Aerial view of York racecourse

Heartache Handed Nunthorpe Mission

7 months ago

She might appear to have a mountain to climb on official figures, but trainer Clive Cox believes his speedy filly Heartache will not be disgraced when she runs at York laster in the month in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.

Cox knows a thing or two about training sprinters – his Harry Angel being the latest in a long line of top speedsters that he has guided to the top – and the Lambourn-based trainer believes his daughter of Kyllachy, who last term won the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot before going to beat the smart Havana Grey over the same five furlong minimum trip at Doncaster last September in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes, is coming back to form after things have failed to go her way so far this campaign.

She appeared not to truly stay the six furlongs on her first two outings this season, although she was a close seventh of 22 behind Eqtidaar in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, then back at five furlongs recently at Glorious Goodwood she seemed not to handle the undulating track.

“She just didn’t relish coming down the hill early [at Goodwood],” explained Cox, “and therefore she just got a little bit behind, but I think it was a seriously impressive performance by Battaash. It is difficult for the three-year-olds competing against horses like Battaash, but she will go for the Nunthorpe.

“We know she ran a nice race in the Commonwealth Cup and didn’t quite get home. We want to stay at five furlongs and hope back on a level track will bring out the best in her. I don’t doubt her ability.”

The brilliant Battash remains most people’s idea of the Nunthorpe winner and is a top priced Evens with Betfair, while those fancying a turn up for the books could do worse than consider the 40/1 with Sky Bet about Heartache springing a major surprise.

Paul Alster

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.