Horde, 10 Art Power, Dream Of Dreams, 12 One Master, Sceptical, 14 Khaadem, Tabdeed, 20 bar