I am at Ascot on Saturday, but the 32Red Sprint Cup looks an excellent renewal, with a stand-out in Harry Angel and plenty of Group 1-depth to the race.
I think it is Harry Angel’s to lose, rather than the others’ to win.
As long as he behaves himself in the preliminaries and stalls, he will be hard to beat.
The Tin Man and Tasleet bring a similar level of form to the table and could fill the places, and my preference would be for the former.
His best form is at Ascot but he has gone well in this race before, and I thought he didn’t get the run of the race, either at Ascot or Deauville, on his last two races. He is a dual winner in this grade, and he looks pretty solid to me.
Luca has only run a handful of 2yos so far, but the fact that this colt makes his debut here suggests he thinks he could be all right. I think the stable have a fair record with their juveniles at Ascot down the years, and this 7f trip looks a good starting point for him on pedigree. But it’s his first outing and this looks a decent novice, so I am sure everyone will be happy with a run that gives us something to build on down the line, as Luca doesn’t rev them up first time. But he is a nice, big, scopey horse – not a typical Dark Angel – and one for the future.
I can’t really help you much here. She is related to some decent winners and there seems to be plenty of stamina in her pedigree, so it makes sense to start her at this trip. Other than that, I am in the dark at the moment. At least the race has cut up massively from 26 entries to just the six runners, so that helps.
He hasn’t been beaten far in two big handicaps here this season, and he has come down a couple of pounds in the weights of late. In, fact he actually ran very well at Chelmsford last Saturday considering he was drawn widest in 16, met trouble in running, and was beaten just over 3 lengths. He won nicely at York earlier in the season, I know the horse well having won three times on him, and I think he is weighted to go well in an open race. If the rain stays away, he has a lot in his favour.
Four White Socks
She obviously bumped into one first time out and then was pretty impressive when winning her novice for me at Goodwood. She then ran well when stepped up in class to a Group 3 at Newcastle and then finished a solid third back to a handicap last time. She could have probably done without going up in the weights for that, but she is a filly we have always liked and the step back down to a mile, for the first time since her debut behind Agrotera at Windsor, could be a good move.
This will be the first time I have ridden him. I’m not sure what his wide-margin, soft-ground win in a three-runner race at Newmarket told us but he did well to beat a progressive horse at Brighton on quicker ground last time on his handicap debut. This is obviously a lot deeper race and he went up 4lb for that narrow win, but he is a well-related colt and hopefully he can prove to be better than his current mark of 87 as he gains experience. He is a hard horse to gauge as he only did just enough at Brighton, where I don’t think the track will have necessarily suited, but he toughed it out well.
It looks run he didn’t quite run up to expectations at York last time but he has been dropped 2lb for it. He has actually come down 12lb in the weights now this season – he went up to a mark of 107 after his 6f Listed race win at York last season – and he is on a dangerously-good mark if it all clicks for him. He does need to show more than of late, though, but I quite like his chances.
Hopefully, the handicapper has over-reacted to her run at Windsor last time, as he dropped her 4lb in one hit. If she comes back to the form that saw her finish a close-up fourth in the Palace House earlier in the season, then she is potentially thrown-in here off a mark of 86. But she clearly hasn’t backed up that form since, though she ran very well at Haydock in June, and she has disappointed in recent starts. She is definitely up to winning off this mark though – she has come down just 7lb for her last two runs – and she ran well over course and distance last autumn.
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