Clive Cox says Harry Angel primed for Champions Day at Ascot

Mon 16 Oct 2017

By staff

Harry Angel remains on course to try to land a third successive top-level victory of the season in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

The Clive Cox-trained three-year-old, no bigger than 5-4, is one of 14 remaining horses in the six-furlong Group One contest as he bids to follow up his victories in the July Cup and Sprint Cup.

“We were thrilled with his performance at Haydock," Cox said. "He’s come back absolutely fine and the time scale between then and Champions Day is perfect. We’ve had a chance to see if he’s in good order and keep him in good order. He’s in a good frame of mind and we are very happy with him.

“We’ve got no concerns from a going point of view, which is great. I know a lot of people say a good horse will go on any ground, but finding that one is pretty difficult in my mind. We are very lucky.

“In The Sandy Lane [on firm going], where he broke the track record, he was very impressive and our concern at Haydock last time was the heavy ground, but we all witnessed he was equally impressive – breathtaking really.”

Reflecting on his early days, Cox added: “He was a baby to begin with, fractitious in the stalls and wanted to get on with life. I’m delighted that with maturity – physically and mentally – he has become the finished article.

“I’m very proud to have been involved in his career; he’s made a huge difference to our lives the way he’s performed and the success he’s achieved. It’s a mighty hot race, as it always is and you’d expect. It’s a great finale to the turf season.”

A third clash with Caravaggio looks on the cards for Cox's stable star.

The son of Scat Daddy, a general 4-1, was one of four confirmations, alongside Intelligence Cross, Washington DC and Alphabet, made by Aidan O'Brien.

Last year's winner The Tin Man, from the yard of James Fanshawe, and the Karl Burke-trained Quiet Reflection are also in the frame. They are 13-2 and 8-1 respectively.

The John Gosden-trained Journey could attempt to register back-to-back wins in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

She could be joined in the final field by stablemates Coronet and The Black Princess.

Seventh Heaven, Hydrangea, Rhododendron and Wild Irish Rover are all in contention for O'Brien. Bateel, Left Hand and The Juliet Rose are interesting French challengers in the Group One, which has received 15 confirmations.

Park Hill winner Alyssa, trained by Ralph Beckett, has been supplemented.

Big Orange and Order Of St George, the first two home in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, could renew rivalry in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.

The former, trained by Michael Bell, has not been seen since he finished second in the Goodwood Cup behind the Gosden-trained Stradivarius, who also features amongst 19 confirmations.

Irish St Leger winner Order Of St George is one of three possible runners for O'Brien, who has also left in Idaho and Seventh Heaven.

Last year's winner Sheikhzayedroad is the sole representative for trainer David Simcock, while Doncaster Cup scorer Desert Skyline could also be involved for the David Elsworth team.

Royal runner Dartmouth, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, has been supplemented.

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