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Candy sweet on Limato’s chances in Lockinge

15 May 2018

Trainer believes the 2016 Darley July Cup winner will be fully effective over mile.

Limato and Bentley in full flow on the gallops today.

Henry Candy is “pretty optimistic” Limato will stay the mile trip in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday

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The six-year-old gelding has a Darley July Cup win on his CV, plus a second in that race and in the Coolmore Nunthorpe, but Candy believes he is now ready to shine over further.

“I am pretty confident that he will get a mile, but you would be an idiot if you said you were 100 per cent confident,” Candy said. “Santa Anita [over a mile in November] was a nightmare because the horse boiled over saddling and in the pre-parade ring. They went off at record-breaking pace and we told Harry to be handy. Had we known how fast they were going to go, we would not have done. That race told us nothing.

“The previous time he ran in the Lockinge [two years ago], the ground was on the sticky side and our horses were not firing. I thought the horse ran on pretty well to be fourth and I am pretty optimistic he will get a mile, although you can never be sure until you try when all factors are right.”

The trainer has previously hailed Limato as the best he has trained and added: “It would open up a lot of doors for the horse [if he gets the mile]. It is tricky one because a lot of horses tend to get quicker as they get older, especially sprint handicappers who seem to be quicker when they’re eight.

“I just get the feeling this horse is not quite as sharp as he was when he was running in Nunthorpes and things like that, but maybe if you wound him up, he could possibly go and do it again.

“Fran [Berry] has been riding him a fair bit when Harry [Bentley] has not been able to come down and Fran said it is hard to believe that this horse nearly won a Nunthorpe and won a July Cup. He said he really rides like a middle-distance horse now, though I think the horse is so intelligent he just adapts himself to what you ask him to do.”

Limato is the 7-2 joint-favourite along with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Rhododendron with Paddy Power for Saturday’s Group 1 event, which is part of the mile category in the QIPCO British Champions Series.