Angel sheer delight in Haydock Park sprint romp

Harry Angel (extreme left) takes flight
Harry Angel (extreme left) takes flight
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Harry Angel booked his place in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June after blitzing his field in the Armstromg Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock Park

The colt, ridden by Adam Kirby and from the yard of Clive Cox, pinged the stalls and made all the running in the six furlong dash, smashing the course record by over a second in the process.

The further he went the further Harry Angel dominated the race, scooting home by four-and-a-half lengths,

Second Thought ran on late to cement the runner-up berth, but Harry Angel, sent off the 5-6 favourite, was not for catching.

Conforming that the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal meeting was the next objective, Cox said of last season's Mill Reef Stakes winner: "He is the most talented horse I have had in a long time.

"He has had his issues with the stalls, but we have managed to get him to settle and everybody has worked hard with him.

"He's a very big, strong horse and I think we were all aware that there was nothing in the race quick enough to lead him.

"I just let him do it and it will do him good because he's had a race and he'll improve again from this.

"I was really pleased with the way he behaved, he's growing up with every run.

"I think the world of him. We haven't seen the best of him yet. There's still more to come.

"He's a machine, this lad."

The winner carries the colours of owner Peter Ridgers, who won the 2009 Ayr Gold Cup with Jimmy Styles.

It proved to be a hugely successful afternoon for Cox and Kirby as they followed up with victory in the Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes, another Group Two, this time over the minimum trip.

Priceless warded off the late challenge on the stand-side of dual Group One winner Goldream to prevail by half-a-length with Alpha Delphini close up in third place.

The four-year-old filly got off to a decent start and tracked the pacesetting veteran Take Cover for much of the contest.

Priceless hit the front over a furlong out and kept on for victory,Over in Ireland, Churchill, partnered by Ryan Moore, made it a Classic double for the Aidan O'Brien team, adding the Irish 2,000 Guineas to the English version the colt had won earlier in the month.

Churchill's stable companions Lancaster Bomber and Spirit Of Valor gave him a nice lead into the race and while Godolphin's Thunder Snow did his best to make a race of it, Churchill ultimately saw him off by two and a half lengths in the rain-softened ground.

Winning jcokey Moore could not hide his delight, saying of the winner: "He's been such a pleasure to ride from day one.

"We went a good gallop and he relaxes so well, but you could just tell he wasn't really enjoying the ground.

"I had to pick him up and when I asked him, he picked up Christophe (Soumillon, on Thunder Snow) a lot sooner than what I expected him to do.

"I think he's a very talented horse, he does everything you want him to do as a jockey and he ticks all the boxes.

"He goes to sleep on you and he's such a good mover, that's the thing that always stands out with him.

"When you sit on him, there's a lot of power underneath you and he never misses a beat."I think he's a very special horse."

Ante-post favourite Rhododendron heads 16 acceptors for the premier fillies' Classic, the Group One Investec Oaks (, at Epsom Downs on Friday.

Rhododendron has been favourite for the mile and a half Classic, which has prize money of £500,000, since running away with the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket in October.

The three-year-old Galileo filly was a warm order for the mile QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month but had to settle for second behind stablemate Winter after a troubled passage.

Rhododendron's trainer Aidan O'Brien is also planning to run Cheshire Oaks runner-up Alluringly as well and has also left in Rain Goddess Hydrangea, Asking and Pocketfullofdreams ( as he seeks a r seventh victory in the Classic.

Cartmel's jumps fixture was abandoned with three races to go after heavy rainfall left parts of the course unfit to race.

Significant downpours at the Cumbria circuit forced trainers, jockeys and stewards into staging an impromptu inspection of the track.

The course was found to have been not fit for purpose in places, with the remainder of the seven-race card called off.