James’s Delight for Clive Cox team in big York sprint

James’s Delight defied top-weight in emphatic fashion when coming with a late surge to score impressively in the Churchill Tyres Supporting Macmillan Sprint Handicap over six furlongs at York – and a tilt at the Wokingham at Royal Ascot could come next.

Ryan Moore dropped the Clive Cox-trained three-year-old in behind the early pacesetters and when he asked his mount to quicken up at the furlong pole, the response was both immediate and decisive.

The victor has struggled in Group Three and Listed company when stepped up in class this term, but that was a third handicap success of the season for the Invincible Army gelding.

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Having been sent off at 6-1, he prevailed by two and a quarter lengths from Almarada Prince, with 4-1 joint-favourite Elmonjed another length back in third.

Cox, was at Sandown, from where he said: “That was wonderful, I’m so pleased. It was a very confident ride from Ryan, as always, and I was thrilled with how James’s Delight has done it. It’s great for the Rooneys, who are big supporters.

“The way he changed gear there today fills me full of excitement. He does appreciate the ground, as although he won on good ground on Guineas day at Newmarket he prefers this end of the scale.

“Ryan won this race for us on Harry Three and if we can join up for these occasions I’m very happy.”

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He added: “We’ll see how he comes back before we think of the Wokingham, winning today means he’ll have a penalty and that will be on top of a mark of 102 so we’ll see. But he’s clearly a three-year-old going places.

“We’ve got a fair team going to Ascot so I had a busy morning at home, which is why I went to Sandown rather than travelling up the M1.”

Moore said: “He’s an improving horse, it was a strongly-run race and it unfolded nicely for him.”

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