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Twilight Son provides Candy with sweet Sprint Cup success

5 Sep 2015

Henry Candy gained a second success in the Haydock Sprint Cup as Twilight Son held off Strath Burn by a head in a photo finish.

Sprint Cup

Twlight Son (right) holds off Strath Burn (right) in the Sprint Cup (image from

It was three-year-olds to the fore in the Sprint Cup on Saturday as Twilight Son just held off the fast finishing Strath Burn in a dramatic photo finish, with Magical Memory three-quarters-of-a-length back in third, completing 2-3 for Charlie Hills.

The 2015 renewal of the Sprint Cup had a wide-open feel to it, with this season’s top six furlong performer Muhaarar missing the race, and that was reflected in the SPs of the top three, who returned at 10/1, 33/1 and 14/1 respectively.

Twilight Son, who gave trainer Henry Candy a second win in the race, had only four prior starts to his name, but he had made a deep impression when winning a valuable three-year-old handicap at York back in June. The form of that race had been working out well, with Magical Memory, who was also third behind the Sprint Cup winner at York, going on to win the Stewards Cup last month, but nevertheless, Twilight Son still found plenty of improvement to score on his first attempt at Group 1 level.

Trainer Henry Candy’s feeling after the race was one of relief, he said: “I thought I might look immensely stupid.” Candy mentioned the Champions Sprint at Ascot in October as the natural target for Twilight Son, where he would be set for a clash with the high-class Muhaarar, who skipped this race in order to prepare for Ascot.

Twilight Son also provided Fergus Sweeney with his first ever Group 1 winner, he was very complimentary about his mount, saying: “He’s done nothing but improve this year, he really wanted to win, I couldn’t believe how well he travelled into the race”.

In terms of Timeform Ratings, Twilight Son can be expected to have progressed again from his pre-race Rating of 118p, and may now be given a rating a few pounds higher than that. This of course would still leave him with plenty to find with this season’s dominant six furlong performer, Muhaarar, who is currently Timeform Rated 128, but it will be a fascinating contest should the two meet in the Champions Sprint Stakes, the final leg of the Qipco British Champions Sprint series.