Clive Cox is looking forward to giving Harry Angel his first run of the new campaign in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York on Wednesday.
Last year’s winner of the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup was one of 20 horses left in the Group Two contest over six furlongs at the confirmation stage.
Harry Angel is on course to have his first race since being beaten at a short price in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October, with Cox hoping it will be an ideal prep for Royal Ascot.
“Obviously he’s got a penalty here and then we’re looking at a similar path (for the season) to last year, once we get to Royal Ascot – it will be the Diamond Jubilee and the rest,” said the Lambourn trainer.
“It will be nice to get a run under his belt. The team are in good form, but I’m sure he’ll improve for the run as well, so I’m very pleased he’s in good order and starting his season next week.
“It’s an important stepping stone to Ascot.”
Henry Candy’s Limato and the Kevin Ryan-trained Brando filled the places in the July Cup and figure among the Duke of York possibles, as does James Fanshawe’s The Tin Man.
The last two winners of this race, William Haggas’ Tasleet and Charlie Hills’ Magical Memory, have stood their ground, while Aidan O’Brien is responsible for no less than seven in the list – Intelligence Cross, Spirit Of Valor, Washington DC, Declarationofpeace, Fleet Review, Murillo and Sioux Nation.
O’Brien has five of the 14 entries in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes as he seeks to win the Group Three heat for the first time.
The Ballydoyle handler will choose from Ballet Shoes, I Can Fly, Magical, Sarrocchi and Sizzling.
In contrast, John Gosden has already won the Musidora six times, including the last three years. His sole entry is Highgarden, winner of her only start as a juvenile and third at Sandown on her seasonal return.
Ralph Beckett’s smooth Newmarket scorer Ceilidh’s Dream and Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Lubinka, sixth to Laurens in the Fillies’ Mile, are also in the mix.