Bryan Smart keeping options open for crack sprinter Alpha Delphini

Sat 23 May 2020

Alpha Delphini is on the comeback trail after recovering from a ligament injury.

The nine-year-old famously beat Mabs Cross by a nose in a thrilling finish to the 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes, creating a 40-1 shock on the Knavesmire.

Bryan Smart’s runner reappeared in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last May and was beaten just two and a half lengths by leading sprinter Battaash.

However, Alpha Delphini’s season was then derailed by a setback and while he is back in work, Smart is in no rush to commit to a plan.

He said: “He’s in work, but there’s no races I would be going for with him yet.

“We are keeping all options open and, as he’s lost his penalties, he can go for conditions races now.”

Looking back on the gelding’s injury, Smart said: “He worked really well that day, the best I’ve seen him, but he stretched the ligaments at the top of his tendon.

“It didn’t come up for three days, but it was just one of those things.

“He’s been scanned since and he’ll be scanned again next week before going back into faster work, as he’s just been cantering.

“He’s in good form and we’re looking forward to kicking off his season, but there’s no rush.”

British racing is currently planning to return to action following the coronavirus shutdown on June 1, subject to Government approval, and Smart is anticipating a competitive opening few weeks when the sport does resume.

He added: “The horses are looking well and we’ve a few who are ready to go – it will be a question of where you can get a run though.

“I’m sure there’ll be plenty of entries and ballots in the first couple of weeks, but at the end of the day, they’re the rules and we all have to play by them.”

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