Limato: might run at Ascot on Champions Day
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tony mcfadden 1:26PM 10 OCT 2016
HENRY CANDY has revealed that impressive July Cup and Prix de la Foret winner Limato, widely assumed to be heading to the Breeders’ Cup for his next start, will run in the Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot on Saturday if the going is good.
“We’ll have to wait as long as we can with Limato. If the ground stays good, he’ll run,” Candy said. “But there’s quite a bit of rain forecast on Friday night into Saturday.”
The going at Ascot is currently good, good to soft in places. The forecast is generally dry until Wednesday but then there is an increased risk of showers.
Candy has previously insisted that Limato needs time between his races to be at his most effective but feels that the four-year-old gelding has matured.
“There wasn’t much of him when he was two and three and he got beat in the Foret last year because I’d run him at Doncaster just a fortnight before, but this spring he really grew into himself,” Candy said.
“If you’d told me when he was younger that he’d run twice in a fortnight I’d have said you were mad, but he’s changed completely and takes his races so much better now,” the trainer added.
Candy could also run last year’s runner-up Twilight Son, who features among the 17 confirmations at the five-day stage.
“I think Twilight Son has also changed a bit through the year,” he said. “I had to give him a racecourse gallop before he ran. He’s working really well and he’s almost better fresh now.”
Other leading contenders in the Champions Sprint include dual Nunthorpe winner Mecca’s Angel, Sprint Cup heroine Quiet Reflection and last year’s leading British-trained juvenile Shalaa, who made a belated winning return in the Bengough Stakes at the start of the month.
Candy said: “If Shalaa has improved as much as John [Gosden] thinks he has then he’ll be the one to beat, while there’s Quiet Reflection and you also have to mention The Tin Man, so it’s a very hot race.”
Limato has been installed as the 3-1 favourite with William Hill, while Quiet Reflection is next in the betting at a top price of 9-2 with Paddy Power.
Another fascinating contender is Dean Ivory’s Librisa Breeze, who was such an impressive winner of the valuable Challenge Cup last time and has been fast-tracked to Group 1 company on his first start over six furlongs. He is a 12-1 chance.