Clive Cox is hoping the work done in the stalls at home will prevent another incident like the one at Ascot as he sends Harry Angel to Haydock to defend his 32Red Sprint Cup crown.
One of the leading sprinters currently in action, Harry Angel got upset when loading before the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in June and one of his hind legs became stuck on the back of the gate.
While he took part in the race his chance was clearly compromised and it took Cox longer to get him right than he initially thought it would.
As a result, he missed the July Cup, but his trainer is now viewing that as a silver lining.
“He wasn’t just in tune to go to the July Cup which was a huge shame, but Haydock was logical after that,’’ said Cox.
“I’m really pleased to say he’s pleased me very much at home, over the last two or three weeks especially, and fingers crossed we can repeat last year, which was pretty special.
“The ground hopefully isn’t an issue, I’m quite relaxed in that respect.
“My team at home have worked really hard with him and I couldn’t be more happy, he’s always been a bit fractious but like a lot of sprinters, he just wants to get on with the job.’’
William Haggas’s Tasleet was second in three Group Ones last season, including this race, but the hot summer has not been in his favour.
“His race is the one on Champions Day at Ascot as he appears to want really soft ground now,’’ said the Yorkshire-born handler.
“He was second in three Group Ones last year.
“He’s only run once this year because the ground has been appalling for him so we’ve had to wait but he’s ready to go and in great shape. I’m pretty happy with him.’’
The Tin Man has finished second and third in the last two runnings and trainer James Fanshawe is hoping he can make it third time lucky this weekend.
“I’m not going to make too many predictions, but he’s in good form going into the race and his races have been nicely spaced, so I hope he gets a bit of luck in running,’’ the trainer said.
“You just hope you’re near the pace because last time in Deauville (finished third in Prix Maurice de Gheest) we were away from the pace and he finished very well, but we were on the wrong side.’’
Hambleton-based handler Kevin Ryan saddles Brando, who was second in the July Cup but failed in his bid to win the Maurice de Gheest back-to-back last time out, finishing only eighth.
“We backed off him after his last run and freshened him up,’’ said Ryan, ahead of the latest leg in the Qipco British Champions Series.
“He’s had a nice preparation, everything has gone to plan. We’re very happy with him. We’re hopeful he’ll run a big race on Saturday.’’
Ryan also runs Hey Jonesy, fifth in the Commonwealth Cup in June.
“He ran very well at Ascot. He disappointed last time, but he seems in really good form now.
“It’s a big step up, but the owners are very willing to let him take his chance and we’re hopeful he’ll run a nice race as well,’’ said Ryan.
Henry Candy hopes Limato can make his class count and move a step closer to a return to the top table by taking the Ryedale House Garrowby Stakes at York tomorrow.
Having rediscovered the winning touch following three below-par efforts in Group One company with victory in a Listed contest at Newmarket, the former July Cup winner will bid to strike at the same level again in the six-furlong contest on the Knavesmire.
Should all go to plan for the six-year-old, then a trip to ParisLongchamp for a tilt at the Prix de la Foret – a race he won in 2016 – could be on the cards.
Candy said: “It was a wonderful moment at Newmarket. The horse enjoyed it as much as we did. You could see by his ears and his expression he was just happy the whole way through.
“He is in fantastic form, touch wood. It is only a Listed race, but it is a lovely race.”
Heading the list of Limato’s rivals is the Dean Ivory-trained dual July Cup runner-up Tropics and this year’s Stewards’ Cup second Justanotherbottle from the yard of Declan Carroll.
The field is completed by the Richard Fahey-trained Kimberella, Kevin Ryan’s Stormbringer and Perfect Angel who will fly the flag for Richard Hughes.