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Clive Cox “relaxed” about soft ground for Harry Angel

5 Sep 2017

Trainer unperturbed by prospect of slow surface for leading speedster in 32Red Sprint Cup

Harry Angel

Harry Angel pictured winning the Mill Reef at Newbury last year when the ground was good to soft. He has since been purchased by Godolphin. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Clive Cox is unperturbed by the prospect of softish ground for Harry Angel in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.

The Lambourn trainer believes the son of Dark Angel is a superior horse on quick ground but is not unduly concerned about his Darley July Cup winner, who is seeking back-to-back victories in the QIPCO British Champions Series, encountering a slower surface.

“He won on good to soft ground when he won the Mill Reef at Newbury last year,” the trainer told a media gathering at his yard on Tuesday. “He has got form on good to soft ground, so I am quite relaxed. I wouldn’t say there is doubt in him running as he has performed on a softer surface, I just obviously realised how potent he was on a drier surface.”

Cox rates the Kevin Ryan-trained Maurice de Gheest winner Brando, who he had behind him at the July Course, as the biggest danger.

“I was impressed with Brando in Deauville and obviously his form is pretty good, (finishing) just behind us in the July Cup,” he said. “I don’t think there is any doubt there’s half a dozen there that you would give a realistic chance to as you would expect from a Group One race.

“It is well subscribed it’s always a top-class race and an iconic sprint race of the season. I’m just pleased we are taking a really nice horse there in good form.”

Kirkland Tellwright, clerk of the course at Haydock, said on Tuesday the going is likely to be soft by the time racing starts at the track on Thursday.

He said: “We are good, good to soft at the moment but we are heading towards soft if the forecast is accurate as we have got quite a bit more rain to come before Thursday.”