Five things we learnt during an action-packed weekend
10 Sep 2018
We round up all the news on a busy weekend for established QIPCO British Champions Series stars
Oisin Murphy is all smiles after his 32Red Sprint Cup triumph on The Tin Man. Picture: Racingfotos.com
It was a busy weekend for established QIPCO British Champions Series stars this weekend and there were plenty of clues for future Champions Series races. Below are five things that we learnt.
The Tin Man keeps Fanshawe flying:
Not many horses win at least one QIPCO British Champions Series race three years in succession but that’s what The Tin Man has achieved after his win in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
His other two have been gained at Ascot – the QIPCO British Champions Sprint on Champions Day in 2016 and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2017. The six-year-old is now the general 4-1 favourite to gain another Champions Sprint win at the Berkshire venue on October 20.
Brando, whose chased him home at Haydock, is set to reoppose, while Harry Angel, who faded to be sixth, could meet him again. Clive Cox, trainer of the latter, said the heavy ground played its part in his downfall.
Enable’s powers remain intact:
The superstar filly, whose five Group 1 triumphs last season included three triumphs in Champions Series races, looked as good as ever when winning on her belated return at the main expense of Crystal Ocean at Kempton on Saturday.
She's back! 🙌
Enable wins the September Stakes!
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) September 8, 2018
John Gosden reckons she was only about 85 per cent and, even without another 15 per cent of improvement, is going to take plenty of stopping in her defence in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
She also has two entries on Champions Day at Ascot on October 20, including the QIPCO Champion Stakes, and her connections have not ruled out her returning next season.
Recoletos in frame for QEII:
Another leading cast member on Champions Day looks like being Recoletos, who swooped in the final strides to land the Group One Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
Carlos Laffon-Parias’ charge had finished second to star three-year-old Alpha Centauri on her previous start and he stepped up on that to land the second top-level victory in the mile feature.
Expert Eye, Lightning Spear and Without Parole, all significant players in the Champions Series this year, were among those he defeated. Recoletos was cut to 6-1 for the QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes by most bookmakers.
Limato back in groove:
Limato won the Ryedale House Garrowby Stakes at York on Sunday, having previously ended a spell in the doldrums with victory in a Listed event at Newmarket.
The back-to-back wins show the 2016 Darley July Cup winner remains a force in sprints, especially as the softish ground was not ideal for him on the Knavesmire.
Henry Candy will consider the Champions Sprint on October 20 if conditions are fast enough for him. If not, expect to see the gelding in more Champions Series races in 2019.
Stradivarius gives rivals a chance:
The first four races in the Long Distance category of this year’s Champions Series have all been won by the mighty Stradivarius but his domination will not extend to the the fifth leg on Friday, the Doncaster Cup, because he is not entered.
In his absence, the door is open for another stayer to take centrestage.
Willie Mullins trains three of the nine entries in Max Dynamite, Thomas Hobson and Renneti. Idaho, third to Stradivarius in the Qatar Goodwood Cup and Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup, heads those engaged.