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Clive Cox has high hopes Harry Angel will star on QIPCO British Champions Day

3 Oct 2018

Lambourn-based trainer hopeful that star sprinter will 'lay the ghost of Ascot to rest'

The past two winners of the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze, are on course to try and win the Group 1 prize for a second time. The former heads the ante-post betting after chalking up a third win at the highest level in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock last month.

The pair are among eight entries of a remaining 26 left in the race who have won at least one Group 1 contest. The others are Brando, Harry Angel, Limato, Sioux Nation, Unfortunately and Clemmie.

Harry Angel was named as the best sprinter in the world at the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings in January, having won the 32Red Sprint Cup and Darley July Cup in 2017, and all his powers looked intact when he gave weight and a beating to the race-fit Brando on his return in the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York in May.

However, things have subsequently not gone to script. He got his leg caught of the frame of the stalls when below-par in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, injuring himself in the process, and then faded to finish sixth when defending his Sprint Cup crown at Haydock last time.

Clive Cox is eager for redemption on QIPCO British Champions Day, not least because his stable flag-bearer remains without a victory at Ascot after five previous runs at the track. He was fourth in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint last year, when sent off 5/4 favourite.

“At the moment we are all systems go,” Cox said. “He’s a horse I’m absolutely confident is as good, if not better, than last year. I hope the weather stays dry – the forecast is encouraging – and if that’s the case we will be very much looking forward to it.

“He’s in good form and the drier autumn than we have had compared to last year will give us a chance to lay the ghost of Ascot to rest.”

Having had time to digest his latest reverse at Haydock, he said: “On more heavy ground than last year, he quite visibly went a bit too quick. It was plain for all to see that he was just a bit too exuberant on the day.

“I’m very happy with him and he’s giving me all the right signals, as he has done all year.”

Other possible contenders among the 26 entries left in include Tasleet, who was runner-up in last year’s renewal, plus Mabs Cross, beaten a nose in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August. Bacchus, the Wokingham winner, and Projection, owned by The Royal Ascot Racing Club, are also possibles.


Horse Age Weight Owner Trainer
Bacchus (GB) 4 9 2 G P M Morland,D J Erwin,John G S Woodman Brian Meehan
Brando (GB) 6 9 2 Mrs Angie Bailey Kevin Ryan
Donjuan Triumphant (IRE) 5 9 2 King Power Racing Co Ltd Andrew Balding
Dream of Dreams (IRE) 4 9 2 Mr Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute
George Bowen (IRE) 6 9 2 Mr M. A. Scaife Richard Fahey
Gifted Master (IRE) 5 9 2 Dr Ali Ridha Hugo Palmer
Harry Angel (IRE) 4 9 2 Godolphin Clive Cox
Librisa Breeze (GB) 6 9 2 Anthony Bloom Dean Ivory
Limato (IRE) 6 9 2 Mr Paul G. Jacobs Henry Candy
Projection (GB) 5 9 2 The Royal Ascot Racing Club Roger Charlton
Sir Dancealot (IRE) 4 9 2 C Benham/ D Whitford/ L Quinn/ K Quinn David Elsworth
Tasleet (GB) 5 9 2 Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum William Haggas
The Tin Man (GB) 6 9 2 Fred Archer Racing – Ormonde James Fanshawe
Hey Jonesy (IRE) 3 9 1 Pallister Racing Kevin Ryan
James Garfield (IRE) 3 9 1 W. J. and T. C. O. Gredley George Scott
Laugh A Minute (GB) 3 9 1 Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum Roger Varian
Sands of Mali (FR) 3 9 1 The Cool Silk Partnership Richard Fahey
Sioux Nation (USA) 3 9 1 Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier Aidan O’Brien
Speak In Colours (GB) 3 9 1 Mrs C. C. Regalado-Gonzalez Joseph Patrick O’Brien
St Patrick’s Day (USA) 3 9 1 Mrs John Magnier Aidan O’Brien
Unfortunately (IRE) 3 9 1 Cheveley Park Stud K. R. Burke
Classical Times (GB) 4 8 13 Mr Allan Belshaw Peter Chapple-Hyam
Mabs Cross (GB) 4 8 13 Mr David W. Armstrong Michael Dods
Clemmie (IRE) 3 8 12 Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier Aidan O’Brien
Different League (FR) 3 8 12 P Brant/Mrs J Magnier/M Tabor/D Smith Aidan O’Brien
I Can Fly (GB) 3 8 12 Mr D. Smith, Mrs J. Magnier, Mr M. Tabor Aidan O’Brien