Huge weekend for me riding Harry Angel in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock and it will hopefully be a chance to put the disappointment of Ascot behind us.
HARRY ANGEL (4.15pm 32Red Sprint Cup)
He hasn’t raced since injuring himself in the stalls at the start of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in a freak incident meaning his race was gone the second the gates opened.
In racing these things happen and you just have to get over them as quickly as possible, not dwell and look to the future. The main thing for me was that the horse was OK.
He comes into this the defending champion after his hugely impressive four length all the way success last year. That promoted him to the best sprinter in the world.
On that form he should again hold Tasleet (runner-up) and The Tin Man (third) who are both back for another crack.
But it’s a Group 1 sprint and you have to be wary of all the opposition. Whilst he bounced out and made all last year, every race is different so there’s only so much pre-planning you can do. It’s what happens from the start that really counts and you have to adjust.
He’s a lovely horse to ride, big and strong and he tells me how things are – not the other way round.
We couldn’t get him ready in time for the July Cup which was a shame but he suffered a small wound and some muscle soreness in that stalls incident which took a little longer to put right.
The positives are that he comes into this a fresh horse again. Kevin (Harris) rides him most of the time at home and the team are all confident they have got him back to his very best. It’s been a great team effort headed by Clive (Cox) and I hope I can reward all their hard work.
He had an away day at Kempton a couple of weeks ago and had a good spin on the all-weather track.
The ground was riding good to soft at Haydock on Thursday – the opening day of their meeting – and there is more rain forecast. That should suit my fella just fine. Although it was heavy when we won 12 months ago – his win at York in May was on good to firm ground and like a lot of the top horses his class carries him over a range of conditions.
It’ll all be over inside a minute. If he’s in the same form as last year hopefully it will be the same result.
ZONDERLAND (2.25pm Unibet Mile)
Good horse and not to be ruled out in any company. I still believe there’s a very big race in him and he came with a nose of getting it last year when pipped by Lightning Spear in the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood. He was a close up fourth in the same race the year and back at Group 3 level should be able to make his presence felt.
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