Sprint Cup Stakes 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Harry Angel is a short-priced favourite to retain his crown in the Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday
Harry Angel is a short-priced favourite to retain his crown in the Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday
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Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Sprint Cup Stakes, and pick out their 1-2-3...

"Two of his best performances have come over this C&D, the ground shouldn't be too much of a worry (has won on soft), and he very much looks the one to beat..."

Timeform on Harry Angel

1. BRANDO (Kevin Ryan/Tom Eaves)
Very smart performer who won the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket (by ¾ length from Sir Dancealot) in April and finished second in the July Cup at Newmarket (1¾ lengths behind U S Navy Flag). His run best excused when 6½ lengths eighth of 20 to Polydream in Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time, the first home on the unfavoured part of track. Disappointing in this last year but claims on the pick of his form.

2. DONJUAN TRIUMPHANT (Andrew Balding/Rob Hornby)
Finished fourth in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood (¼ length behind Sir Dancealot) in July, but well below form in the City of York Stakes last time. Has a good record at this course, though, and looks likely to get his favoured soft/heavy conditions.

3. HARRY ANGEL (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby)
Top-class performer who won the July Cup at Newmarket and this race in 2017. Just as good when successful on his reappearance in the Duke of York Stakes (by 2 lengths from Brando) in May, and had excuses when well held in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, losing all chance when upset and injured in the stalls at the start. Two of his best performances have come over this C&D, the ground shouldn't be too much of a worry (has won on soft), and he very much looks the one to beat.

4. SIR DANCEALOT (David Elsworth/Gerald Mosse)
Very smart performer who won a minor event at Hamilton and the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket in June, and Lennox Stakes at Goodwood (by short head from Suedois) in July. Better than ever when also winning the 8-runner Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last time by 1¼ lengths from Dream of Dreams, quickening to lead over a furlong out. Drop back to this trip on easy ground shouldn't be a bother and another bold bid expected.

5. TASLEET (William Haggas/Daniel Tudhope)
Very smart performer who won the Duke of York Stakes in 2017, and finished runner-up in 3 Group 1s, namely the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot (neck behind The Tin Man), this race last year (no match for Harry Angel) and the Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot. Off 7 months and not at his best when 2¼ lengths third of 9 to Merchant Navy in the Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh on return in May, looking half-hearted under pressure (short of room late on). Not seen since, but best form has come with cut in the ground.

6. THE TIN MAN (James Fanshawe/Oisin Murphy)
Very smart performer who won a listed race at Windsor (by ¾ length from D'bai) on his return in May and finished fourth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot (length behind Merchant Navy) in June. Shaped as if still in good form when 3 lengths third of 20 to Polydream in Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time, unsuited by way race developed. Should continue to give a good account.

7. EQTIDAAR (Sir Michael Stoute/Jim Crowley)
Won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot (by ½ length from Sands of Mali) in June, but that form hasn't worked out all that well, and he was below form when 5½ lengths ninth of 13 to U S Navy Flag in July Cup at Newmarket last time. Ground shouldn't be a problem and return to a flatter track may help.

8. GUSTAV KLIMT (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Won the Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown (by 1¾ lengths from Imaging) in April and finished second in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot (½ length behind Without Parole) in June. Below form when 5 lengths fifth of 8 to Sir Dancealot in Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last time, though, and the drop to 6f isn't sure to suit. Can't ignore given connections, though.

9. HEY JONESY (Kevin Ryan/Kevin Stott)
Smart performer who finished fifth in Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot (1¾ lengths behind Eqtidaar) in June. Well below form in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury last time, though, and hard to fancy in this line-up.

10. JAMES GARFIELD (George Scott/Frankie Dettori)
High-class performer who won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury (by ¾ length from Expert Eye) on return in April. Seen to good effect in first-time blinkers when ½-length second of 20 to Polydream in Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time, collared only near the line. That form makes him a player here and Frankie Dettori retains the ride (he has been aboard for 2 of his 3 wins)

11. SANDS OF MALI (Richard Fahey/Paul Hanagan)
Smart performer who won the Prix Sigy at Chantilly in April and the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock (by nose from Invincible Army) in May. Good second in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot (½-length behind Eqtidaar) in June, but well below form last 2 starts in July Cup at Newmarket and Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. However, he is in good hands and is the type to bounce back.

12. SPEAK IN COLOURS (Joseph O'Brien/Donnacha O'Brien)
Won a minor event at Ascot and a listed race at Doncaster (by ½ length from Mutaaqeb) in 2017 for Marco Botti. Proved better than ever when also winning 8-runner Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh last time by 1¼ lengths from Gordon Lord Byron, staying on to lead in the final furlong. This demands more, but he is worth another crack at this level.

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