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The Tin Man aiming to shine in Sprint Cup

1 Sep 2016

James Fanshawe says four-year-old gelding is different character to his previous winner of Haydock feature

The Tin Man

The Tin Man takes command late on at Newbury last time from Divine. Picture:

James Fanshawe is hoping The Tin Man, named in memory of legendary jockey Fred Archer, can provide him with a second success in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on Saturday.

The Newmarket trainer landed the 2012 running with Society Rock but says his latest challenger for the six-furlong Group 1 showpiece, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, is completely different in character.

“Society Rock was sometimes like a stick of dynamite, really explosive, whereas The Tin Man is very chilled and never shows you a great deal at home,” Fanshawe said.

“He’s a very exciting horse when he is right but he gives you absolutely no clues whatsoever at home. For him, I was pleased with how he worked at the weekend. He quickened up nicely, looks well and is in good form with himself.”

The Tin Man had an official rating of just 79 little more than a year ago but has developed into one of the best sprinters in training. He signed off last season by finishing a fine fourth to Muhaarar in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint and this season has gained fluent wins at Windsor and Newbury.

His taking success at the latter track, in the bet365 Hackwood Stakes, was gained at the main expense of Divine. However, in between those successes he beat only one home in the nine-runner Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“This year hasn’t been smooth with him, there’s always been a niggle along the way,” Fanshawe said. “Despite that he has done very well and hopefully he can progress again.

“It took a long while for him to come to himself in the spring and he didn’t run until May 23 at Windsor, when he had a rushed preparation.

“After that he pulled a shoe off. I thought we’d got him back for Ascot because he doesn’t take a lot of work, but he was disappointing. He is so difficult to judge because he never shows you much at home.

“We purposely missed the July Cup and then he was really good when winning the Hackwood [at Newbury on his latest start]. It was a Group 3, rather than a Group 1, but he came from last to first and was pretty exciting. That’s his style – the main thing is that he gets a bit of cover and relaxes.

“I was hoping to go for the Prix Maurice de Gheest with him after that but unfortunately he had a chest infection.”

Many observers assume The Tin Man is named after the character in The Wizard of Oz but he owes his moniker to the sobriquet of Archer, the multiple champion who built the stables where Fanshawe trains in the 1880s.

The four-year-old is owned by Fred Archer Racing, a syndicate put together by Fanshawe’s wife, Jacko. The Tin Man was only the second horse bought for them.

“They always cheered for The Tin Man when Fred Archer won and it’s really good to have a horse with his name running for the syndicate as it gives it more impetus,” Fanshawe said. “It all ties in well.”

As for future plans, Fanshawe has pencilled The Tin Man in for another crack at the QIPCO British Champions Sprint on Champions Day at Ascot on October 15. “But let’s see how he gets on Saturday first,” he said. “I don’t like to get too far ahead of myself.”

A final field of 17 has been declared, with the opposition including four Group 1 winners in Gordon Lord Byron, Limato, Sole Power and Quiet Reflection.

Limato is officially the highest rated runner in the field by at least 6lb after splendid efforts on his past two starts – winning the Darley July Cup in decisive style before chasing home Mecca’s Angel in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on his first attempt over the minimum trip last time.

At Newmarket, Limato had Suedois (second), Quiet Reflection (third), Magical Memory (seventh), Sole Power (eighth) and Goken (tenth) all behind; swept aside by his instant acceleration.

Quiet Reflection had previously landed the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, with Kachy and Donjuan Triumphant behind.

Strath Burn and Magical Memory finished second and third, respectively, in last year’s Sprint Cup but have some way to go before matching the record of Gordon Lord Byron in the race. He has run in the past four renewals, finishing 2120, but history is against him and Sole Power as no horse aged older than seven has won it.

Dancing Star and Mehronissa were supplemented on Monday. The former’s rating has soared 33lb this year and she still looked very much on the upgrade when landing the Qatar Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood on her latest start.

Mr Lupton gave Dancing Star 13lb and a half-length beating in a six-furlong handicap at York in June but has not made similar progress.

The field is completed by Only Mine, a Group Three winner at Naas in May, and Jane’s Memory.