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Cox’s stable stars head 18 Betfred Sprint Cup entries

2 Sep 2013

Lethal Force and Reckless Abandon, the two big stars in Clive Cox's Lambourn yard, are on course to meet for the first time in Saturday's Betfred Sprint Cup with Irish opposition looking the strongest against them.

Lethal Force winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June – he could take a lot of beating if the ground stays fast on Saturday. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Lethal Force, winner of both six furlong QIPCO British Champions Series sprints run so far this season, is set to bid for a third at Haydock Park on Saturday in the Betfred Sprint Cup, race six in the Sprint division.

A horse who loves fast ground, the weather forecast looks to be on his side with little or no rain forecast for the Lancashire track.

Sadly Society Rock, who won this race last year and was second to Lethal Force in both the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, will miss the race having had a fall at his Newmarket yard over the weekend.

He suffered concussion, but should be fine for the QIPCO British Champions Series Sprint at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day, Saturday 19 October.

Lethal Force, meanwhile, is finally set to take on his stablemate, Reckless Abandon, for the first time.

The two had been scheduled to meet in the Darley July Cup, but Reckless Abandon could not run due to a swollen gland under his jaw.

Adam Kirby will ride Lethal Force, while Gerald Mosse, unbeaten in three starts last season on Reckless Abandon, will be reunited with the horse for the first time this year.

The biggest threats to the Cox duo look to come from Ireland in the shape of the Edward Lynam-trained pair Slade Power, who was a good third in the Darley July Cup, and top class three-year-old filly Viztoria, who failed to stay a mile when running a fine race in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien may run Cristoforo Colombo, who has not been seen since finishing fifth in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, his only start this year. He could pose a threat too.

A fourth Irish-trained horse, Gordon Lord Byron, would also have a serious chance having finished just three-quarters of a length behind Lethal Force over six and a half furlongs at Deauville last month. But he is probably better over a longer trip than six furlongs.

Of the home-trained team, Garswood is one of the most interesting.

He won the Group 2 Bet365 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last time, but that was over seven furlongs and it is a question of whether the Richard Fahey-trained colt has the speed to take on top class sprinters over six furlongs.

Kingsgate Native, Hoof It, Swiss Spirit and Heerat are others to take the eye amongst the 18 confirmations for Haydock Park’s biggest Flat race of the year.

The final field will be known on Thursday morning.