Harry Angel “in a really good frame of mind” ahead of 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on Saturday

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Trainer Clive Cox believes the best is yet to come from Harry Angel as his stable star limbers up for the feature £260,000 G1 32Red Sprint Cup (4.10pm) at Haydock Park on Saturday, September 9.
Harry Angel on the gallops this morning
Harry Angel, a 7/4 chance with 32Red, has been favourite for the six-furlong showpiece since capturing a top-class renewal of the G1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket on July 15.
The three-year-old smashed the six-furlong course record at Haydock Park earlier in the campaign when taking G2 Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes in a time of 1m 8.56s on May 27.
Harry Angel’s opponents on Saturday are set to include impressive G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest scorer Brando, plus The Tin Man and Tasleet, who were first and second in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Speaking from his Lambourn stables this morning, Cox said: “We are very happy with Harry Angel. He has trained really well and, as you can see, he is in a really good frame of mind. We are very much looking forward to Saturday.
“It looks like we are going to have slightly different ground conditions [compared to Haydock Park in May, when the ground was officially Firm], but the track holds no fears as he showed when breaking the track record which we are very proud of.
“Ground wise, he has won on good to soft in the Mill Reef at Newbury last year. I am quite relaxed, but I think all of us would prefer to see less rain than more rain because we have seen how potent he is on a sounder surface.
“It is a Group One and there are a lot of horses who deserve a lot of consideration and respect. That is the same with any race really. I was impressed with Brando in Deauville and his form was pretty good before that when just up behind us in the July Cup.
“There are half a dozen in there that you would give a realistic chance to, as you would expect in a Group One race. The Sprint Cup is always a top-class race and one of the iconic sprints of the season. I am happy with our horse and would not be swapping him for anything.
“Group One races are of such a standard that it is nice to have that ability to give horses gaps between their races. The time from the July Cup to here is a healthy period.
“We were all very excited going into the July Cup and I think Adam’s (Kirby, jockey) visible delight when he crossed the line was clear to all. It was not a shock to us and we hoped we could beat Caravaggio. His performance there proved that he is top flight.
“I think being by Dark Angel and with any sprinter, maturity means the potential is there for more improvement. He has grown up and even watching him this morning, he is enjoying the attention. That is down to maturity. He is enjoying his racing and Kevin Harris, who rides him at home, has done a brilliant job on him.
Harry Angel & Kevin Harris
“It is a dream to have a horse of his calibre. It is a family that has done us proud because Xtension was my first Group Two winner and he is from the same family as Harry Angel. That was part of the attraction in the first place when we looked at Harry Angel as a yearling.
“From a personal perspective, I believe there is still more to come from the horse. It won’t be up to me if he races next year, but I am just really enjoying this year. I think potentially he could get stronger.”
Cox has trained several top-class sprinters in recent years, headed by 2013 July Cup and Diamond Jubilee Stakes hero Lethal Force and last year’s King’s Stand Stakes victor Profitable.
Asked to compare them with Harry Angel, Cox said: “They are all slightly different. Lethal Force was an amazing horse and holds the record in the July Cup. He was very exciting when we had him.
“This fella [Harry Angel] had a personality that was bit over exuberant to begin with. He is getting the whole idea of the job and now we are seeing the real potential.
“They are all individuals and I love them to bits, along with Profitable and all the other good horses. They are like people and all slightly different characters.
“To begin with, we were confident with Harry Angel that it was going to happen. There were a few setbacks at first because he was tricky in the stalls. I am pleased that is under control because we have worked jolly hard to give him that confidence. That is displayed in his performance.
“I think a sprinter’s mentality needs a bit of that explosive temperament. That is what it is all about and containing that is what we are trying to achieve. Finding that balance is what we are trying to do all the time. We have got facilities and great staff, and to achieve the top flight results is what it is all about.
Cox was also keen to pay tribute to Adam Kirby, who has partnered Harry Angel in all six of his races.
The trainer added: “Adam has been involved with us for a long time since he was a seven pound claimer. It is a great delight to watch him ride winners on daily basis. He is a top-class pilot.
“He has been an important person in this horse’s career because, as we know, he wasn’t easy in the stalls to begin with. Adam has been most helpful in achieving that confidence.
“I am also delighted and extremely grateful to Sheikh Mohammed for allowing us to keep Harry Angel. It gives me a lot of pride to have runners in the Godolphin blue.”
Harry Angel at Clive Cox’s yard this morning
32Red Sprint Cup, 32Red Sport odds:
7/4 Harry Angel; 7/2 Brando; 6/1 Tasleet; 13/2 The Tin Man; 7/1 Blue Point; 8/1 Caravaggio, Limato; 12/1 Magical Memory; 20/1 Washington DC, Spirit of Valor; 25/1 Queen Kindly, Tupi, Gifted Master, Kimberella; 33/1 Growl, Koropick; 40/1 Mr Lupton; 50/1 Cougar Mountain, Intelligence Cross, Spiritual Lady
See below for the 32Red Sprint Cup Leading Contenders video:
The three-day 32Red Sprint Cup gets underway at Haydock Park on Thursday, September 7 and runs through to Saturday, September 9, 32Red Sprint Cup Day.
Born: February 8, 2014
Breeding: b c Dark Angel – Beatrix Potter (Cadeaux Genereux)
Breeder: CBS Bloodstock
Owner: Godolphin
Trainer: Clive Cox
Jockey: Adam Kirby
Form: 21-2121
*Favourite with the sponsor for the G1 32Red Sprint Cup, worth £260,000 and staged over six furlongs at Haydock Park on Saturday, September 9 (4.10pm).
*Defeated Limato by a length and a quarter in a vintage renewal of the six-furlong G1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket on July 15.
*Broke the six-furlong course record at Haydock Park in the G2 Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes on May 27, with a time of 1m 8.56s, after which he was purchased by Godolphin from Peter Ridgers, who won the 2009 Ayr Gold Cup with the Cox-trained Jimmy Styles.
*His two defeats this year came when the length and a half runner-up to Godolphin’s Blue Point in the six-furlong G3 Pavilion Stakes at Ascot on May 3, his seasonal debut, and when beaten three quarters of a length by Caravaggio in G1 Commonwealth Cup over same distance at Royal Ascot on June 23.
*Raced twice as a two-year-old, just failing by a nose to make a winning debut over five furlongs at Ascot on May 7, 2016 and capturing the six-furlong G2 Mill Reef Stakes in good style at Newbury on September 17 that year.
*Adam Kirby has been in the saddle on all of the colt’s six starts.
*Harry Angel was bought by Cox for £44,000 at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale at Doncaster in late August, 2015 when consigned by Ireland’s Ballyphilip Stud, whose owners Paul and Marie McCartan also bred Xtension (see below).
* His dam Beatrix Potter is a half-sister to Xtension, trained by Cox to capture the seven-furlong G2 Vintage Stakes as a two-year-old at Goodwood before being sold and going on to win the G1 Champions Mile twice and finishing second in both the Hong Kong Derby and Hong Kong Gold Cup for trainer John Moore.
Race record: Starts: 6; Wins: 3; 2nd: 3; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £482,632
Background: Godolphin is the racing entity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, and other members of the ruling Maktoum family of Dubai. He founded Godolphin as an expression of his lifelong passion for horses and racing. Its aim is to win races worldwide. The experiment began on a small scale in the winter of 1992. The Godolphin operation was formally established in 1994, with Hilal Ibrahim as trainer, when Balanchine won the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs, England, and Irish Derby at the Curragh, Ireland. The following year, Saeed bin Suroor was appointed as the official trainer and has sent out over 2,000 winners. Sheikh Mohammed’s passion for horses grew into a major investment in bloodstock and has resulted in the growth of the world’s largest and most global racing team, Godolphin, as well as the successful stallion operation, Darley. Today some of Godolphin’s horses winter in Dubai, to prepare for the Dubai World Cup Carnival, while Godolphin contests races on four continents, with bases in Dubai, Europe, America and Australia, and has won over 250 Group/Grade One races in 12 countries worldwide. Godolphin sponsors Stud & Stable Staff Awards in the UK, France, Ireland and Australia. Principal Trainers: Godolphin’s British-based horses are handled primarily by Newmarket-based Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby, who both have stables in Dubai as well, along with other trainers including John Gosden, Richard Fahey, Richard Hannon, Roger Charlton, Charlie Hills, Clive Cox, Hugo Palmer and Kevin Ryan. Andre Fabre and Henri-Alex Pantall train for Godolphin in France, while the US trainers include Kiaran McLaughlin, Eoin Harty, Tom Albertrani and Michael Stidham, Bob Baffert and Richard Mandella. Jim Bolger, Willie McCreery, Mick Halford and John Oxx are the main trainers for the Godolphin horses in Ireland. Mahmood Al Zarooni, who previously trained for Godolphin at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket, was banned for eight years by the BHA in April, 2013. A total of 22 of his horses tested positive for anabolic steroids and were unable to race for six months. There has also been a significant Godolphin presence in Australia since August, 2014, with the majority of their horses now trained by James Cummings. Godolphin’s current retained riders are William Buick, James Doyle and Mickael Barzalona. Godolphin’s horses were managed for many years by Simon Crisford before he became a trainer in 2014, then John Ferguson and recently Joe Osborne.
Champion Owner in Britain (11 times): 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016.
British Classic Wins: QIPCO 2000 Guineas (1996 Mark Of Esteem, 1999 Island Sands, 2013 Dawn Approach), QIPCO 1000 Guineas (1998 Cape Verdi, 2002 Kazzia, 2011 Blue Bunting), Investec Oaks (1994 Balanchine, 1995 Moonshell, 2002 Kazzia), Ladbrokes St Leger (1995 Classic Cliche, 1998 Nedawi, 1999 Mutafaweq, 2004 Rule Of Law, 2009 Mastery and 2012 Encke). Godolphin claims Investec Derby success with Lammtarra, who carried the colours of Saeed Maktoum Al Maktoum to victory in 1995.
32Red Sprint Cup winners (1): Diktat (1999)
Clive Cox
Born: May 14, 1964, Background: hails from a farming background in Somerset and was a successful Jump jockey, enjoying more than 80 winners, including 33 successes as a conditional rider, winning the Frogmore Chase at Ascot on Admiral’s Cup for Fred Winter and the Mares’ Final at Newbury on Atrabetes. He also partnered the favourite Sacred Path in the 1988 Grand National, who unfortunately fell at the first fence. Cox originally had hopes of becoming a Flat jockey and spent three and a half years riding out for Peter Cundell before weight problems meant a move into Jump racing. He spent six years working for trainer Oliver Sherwood in Lambourn before taking out a dual licence to train at Wootton Basset, Swindon, in January, 1992. Training career:having started training at 27, Cox could not get the number of horses he was hoping to attract and quit after a year to become assistant to Mikey Heaton-Ellis at Barbury Castle. He took over the yard after Heaton-Ellis’ death in 1999, only to have principal patron Fred Sainsbury remove all of his horses after a week. In May, 2000, Cox moved to John Francome’s Beechdown Stables in Lambourn, where he has been based ever since. His career has been one of steady progression and he trained more than 50 Flat winners in Britain for the first time in 2009 (52). 2016 was his best year so far with 65 winners and over £1.5-million in prize money. He has enjoyed seven successes at Royal Ascot, most recently with Heartache in the 2017 Queen Mary Stakes. Major wins include: Diamond Jubilee Stakes (2013 Lethal Force), July Cup (2013 Lethal Force, 2017 Harry Angel), King’s Stand Stakes (2016 Profitable), Middle Park Stakes (2012 Reckless Abandon), Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2016 My Dream Boat), Prix de l’Abbaye (2010 Gilt Edge Girl), Prix Morny (2012 Reckless Abandon).
No previous 32Red Sprint Cup wins
Adam Kirby
Born: August 22, 1988, Norwich Background: His late father, Maurice, bred several racehorses, including Magnet Cup winner Achilles, while his mother Anne trains greyhounds. His first ride was at Lingfield on October 1, 2004, when he partnered the Gay Kelleway-trained Broughton Knows to victory in an apprentice race. Attached to the shrewd Michael Wigham yard, Kirby soon gained a reputation as a youngster with a bright future. He gained the first double of his fledgling career on January 4, 2005, winning aboard Ragasah for Ernst Oertel and Eight Ellington for Kelleway. Hailed by Wigham as the best young rider he had seen ride since Walter Swinburn, Kirby soon enjoyed his first big-race victory when scoring aboard the Clive Cox-trained Out After Dark to take the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle in June, 2005, and the combination won again three months later in the Portland Handicap. This was the start of a strong and successful link-up with Cox. Having ridden 54 winners in 2005, Kirby finished second to Philip Makin for the number of winners by an apprentice, beating the joint champions Hayley Turner (53) and Saleem Golam (44). Kirby joined the Cox yard in January, 2006 and the connection is as strong as ever, even though Kirby rides as a freelance. His best year, with 192 successes, came in 2014. He first became All-Weather Champion Jockey in 2012/2013 and repeated the feat in 2013/2014 and 2016/2017. He also rides occasionally for Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby. Two of his five G1 winners came within 24 hours of each other at Royal Ascot 2016, Profitable in the King’s Stand Stakes and My Dream Boat in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, with the first only hours after his partner Megan Evans gave birth to their son Charlie. His G1 winners have all been provided by Cox. Major wins include: Diamond Jubilee Stakes (2013 Lethal Force), July Cup (2013 Lethal Force, 2017 Harry Angel), German 2,000 Guineas (2011 Excelebration), Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2016 My Dream Boat), King’s Stand Stakes (2016 Profitable),
No previous 32Red Sprint Cup wins
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