The leaden skies and heavy ground couldn’t dampen the celebration of the James Fanshawe team at Haydock on Saturday as stable star The Tin Man (7/1) powered through the mud under Oisin Murphy to land the Group 1 32Red Sprint Cup in brave fashion.
Although he is by Bishop of Cashel – a stallion noted for producing soft ground horses – connections have always felt The Tin Man was at his best on a fast surface as he showed in the past when landing the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot last year. He had run a great race however the previous September when second to Quiet Reflection at Haydock in the Sprint Cup on soft ground, but Saturday’s conditions were on just raceable.
All eyes had been on last year’s winner Harry Angel, unlucky at Royal Ascot lst time, but who held every chance on this occasion after leading from falgafall. The Clive Cox-trained 6/4 favourite faded inside the final furlong to finish a disappointing sixth, running his second poor race in a row. The Tin Man, on the other hand, made good headway to lead a furlong out before staying on determinedly under Murphy to beat the tough as teak Brando (14/1) by half a length, with Aidan O’Brien’s Gustav Klimt (16/1) running really well to stay on strongly into third, a neck further back. Donjuan Triumphant (16/1) ran a fine race to be fourth after a slow start.
“This was great,” smiled Murphy. “He’s a horse I’d looked forward to riding all week. The race didn’t really go to plan. I didn’t travel great early, but he’s a very good horse and deserved this. It wasn’t until Monday or Tuesday until I got the call to ride. I had a few sleepless nights, but I believed the horse could win.”
“You could argue he’s been unlucky a couple of times this year as he ran two very good races at Ascot and Deauville when flying at the end,” added Fanshawe, who confirmed the Champions Sprint at Ascot next month as the target for his Sprint Cup winner, now a top priced 9/2 favourite with Bet365.
“The last furlong was a long way but he’s won nicely. They probably went off a bit quick and they got tired in front of him and he’s seen the trip out wel
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.