Angel Delight set to be on the Haydock menu
7 Sep 2017
My birthday came and went yesterday, and despite my best efforts didn’t get that birthday luck to land a winner – despite 9 solid attempts! Anyway, onward we go and there’s a great weekend of racing coming up both here and across the Irish Sea!
Obviously the Champions Series 32RED Haydock Sprint Cupctztxcssxytswfwszvsarvzvtcwytfucuardz is the focus on Saturday. It’s a very competitive affair in the North West with 12 high-class sprinters standing their ground. The likes of Brando, The Tin Man and Tasleet are all declared for the Group 1, but you can’t help your eye being drawn towards one horse – Harry Angel. I just feel that if he puts up a similar performance to his July Cup win at Newmarket I think he’ll take some serious beating.
I feel he’s a really outstanding sprinter, and he’s a course and distance winner to boot. The talk all week has been about the ground getting softer but I don’t see that affecting my selection too much. He easily won the Mill Reef last year on pretty soft ground and is by Dark Angel whose progeny tend to like getting their toe in.
Back in my home country Irish Champions Weekend is taking centre stage and has attracted some big Series names. None more so than the Irish Champion Stakes which sees QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Churchill looking to get back to winning ways. He will face off with Eminent who goes there on the back of a nice win in France, where Ryan Moore gave the son of Frankel a superb ride from the front. Decorated Knight is also one in there who is high class, with Roger Charlton doing a great job with him, but I think winning this will probably be beyond him.
This should go to either Cliffs Of Moher or Churchill for Aidan O’Brien. You can’t discount Cliffs Of Moher in this, though he did ran disappointingly at York he probably didn’t get to run his race. He would’ve preferred to have controlled things more in the Juddmonte International but was kept honest by Barney Roy and James Doyle. Expect Aidan to take this prize home though.
On the Sunday the Irish St Leger was being touted as round 2 of the Ascot Gold Cup, however Big Orange won’t be entered, leaving Order Of St George as a strong favourite for this. Back at 1 mile 6 in the Irish St Leger I believe even if Big Orange had been declared for the race, Order Of St George would still have got the upper hand. The only horse I can really see beating him is Dartmouth who may just have got outstayed last time at York by a horse I know well, Montaly.
It was no surprise to me to see him win a big race like that, but back at this trip Dartmouth has some pretty strong form and could threaten the favourite. Of the others Rekindling has been good this year, but he shouldn’t be good enough to beat the market principles.
My riding on Saturday will be done at Kempton where I’ve a decent book. Starting with Chemical Charge who Ralph Beckett has done a marvellous job with. He won last time out at Musselburgh and before that was placed in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. He likes to be held up which means you can sometimes need that bit of luck, hopefully that won’t be a problem in this small field and we’re hopeful of a big run to start the day well.
In the Nursery I’m on board a nice filly in Di Fede, again for Ralph Beckett. She was placed at Newmarket and has subsequently gone up in the handicap. She ran to a high level that day and all being well she goes there with every chance. Ralph’s horses are in great form at the moment so I look forward to getting on board come Saturday.
Corinthia Knight has been targeted at the Sirenia Stakes by Archie Watson. He’s an All Weather specialist, who admittedly does have a bit to find on ratings to take this. But I have a lovely draw in 1 and we’ll give it our best shot.
Leontes is taking a step up in trip this time. I won a Class 2 with him at Chester last season so I know him quite well. He lost his way after that, but has found his level now and has a chance.
Horse To Follow: Mountain Hunter, Friday 8.20pm Kempton
Won impressively last time, and I think he’ll progress through the grades.
Horse To Follow