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Balding's Bonfire blows out

BONFIRE was found to be lame yesterday morning following his disappointing run in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.

Trainer Andrew Balding is going to have the problem checked out, but believes the Dante Stakes winner lost all chance by running too free in the early stages of the mile-and-a-quarter showpiece won by Nathaniel.

"He was lame behind on his off-hind this morning. We are going to have to investigate it tomorrow," the Kingsclere handler said. "He's not lame enough to use it as an excuse. He was just too keen in the race and didn't give himself a chance to run his race.

"We are back to the drawing board a little bit. We will take stock, give him a break, and try to get him sorted out."

Nathaniel's trainer John Gosden said immediately post-race he would not make a quick decision about whether the horse's next race would be in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, sponsored by Betfair, at Ascot.

He reiterated that stance the day after the four-year-old's admirable triumph at Sandown.

"We are going to be watching and monitoring him daily before saying it is definitely the King George," the Newmarket trainer said. "It's all very open at the moment. The horse will tell us, I think, that will be the way of looking at it."

Pisco Sour finished last on his European Godolphin debut in the Prix Messidor at Maisons-Laffitte.

Saeed bin Suroor's colt was hard at work quite a way from home in the Group Three over a mile and was completely outclassed on the day by Tin Horse.

The Didier Guillemin-trained winner took a while to find his rhythm after encountering plenty of mid-division jostling, but Thierry Jarnet's mount rallied gamely to convincingly defeat Prince D'Alienor.

Tin Horse (15/8 favourite) was making a sharp return to form after having endured a lean spell since claiming the French 2000 Guineas last May.

In the process he gave a major boost to the form of Falmouth Stakes hopeful Golden Lilac, having been sixth behind Andre Fabre's filly in the Prix d'Ispahan last time out.

Vow is set to have her sights lowered when she returns from a mid-season break.

The William Haggas-trained filly finished fourth in the Epsom Oaks before making a swift return in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Vow was a well-beaten sixth on that occasion and connections have given her a holiday before a likely return in Group Three company.

The Motivator filly will then be geared towards a crack at the Qipco British Champions Fillies' And Mares' Stakes, formerly known as the Pride Stakes, on October 20.

"She's having a break at Highclere at the moment after running very flat in the Ribblesdale at Ascot," said Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.

"We will look to run her in a Group Three to get that all-important Group win before heading to the Pride Stakes on Champions Day."

Speaking Of Which could go to America in search of Group One glory after being denied a run in the Irish Derby.

The Secretariat Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Arlington in August is being considered for the Dermot Weld-trained colt.

An impressive winner of the Group Three Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh in May, the son of Invincible Spirit had been expected to bustle up Camelot in the Irish Derby.

However, that plan was scrapped because of testing conditions at the Curragh.

"He might go to Secretariat in Arlington next month over a mile and a quarter," said Stan Cosgrove, racing manager to owners Moyglare Stud.