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Fleeting Spirit in the Breeders' Cup frame

It can be difficult to filter out an owner�s excited ramblings from one who actually makes a valid case for his or her animal in a big race.

It can be difficult to filter out an owner's excited ramblings from one who actually makes a valid case for his or her animal in a big race.

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Some are uplifted with the moment and claim whatsitsname has a great chance, when in reality it has as much chance of success as Steptoe's cart horse.

That said, Andy Stewart put forward a strong case yesterday when discussing his thoroughbred, Fleeting Spirit, who has an entry in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Saturday evening.

Stewart, who owns the filly in partnership with four others, including British Horseracing Authority chairman Paul Roy, claims conditions on the west coast of America should be right up her street. Fleeting Spirit put up a creditable effort to finish fifth in the re-run of the Prix de l'Abbaye after the original race was declared void.

"At the moment Mr Nightlinger is favourite and we are second-favourite along with the Godolphin horse Diabolical," said Stewart. "She had a bit of a headache after the l'Abbaye, but has recovered very well.

"Johnny Murtagh takes the ride and we rate him very highly. She gets 6lb as a filly in this race, six-and-a-half furlongs on fast turf will be ideal for her and we think she will run a very big race. She'll be there or thereabouts and, at 7-1, I think she is a very fair price."

On this side of the Atlantic, a mile-and-a-half race is middle distance, but to our cousins in the land of Uncle Sam, such a distance is classed as a marathon, and the aforementioned Paul Roy is hopeful his Sixties Icon can make his presence felt in the Breeders' Cup Marathon, also at Santa Anita.

The 2006 St Leger winner has enjoyed something of a renaissance of late, winning his last three starts in Group company, most recently when running away with the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot. Roy confirmed the Jeremy Noseda-trained five-year-old has touched down in America and the owner is looking forward to the race. "Sixties Icon had a gallop at Lingfield last weekend then headed out to America," he said.

"I've been delighted with him this season. He has won three consecutive Group 3s, which is very pleasing. He is running on the artificial surface for the first time, but we think he will handle it well.

"Jeremy has been very happy with his work and we think he has got a good chance."

n Two bidders are believed to have emerged as likely buyers of Ayr racecourse and are expected to make their bids before the November 3 deadline. Five interested parties have declared an interest but the vibes are that two, one from the Middle East and another from Ireland, are the leaders in the chase.

Despite the harsh current financial situation, the country's premier racecourse, which includes the Western House Hotel, is seen as a viable proposition, and the new owners will be expected to carry on the major refurbishment begun by owners Alan Macdonald and Richard Johnstone.

Some are uplifted with the moment and claim whatsitsname has a great chance, when in reality it has as much chance of success as Steptoe's cart horse.

That said, Andy Stewart put forward a strong case yesterday when discussing his thoroughbred, Fleeting Spirit, who has an entry in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Saturday evening.

Stewart, who owns the filly in partnership with four others, including British Horseracing Authority chairman Paul Roy, claims conditions on the west coast of America should be right up her street. Fleeting Spirit put up a creditable effort to finish fifth in the re-run of the Prix de l'Abbaye after the original race was declared void.

"At the moment Mr Nightlinger is favourite and we are second-favourite along with the Godolphin horse Diabolical," said Stewart. "She had a bit of a headache after the l'Abbaye, but has recovered very well.

"Johnny Murtagh takes the ride and we rate him very highly. She gets 6lb as a filly in this race, six-and-a-half furlongs on fast turf will be ideal for her and we think she will run a very big race. She'll be there or thereabouts and, at 7-1, I think she is a very fair price."

On this side of the Atlantic, a mile-and-a-half race is middle distance, but to our cousins in the land of Uncle Sam, such a distance is classed as a marathon, and the aforementioned Paul Roy is hopeful his Sixties Icon can make his presence felt in the Breeders' Cup Marathon, also at Santa Anita.

The 2006 St Leger winner has enjoyed something of a renaissance of late, winning his last three starts in Group company, most recently when running away with the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot. Roy confirmed the Jeremy Noseda-trained five-year-old has touched down in America and the owner is looking forward to the race. "Sixties Icon had a gallop at Lingfield last weekend then headed out to America," he said.

"I've been delighted with him this season. He has won three consecutive Group 3s, which is very pleasing. He is running on the artificial surface for the first time, but we think he will handle it well.

"Jeremy has been very happy with his work and we think he has got a good chance."

n Two bidders are believed to have emerged as likely buyers of Ayr racecourse and are expected to make their bids before the November 3 deadline. Five interested parties have declared an interest but the vibes are that two, one from the Middle East and another from Ireland, are the leaders in the chase.

Despite the harsh current financial situation, the country's premier racecourse, which includes the Western House Hotel, is seen as a viable proposition, and the new owners will be expected to carry on the major refurbishment begun by owners Alan Macdonald and Richard Johnstone.

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