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Electric Limato leaves July Cup rivals gasping

9 Jul 2016

Henry Candy says brilliant winner could run next in the Qatar Sussex Stakes

Bentley celebrations his July Cup victory on Limato. Picture:

Henry Candy raised the tantalising prospect of Limato running in the Qatar Sussex Stakes after he had won the Darley July Cup in thrilling style at Newmarket today.

The four-year-old gelding is known as Mr Angry at Candy’s Wantage yard because of his moodiness but he put a smile of the face of favourite backers with a dazzling display of speed in the six-furlong showpiece, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Quiet Reflection, who finished third, Profitable (fourth) and Twilight Son had all won Series races in great style at Royal Ascot but Limato proved in a different league to them under 24-year-old Harry Bentley, whose only anxious moment came towards the finish when, in the clear, Limato veered right.

It made no difference because, by then, Limato already had the prize in safe keeping.

“He’s very exciting, it’s amazing to watch,” Candy said. “The Park Stakes over 7f last year was exciting but to do it over six was sensational.

 “Harry’s first comment was ‘I can’t wait to ride him again!’ He must give the jockey some special feel. It was absolutely electrifying, horses like him make the job easy.”

The 71-year-old, a master of training sprinters over the years, then gave an insight into Limato’s tricky nature.

 “He’s not easy to saddle up at all and it took a very long time today,” he said. “He’s getting worse unfortunately, he cannot bare anything underneath his stomach and he was just about on the floor today when we were saddling him up.

 “The only problem with him is that when he hits the front he can go all over the place, which he did, but he had so much in hand that it didn’t matter.

The £1 million Qatar Sussex Stakes, at Glorious Goodwood on July 27 and another QIPCO British Champions Series race, is over two furlongs further but carries prize money of £1 million.

“I wouldn’t rule out a tilt at the Sussex Stakes, I think he gets a mile,” Candy said. “We are short of six furlong races for the moment so the Sussex is an interesting option.

 “I thought he ran a cracking race in the Lockinge given the ground wasn’t right and a lot of our horses weren’t right.

 “I’ve been training him to stay, although you wouldn’t think it on what he did today. I’ve been trying to teach him to settle as much as possible.”

Suedois chased Limato home and his trainer, David O’Meara, said: “It was a great run. He is a horse who appears to be getting better. He has confirmed he is right up there (with the top sprinters). Limato is obviously a very special horse, but he has beaten the rest of them fairly I think.”

Quiet Reflection saw her five-race winning streak stretching back to last season ended, although she went down fighting. Trainer Karl Burke said: “We are absolutely over the moon. This proves she is a very high class filly. Roll on the autumn and the Haydock Sprint Cup. We will be frightened of nobody on genuine good ground.”

Clive Cox was full of praise for fourth-placed Profitable, ridden by Adam Kirby. The trainer said: “Full marks to Limato. That was impressive. To finish fourth, he has clearly finished his race off. I still think he is better over five in all honesty, but to say he didn’t get the trip would be nonsense.

“The Nunthorpe at York is the plan now. He is very adaptable and he has coped with softer ground that I thought possible.”

Candy’s joy was marginally tainted by Twilight Son, his dual Series winner, trailing home twelfth. He said he regretted running him on the fast going.