Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
CLIVE Cox may be represented by three runners as he targets back-to-back wins in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on Friday.
The Lambourn handler landed the six-furlong contest last year with Golden Horde who scored by one and a half lengths under this year’s Cazoo Derby winning jockey Adam Kirby.
The victory continued Cox’s great record in top class sprint races, that include victories in the Prix de l’Abbaye with Gilt Edge Girl, the Diamond Jubilee and July Cup with Lethal Force, the King’s Stand Stakes with Profitable, and July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup with Harry Angel.
Cox this year is represented by 2020 Middle Park Stakes winner Supremacy (6-1), Diligent Harry (12-1) and Isabella Giles (33-1).
“I’m very happy that Supremacy has put his Ascot defeat behind him,” Cox told representatives of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
“Although it was nothing major, he wasn’t right when he came back and it was enough to take the shine off him. He had a high white cell count, and the rain didn’t help on the day, as he definitely prefers summer ground. He finished last, but I was pleased anyway when the form of the race worked out well.
“That said, he will be sporting a pair of blinkers as he’s quite a lazy horse at home. We’ve been pleased with his focus in them at home and Adam will ride.”
“It’s a big step for Diligent Harry as this will be his turf debut, but he did remarkably well in the spring, when his three wins culminated in the Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championship at Lingfield. He’s only been beaten once, and that was by Rohaan, who has franked the form again and again, so that form is rock solid.
“I’ve been very pleased with him since, and he’s done plenty of work on grass, both at home and away, so the turf won’t be completely alien, although he’s yet to do it in public, having missed a couple of possible races owing to soft ground. He’s a very exciting prospect, win, lose or draw, and the fact that it’s three-year-olds only is a massive attraction at this stage of life.
Isabella Giles, a seven-length Group 3 winner on soft ground at Goodwood last year, and would relish similar conditions.
“Isabella Giles would need easier ground,” Cox said. “But as it’s such an important race and there’s a threat of thunderstorms, so we’ve just left her in there as an insurance.”
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