Angel Soars As Churchill Bombs And Winter Is Frozen Out
Awesome Angel Is Haydock Hero Again
Headed into Saturday’s Sprint Cup at Haydock, many believed the soft conditions would blunt the speed of Harry Angel and enhance the chances of the likes of Brando and Tasleet. Having broken the track record on his previous visit to the track, the Clive Cox star was nevertheless still sent off favourite for the race, and boy did he deliver.
There’s an old saying in racing that a good horse goes on any ground, and if there was any doubt before, there certainly isn’t now; Harry Angel is a very good horse. Once Adam Kirby pushed the button, the response from the Dark Angel colt was instant and electric as he quickly put four lengths between himself and the field. Ascot’s Qipco Champion Stakes will likely be his next big target, a race for which he is now the Even money favourite with Bet365.
Churchill And Winter Give Favourite Backers The Chills
A winner of her last four contests, all at Group 1 level, Winter was the clear for pick headed into the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes and was duly sent off as the Even money favourite to continue her winning streak. Stablemate Hydrangea clearly hadn’t read the script though as she got up in tenacious style to grab the jolly close home at odds of 20/1.
This daughter of Galileo had finished adrift of Winter on her four previous starts and – if judged on starting price and jockey booking – was only Aidan O’Brien’s fourth best chance in this Group 1 affair. There may well have been a sense of déjà vu for Winter. Her previous defeat also came here at Leopardstown back in April. The horse to beat her…. Hydrangea.
Those hoping that the next Ballydoyle hot pot would get them back on track were left gasping for air as the second of O’Brien’s dual Guineas winners on show, Churchill, disappointed badly in the Irish Champion Stakes. The 8/11 favourite could manage only seventh in the end in a contest where the British raiders filled the places. Top of the lot was Roger Charlton’s often underestimated, Decorated Knight. This one has turned up for all the big shows this year and showed what he can do on his day with an impressive third Group 1 success at a massive 25/1.
George Restores Order In Irish St. Leger
Following the betting bloodbath that was Saturday’s Leopardstown card, we really needed a return to the norm on Sunday and thankfully Aidan O’Brien’s stayer supreme, Order Of St. George provided just that in the Irish St. Leger. Having first won this back in 2015, he was then shockingly turned over at odds of 1/7 here twelve months ago, but was strongly fancied to reclaim his crown, being sent off as the 2/5 jolly.
On a going day, and particularly on this soft ground, Order Of St. George is simply a different class to his rivals in the staying division and favourite backers never had a moments worry here as he trotted in by nine lengths. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Melbourne Cup seem likely targets for the classy five year old with Coral making him 16/1 for the Chantilly showstopper.
Next Up: Doncaster Delight
We have another excellent week in store for racing fans this week, as Doncaster plays host to its four day St. Leger meeting. Eight Group races are on offer in all including the Champagne Stakes and of course the big one of the St. Leger itself. Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean currently heads the betting for the final classic of the season at 7/2 with BetVictor but may yet be usurped by any one from Capri, Defoe or Stradivarius in what looks a competitive renewal.