Clive Cox has high hopes Harry Angel will star on QIPCO British Champions Day
3 Oct 2018
Lambourn-based trainer hopeful that star sprinter will 'lay the ghost of Ascot to rest'
The past two winners of the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze, are on course to try and win the Group 1 prize for a second time. The former heads the ante-post betting after chalking up a third win at the highest level in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock last month.
Harry Angel was named as the best sprinter in the world at the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings in January, having won the 32Red Sprint Cup and Darley July Cup in 2017, and all his powers looked intact when he gave weight and a beating to the race-fit Brando on his return in the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York in May.
However, things have subsequently not gone to script. He got his leg caught of the frame of the stalls when below-par in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, injuring himself in the process, and then faded to finish sixth when defending his Sprint Cup crown at Haydock last time.
Clive Cox is eager for redemption on QIPCO British Champions Day, not least because his stable flag-bearer remains without a victory at Ascot after five previous runs at the track. He was fourth in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint last year, when sent off 5/4 favourite.
“At the moment we are all systems go,” Cox said. “He’s a horse I’m absolutely confident is as good, if not better, than last year. I hope the weather stays dry – the forecast is encouraging – and if that’s the case we will be very much looking forward to it.
“He’s in good form and the drier autumn than we have had compared to last year will give us a chance to lay the ghost of Ascot to rest.”
Having had time to digest his latest reverse at Haydock, he said: “On more heavy ground than last year, he quite visibly went a bit too quick. It was plain for all to see that he was just a bit too exuberant on the day.
“I’m very happy with him and he’s giving me all the right signals, as he has done all year.”
Other possible contenders among the 26 entries left in include Tasleet, who was runner-up in last year’s renewal, plus Mabs Cross, beaten a nose in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August. Bacchus, the Wokingham winner, and Projection, owned by The Royal Ascot Racing Club, are also possibles.
ALL REMAINING ENTRIES
|Bacchus (GB)||4||9 2||G P M Morland,D J Erwin,John G S Woodman||Brian Meehan|
|Brando (GB)||6||9 2||Mrs Angie Bailey||Kevin Ryan|
|Donjuan Triumphant (IRE)||5||9 2||King Power Racing Co Ltd||Andrew Balding|
|Dream of Dreams (IRE)||4||9 2||Mr Saeed Suhail||Sir Michael Stoute|
|George Bowen (IRE)||6||9 2||Mr M. A. Scaife||Richard Fahey|
|Gifted Master (IRE)||5||9 2||Dr Ali Ridha||Hugo Palmer|
|Harry Angel (IRE)||4||9 2||Godolphin||Clive Cox|
|Librisa Breeze (GB)||6||9 2||Anthony Bloom||Dean Ivory|
|Limato (IRE)||6||9 2||Mr Paul G. Jacobs||Henry Candy|
|Projection (GB)||5||9 2||The Royal Ascot Racing Club||Roger Charlton|
|Sir Dancealot (IRE)||4||9 2||C Benham/ D Whitford/ L Quinn/ K Quinn||David Elsworth|
|Tasleet (GB)||5||9 2||Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum||William Haggas|
|The Tin Man (GB)||6||9 2||Fred Archer Racing – Ormonde||James Fanshawe|
|Hey Jonesy (IRE)||3||9 1||Pallister Racing||Kevin Ryan|
|James Garfield (IRE)||3||9 1||W. J. and T. C. O. Gredley||George Scott|
|Laugh A Minute (GB)||3||9 1||Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum||Roger Varian|
|Sands of Mali (FR)||3||9 1||The Cool Silk Partnership||Richard Fahey|
|Sioux Nation (USA)||3||9 1||Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier||Aidan O’Brien|
|Speak In Colours (GB)||3||9 1||Mrs C. C. Regalado-Gonzalez||Joseph Patrick O’Brien|
|St Patrick’s Day (USA)||3||9 1||Mrs John Magnier||Aidan O’Brien|
|Unfortunately (IRE)||3||9 1||Cheveley Park Stud||K. R. Burke|
|Classical Times (GB)||4||8 13||Mr Allan Belshaw||Peter Chapple-Hyam|
|Mabs Cross (GB)||4||8 13||Mr David W. Armstrong||Michael Dods|
|Clemmie (IRE)||3||8 12||Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier||Aidan O’Brien|
|Different League (FR)||3||8 12||P Brant/Mrs J Magnier/M Tabor/D Smith||Aidan O’Brien|
|I Can Fly (GB)||3||8 12||Mr D. Smith, Mrs J. Magnier, Mr M. Tabor||Aidan O’Brien|