It’s the old guard vs the new in the QIPCO Champions Sprint on Saturday
The past three winners of the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes are set to clash on Saturday.
Sands Of Mali (2018), Librisa Breeze (2017) and The Tin Man (2016) have each won the Group 1 showpiece and five more winners at the highest level – Advertise, Brando, Hello Youmzain, Mabs Cross and One Master – are ready to join them in what promises to be a superb start to the glittering finale of the British Flat racing season. The Denis Hogan-trained Make A Challenge, a Listed winner in Ireland this weekend, has been supplemented for the race.
Two three-year-olds, Advertise and Hello Youmzain, head the betting. The former, usually ridden by Frankie Dettori, was winning the third Group 1 race of his career when landing the Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time by a neck from Brando, having earlier won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Hello Youmzain was third in the latter contest after being slow away before making all in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock last month when The Tin Man (second), Brando (fourth), Dream Of Dreams (eighth), So Perfect (ninth), Forever In Dreams (tenth) and Khaadem (11th) were all behind.
Another notable contender among the 17 to stand their ground is Cape Byron, a course specialist who beat Donjuan Triumphant, and Keystroke in decisive fashion in the Group 3 John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes at the track last time.
WHAT THEY SAY:
Kevin Ryan on Hello Youmzain and Brando
“It’s always been the plan to go there with both of them and they are in great shape. They have both got form at Ascot and hopefully they run their races and it will be a good end to the season for them.
“We are fortunate to have two runners in a Group 1 like this. Ease in the ground is not a bother for either of them.
“Some horses like Golden Slippers [Ryan’s Prix de l’Abbaye winner] need time but Hello Youmzain stepped up straight away and done everything we’ve asked of him.
“He’s a young horse, only three, and we’ve minded him this year. Hopefully that will pay dividends in the long run. He’s a very exciting horse and there’s no reason why he can’t improve and get stronger next year.
“Brando is a seasoned warrior who turns up for every big occasion and runs his race. He’s run well in the race in the past and is a star, a marvellous horse who holds his form.”
James Fanshawe on The Tin Man
“He’s been a regular in the race and won it once. He wasn’t at his best in it last year when he was probably feeling the effects of his previous run at Haydock [when winning the Sprint Cup].
“He’s fit and fresh heading into it this time. Their coats are going this time of the year and you never quite know, but he seems really well.
“We didn’t have him quite right midsummer and that’s why he went to Newbury [for the bet365 Hackwood Stakes] rather than the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
“After Newbury he had a nice break and he finished his race strongly last time in the Sprint Cup at Haydock. Oisin [Murphy] said he was a bit unlucky because he stumbled a bit coming out of the gates but I was just so pleased he ran so well, and he has come out of it really well.
“I think that he likes being able to get into a race in his own time, rather than put the gun to his head early. I always thought he wanted better ground but he handles soft ground as well as anybody else and a lot of his relations love it.”
William Haggas on One Master
“Last year we went from her win in the Foret to the Breeders’ Cup and Hong Kong, but this year we didn’t entertain running her at the Breeders’ Cup. The idea this time was the Foret and then Ascot, and part one of the jigsaw is done.
“I don’t like the drop to six furlongs much, but when Tasleet [Haggas’s former sprinter] got beaten in it two years ago he got outstayed by Librisa Breeze, who was a seven-furlong horse coming back to six. Hopefully, they will go hard and have a nice fight.
“We tried a mile earlier in season in the Queen Anne and Falmouth. She travelled best in the latter and for most of the way was going to win, but she was weak in the last furlong. Usually, horses who are doubtful stayers do not win.
“The 13-day gap between her races is not ideal but she’s had only four runs and likes soft ground. She’s a genuine filly and I suspect she will stay in training – her owners are sporting people.”
Richard Fahey on Sands Of Mali
“He came back from Ascot [last time] a little bit sore, a few little niggly problems that we’ve sorted. He always works well, he’s an exceptionally good work horse.
“I just feel that if we get our lad back then I’m not too worried about anything. It was high on the priorities for this year, but we do need to get him back bouncing.”
Brando (GB) Cape Byron (GB) Donjuan Triumphant (IRE) Dream of Dreams (IRE) Keystroke (GB)Librisa Breeze (GB) Make A Challenge (IRE) Sands of Mali (FR) Speak In Colours (GB) The Tin Man (GB) Advertise (GB) Hello Youmzain (FR) Khaadem (IRE) Mabs Cross (GB) One Master (GB) Forever In Dreams (IRE) So Perfect (USA)