CLIVE Cox is prepared to let Harry Angel take his chance on soft ground in Saturday’s 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
Although the Lambourn handler feels the son of Dark Angel is a superior horse on quick ground, the forecast soft conditions at the Merseyside track in the six-furlong Group One are not expected to be a problem.
The three-year-old came of age on his most recent outing when reversing the form of his defeat behind Caravaggio in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot to claim the July Cup at Newmarket.
Cox said: “He won on good to soft ground when he won the Mill Reef at Newbury last year. I think all of us would prefer less rather than more rain, though.
“He has got form on good to soft ground, so I am quite relaxed really. I wouldn’t say there is doubt in him running as he has performed on a softer surface, I just obviously realised how potent he was on a drier surface.”
Regarding his potential rivals, Cox rates the Kevin Ryan-trained Maurice de Gheest winner Brando, who he had behind him at the July Course, as the biggest danger. Cox added: “I was impressed with Brando in Deauville and obviously his form is pretty good, (finishing) just up behind us in the July Cup.
“I don’t think there is any doubt there’s half a dozen there that you would give a realistic chance to as you would expect from a Group One race.
“It is well subscribed it’s always a top-class race and an iconic sprint race of the season. I’m just pleased we are taking a really nice horse there in good form.”
Kirkland Tellwright, clerk of the course at Haydock, confirmed the ground is likely to be soft by the time racing starts at the track on Thursday. He said: “We are good, good to soft but we are heading towards soft if the forecast is accurate as we have got quite a bit more rain to come.”
SALISBURY: 1.50 Nuits St Georges (treble), 2.20 Rainbow Jazz, 2.50 Blanchefleur (next best), 3.20 Shikoba, 3.50 EIRENE (NAP), 4.20 Rely On Me, 4.50 Comrade Conrad, 5.20 The Groove.
HAYDOCK: 2.00 Fibonacci, 2.30 Deecider, 3.00 The Revenant, 3.30 Heaven’s Rock, 4.00 So Beloved, 4.35 Niblawi, 5.05 Take Two.
SEDGEFIELD: 2.10 Pat’s Pearl, 2.40 Code Of Law, 3.10 Miss Mobot, 3.40 Play The Ace, 4.10 Master Of Finance, 4.40 Gin And Tonic, 5.10 Boy In A Bentley.
CHELSMFORD: 5.40 Speak In Colours, 6.10 That’s My Girl, 6.40 Break The Silence, 7.10 Cloud Nine, 7.40 Sunglider, 8.10 Wefait, 8.40 Upper Lambourn, 9.10 Ennjaaz.