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The Tin Man seeks repeat triumph in Champions Sprint Stakes

15 Oct 2018

James Fanshawe's stable star out to repeat 2016 Champions Day heroics

No horse has ever won the same race twice on QIPCO British Champions Day but The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze, the past two winners of the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, are on course to try and buck that trend.

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, when he had Brando (second), Donjuan Triumphant (fourth), Sands Of Mali (fifth), Harry Angel (sixth), Speak In Colours (seventh), Tasleet (eighth) and Sir Dancealot (ninth) behind.

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 on 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.

Librisa Breeze has yet to reproduce his best this season but returns to the scene of his finest hour. Tasleet (second), Harry Angel (fourth), The Tin Man (fifth), Brando (sixth) and Donjuan Triumphant (eighth) all played supporting roles behind him in last year’s renewal.

Bacchus, the Wokingham winner, and Projection, owned by The Royal Ascot Racing Club, also stand their ground. The Fozzy Stack-trained four-year-old Son Of Rest, who dead-heated for first in a dramatic Ayr Gold Cup, has been supplemented.

WHAT THEY SAY:

James Fanshawe, the trainer of The Tin Man

“With these sprinters you take each race as it comes. The first thing was to see he got his old spark back when he had his first race at Windsor, in May – he won that nicely. Then he ran two really good races on quick ground in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the Prix Maurice De Gheest.

“We were concerned about the ground going into the Sprint Cup. He’d been placed in the race in the two previous races and both times it was really testing ground and we didn’t feel he produced his best.

“So when we got to Haydock we thought ‘here we go again – soft ground, we’ve got no chance’ but I always had at the back of my mind he does come from a soft-ground pedigree.

His brother, Deacon Blue, was a very good horse on soft ground and with various other relations it’s been a real help to them.

“It’s easy enough to say now he won the race that he liked the soft ground, but he did. It gives you a bit of encouragement for QIPCO British Champions Day. He’s shown he’s effective on all ground.

“To have a runner with a good chance in one of the big races on QIPCO British Champions Day is exciting and what we all strive for.”

William Haggas, trainer of Tasleet

“He was disappointing [last time] in the Sprint Cup at Haydock. I thought he’d run a bit better than that but he’s come out of it very well and he’s bouncing. We are ready to go again.

“He did his best bit of work this year the week before last, so I don’t need to see that again. We’ll just keep him happy and hope for the best. The more rain the better for him.

“He’s run two good races there [Ascot] but he was in cracking form then. He hasn’t been quite this good this autumn and got very tired at Haydock so I’m hoping for a better show at Ascot.

“The Tin Man’s a very good horse and very good at Ascot, and there will be others.”

David Elsworth, the trainer of Sir Dancealot

“He didn’t have a great time in France because of the ground and draw but he ran well and he’s pleased us. He’s come home with a big smile in his face.”

17 Entries for the QIPCO Champions Sprint

Bacchus (GB)
Brando (GB)
Donjuan Triumphant (IRE)
Dream of Dreams (IRE)
Harry Angel (IRE)
Librisa Breeze (GB)
Limato (IRE)
Projection (GB)
Sir Dancealot (IRE)
Son of Rest (GB)
Tasleet (GB)
The Tin Man (GB)
Laugh A Minute (GB)
Sands of Mali (FR)
Sioux Nation (USA)
Speak In Colours (GB)
Classical Times (GB)