Weight test for ‘Harry’ on seasonal debut at York

J A McGrath

Godolphin fans can look forward to a stronger, more mature Harry Angel on his reappearance in Wednesday’s G2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, according to the colt’s trainer Clive Cox.

As a four-year-old, the son of Dark Angel has developed in the mould of the classic older sprinter, and Cox cannot wait to unveil his champion speedster on Knavesmire.

“He’s in good form and I’m very pleased with him,” the trainer reported. 

“He has strengthened up and is stronger, both mentally and physically, which is good because he is required to carry a G1 penalty for what he achieved last year,” he pointed out.

Under the race conditions, Harry Angel has been burdened with 9st 13lb, considerably more than chief rivals Brando and Tasleet, who are both set to carry 9st 8lb.

Some theorists argue that weight is not a factor for concern in sprint races.

But Cox strongly disagrees. “It matters, don’t worry — 5lb is 5lb. Also, five of them have already had a run this season,” he added.

Harry Angel proved himself the best six-furlong horse in the world last year, with brilliant performances to take Newmarket’s G1 July Cup and the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup.

“It was unbelievable what he did last year,” Cox said. “Taking on the older horses and beating them when only three was great. He should be a better horse this season. He’s in a good place at present,” the trainer added.

After York, Harry Angel is to be aimed at the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, followed by the chance to defend his sprinting crown in the G1 July Cup.

Cox is confident that Godolphin fans will like what they see in the highlight of the opening day of this three-day Dante fixture.

“Harry Angel has grown up a lot. He’s become a man,” Cox said.