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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Godolphin's Harry Angel shows his class to delight trainer Charlie Cox with Sprint Cup success at Haydock

Beat Tasleet in heavy conditions to follow up his earlier G1 success in the July Cup at Newmarket.

Harry Angel ridden by Adam Kirby wins the Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock. Clint Hughes / PA Wire
Harry Angel ridden by Adam Kirby wins the Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock. Clint Hughes / PA Wire

The British Champions Sprint at Ascot is the next target for Harry Angel after the Godolphin colt’s impressive victory in the Sprint Cup at Haydock in England on Saturday.

The Clive Cox-trained son of Dark Angel overcame concerns of the heavy underfoot conditions for the first time in his career to emerge victorious four lengths ahead of the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid-owned Tasleet.

Cox made the bold decision to run Harry Angel on testing ground following the persistent rain that had hit Haydock in the build-up to the race, but in the end, it turned out to be a good move as the horse underlined his versatility as a champion sprinter that can handle any conditions.

“It was a case of deja vu. We had the same decision to make with Lethal Force a few years ago and he hated the ground,” Cox said.

Harry Angel’s victory, Cox said, highlighted just how much strength in depth the horse has, saying he had proved himself a “champion” horse.

“He’s so good on fast ground there had to be a chance he wouldn’t go on it, but he’s proved he goes on any ground now,” he said. “He’s so potent. He’s awesome.

“It’s difficult to change gear on ground like that and to win by four lengths against soft-ground horses was super.

“He’s a champion on fast ground and he’s proved a champion on easier ground now, I’m so pleased.”

Harry Angel was completing back to back Group One victories following his success in the July Cup at Newmarket two months ago.

Cox said the result had vindicated their decision to have him race in less than ideal conditions.

“I hope he stays in training next year,” Cox said. “It’s a huge relief after walking the course, as that ground is as bad as it gets.

“Thank goodness we made the right decision. He’s maturing all the time and now we know we can head to Ascot [on October 21] without worrying what the ground does.”

Adam Kirby, who has ridden Harry Angel in all seven of hisstarts, had his mount handily placed in front throughout almost all of the 1,200-metre trip.

The pair moved up a gear in the last 200m and came clear of the William Haggas-trained Tasleet with the British champion jockey Jim Crowley on top.

The Tin Man was a further length-and-a-half back in third ahead of Godolphin’s second runner Blue Point.

“I’m a believer in a proper champion can win on any ground, but he’s so fast I was a little bit concerned,” Kirby said of Harry Angel.

“It’s a great team effort and all credit to Clive. I knew he’d won as soon as he picked up.

“He’s a machine. He’s got speed to burn and that’s not how good he is.

“He’s there now mentally and he’ll keep on getting better.”