Andy Holding is very keen on the chances of a Clive Cox-trained runner in the five-furlong sprint.
Although a 20-1 poke prior to contesting the former race at Newmarket, Clive Cox’s charge belied his tall odds by winning fair and square on the day, in the process lowering the colours of pretty much all the best 5f sprinters on these shores. If anyone had any doubts about the validity of the form, there was no questioning his current superiority in this division following his victory in the latter contest at Haydock as he beat a stellar field at the Lancashire venue – including one of the highest rated horses in training in the shape of Mecca’s Angel – in similarly devastating fashion. Okay, Michael Dods' charge may have needed the run, but, given the son of Invincible Spirit raced away from the pace on the slowest part of the track and still managed to win proves what an improved performer he is this season compared to the one who struggled against the older horses during the 2015 campaign.
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The feature of both of these displays has been the way he’s travelled and quickened when asked for maximum effort in the closing stages, and the combination of these two weapons should allow him to be a major force against similar opponents throughout the rest of the season.
Another plus point towards his chance at the Royal meeting is his solid Ascot form. A nose runner-up over the C&D to the useful Squats on his fourth career start as a two-year-old, he went on to run an absolute belter in last season’s inaugural running of the Commonwealth Cup on his second visit to the Berkshire venue. Indeed, that latter performance deserves extra credit as he was drawn away from the speed towards the stands side fence and it was over 6f, a distance which may have just stretched his stamina to the limit.
All in all, it’s hard to knock his credentials whichever way you strip it down. He’s beaten everything put in his path on merit so far this season, his speed figures have been off the charts, he goes well at Ascot and he represents a yard in unstoppable form in recent weeks what’s not to like? All we need is a good draw on the day and the ground to stay on the quick side and he should take the world of beating.