Series spotlight: Sprint category
24 Mar 2017
Fresh faces and established stars should ensure those with need for speed are satisfied.
The ingredients are in place for this to be an intoxicating year in the sprint category of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Exciting new faces on the scene will include Lady Aurelia, the spectacular winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last season. The filly, trained in America by Wesley Ward, already has the King’s Stand Stakes in June on her agenda.
The unbeaten Caravaggio was also a taking winner at the royal meeting last year, in the Coventry Stakes, and could go down the sprinting path if he is betrayed by lack of stamina over a mile.
Aidan O’Brien has said that no horse has clocked quicker fractions than the Scat Daddy colt on the gallops at Ballydoyle.
Another two-year-old from 2016 who appeals as the type to do well in sprints is the David Elsworth-trained Sir Dancealot but last year’s juveniles are going to have to graduate pretty quickly if they are to match strides with the old guard.
Mecca’s Angel, the dual Nunthorpe winner, and Twilight Son, a two-time winner in the QIPCO British Champions Series, have departed the scene but the likes of Limato, Quiet Reflection and The Tin Man will provide formidable opposition.
Limato was the electrifying winner of last year’s Darley July Cup, when he showed what he was capable of granted 6f and a fast surface.
Henry Candy, his trainer, also tried to stretch him out over a mile but says the five-year-old gelding will stick to sprinting in 2017 – beginning in Meydan on Saturday.
Quiet Reflection landed the Commonwealth Cup and Sprint Cup, while The Tin Man delivered on earlier promise when shining in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Champions Day.
Signs Of Blessing, Growl, Brando, Suedois and Magical Memory will be others who satisfy those who have a need for speed.
THIS YEAR’S SPRINT SCHEDULE
June 20: King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot
June 23: Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot
June 24: Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot
July 15: Darley July Cup at Newmarket
August 25: Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York
September 9: 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock
October 21: QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot
Watch our exclusive chat with Henry Candy ahead of Limato’s trip to Meydan
Quiet Reflection shone in the Sprint category of the British Champions Series last year. Picture: Racingfotos.com