Harry Angel back on Sprint Cup duty

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Horse-racing

The Sprint Cup is Saturday’s big race at Haydock and the six-furlong Group One – part of the British Champions Series – will be fast and furious, so wrestling the crown off reigning champion Harry Angel may prove a tough ask for all concerned.

Harry Angel to win Sprint Cup @ 5/4

Clive Cox’s four-year-old returns to the scene of perhaps his best display and, without doubt, his happy hunting ground.

Harry Angel is two-from-two at Haydock Park so far in his career. He broke the track record when winning the Sandy Lane Stakes here in the spring of 2016 and returned last September to land the Sprint Cup in authoritative style.

There were concerns over how the son of Dark Angel might handle the prevailing heavy ground that afternoon but they proved to be unfounded.

Away alertly, Harry Angel and Adam Kirby made all the running and quickened away from the chasers before the furlong pole. They came home in isolation, with four lengths to spare on Tasleet in second spot.

It was a champions’ performance and, if he’s well in himself, Harry Angel can repeat it now.

There is some worry given he had a troubling experience at Royal Ascot when he got his leg stuck in the stalls before the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in June.

Cox has taken a patient approach with his recovery and, after two months off, he should be primed to go now.

James Garfield each-way in Sprint Cup @ 15/2

The favourite is going to account for a big chunk of the market here so there could be some value in the each-way alternatives.

James Garfield is one worth paying close attention to now that he’s got his eyes trained on sprinting again

He looked very promising when landing the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury a year ago and again when accounting for Expert Eye in the Greenham on his reappearance.

That success ensured he booked a 2000 Guineas ticket although the mile at Newmarket proved beyond him, while his two subsequent starts were underwhelming.

Last month he went to Deauville and bounced right back to his best. He was just denied a Group One prize in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, getting collared very late in the piece by Polydream.

But he was ridden like a sprinter there and trainer George Scott has now conceded that is exactly what James Garfield is.

The handler believes a Group One win can be attained before his three-year-old campaign ends and the son of Exceed And Excel looks to be one of more viable each-way plays for Haydock.

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