Dubai: Clive Cox has warned rival trainers that a ‘stronger’ and ‘fitter’ Harry Angel will turn up at Ascot on Saturday in a bid to be crowned champion British sprinter.
The Godolphin star has already outclassed most of the high-class sprinters this season, and given the form that he is in, will hope to extend that dominance in the £600,000 British Champion Sprint Stakes (Group 1), one of six exceptional races that feature on the season finale.
Cox has made a name for himself training top class sprinters like Lethal Force, Reckless Abandon and Profitable, and believes that Harry Angel is rapidly earning his place in such elite company.
“I’m very pleased with him. He’s going to Ascot fresh and well,” Cox said of his July Cup (G1) and Sprint Cup (G1) sensation.
“We have a wonderful variety of training facilities here, and we have been topping up his fitness since his last run. If anything, he’s stronger than before.
“When he went to Haydock in heavy ground, he was in unexplored territory. He had broken a track record on firm ground there earlier in the season, so it was very different. Yet, he was brilliant.”
Godolphin supremo His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has given the go ahead for Harry Angel to stay in training as a four-year-old, a decision that was welcome by the trainer.
“I am very proud to be continuing my association with Godolphin,” Cox said in a Godolphin statement. “I am also eternally grateful to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad for having the confidence in us to permit Harry Angel to continue his racing career here.”
Cox’s star faces some strong opposition led by last year’s winner, The Tin Man, Harry Angel’s Commonwealth Cup conqueror Caravaggio and Karl Burke’s improving filly Quiet Reflection.
Run over six furlong (1,200 metres) the British Champions Sprint Stakes provides the grand finale to the British Champions Series Sprint category and is run over the same course and distance as the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Godolphin has won the contest twice in the past with Diffident in 1996 and Sampower Star in 2000. Both horses were prepared by Godolphin’s master trainer Saeed Bin Surour.
The Dubai-owned stable are in line to win a 12th UK Owners’ Championship and will be hoping to crown another outstanding year at British Champions Day.