It was a pleasure to be at Haydock Park yesterday to witness Harry Angel's devastating display in the 32Red Sprint Cup. Clive Cox had reservations about running his July Cup winner due to the heavy ground but he gave the son of Dark Angel the go ahead and his decision was fully vindicated. Prominent throughout, Adam Kirby asked his mount at the two marker and he readily pulled clear to record a four lengths victory. The race has been won by some top-class sprinters over the years, including the likes of Sheikh Albadou, Ajdal and Dayjur and Harry Angel deserves to be put in the same bracket having proved his versatility in terms of ground. He broke the course record at the Merseyside track in the Sandy Lane Stakes on firm ground earlier in the season. Ascot on Champions Day is reportedly his next port of call and it is hoped the three year old stays in training next season. Runner-up Tasleet arguably produced a career best in second but couldn't match the winner's turn of foot, while The Tin Man returned to form with a good run in third. There were no excuses in behind - Harry Angel was in a different league to his eleven opponents and it was a very special performance.
Having tipped Suedois in the City of York Stakes at the Ebor Festival last month, I was pleased to see David O'Meara's charge gain ample compensation in the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown yesterday. Tackling a mile for the first time since his racecourse debut when trained in France in October 2013, he was held up early on by Danny Tudhope before being produced with his effort inside the final furlong. A half length winner from True Valour, the six year old has some high-class form and it would be fitting if he could win a much deserved Group 1 success before the end of the season.
Top 40 entry Poet's Word came within half a length of capturing the Irish Champion Stakes. Sir Michael Stoute's four year old had raced above Group 3 level prior to yesterday but he showed he is very much at home in the highest company with a bold display. Collared late on by Decorated Knight, he is likely to tackle the Champion Stakes at Ascot next month. It is hoped he stays in training next year.
Cracksman who was so impressive in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month followed up with another emphatic victory in the Prix Niel at Chantilly. Similar to his win on the Knavesmire, John Gosden's colt took a few strides to engage top gear but once in full stride, he trounced his four opponents by three and a half lengths. Despite the win, his owner still isn't keen to return to the same track for next month's Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe feeling the son of Frankel will be at his best as a four year old, plus Frankie Dettori is unlikely to be available to ride Cracksman with stablemate Enable in the field.
Pretty Baby, who was highlighted as an unraced two year old to watch out for in the York Ebor Update, was unlucky not to make a winning start to her career at York this afternoon (available at 7/2 last night she was sent off 7/4 joint favourite). Reluctant to load into the stalls beforehand, William Haggas' filly was checked in her run inside the final quarter of mile which almost certainly cost her victory. Once in the clear, the daugher of Orpen ran on strongly but found the winning post coming too soon in the five and a half furlongs novice event. Narrowly beaten by Robert Cowell's May Girl, it won't be long before she goes one better.
Switching codes, please keep checking the site - in particular the Publications section - on Monday afternoon/early evening because I am hoping clients will be able to order One Jump Ahead and the Updates, by then. The web designer is working on it tomorrow morning.
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