Veteran sprinter The Tin Man has his sights lowered for the rescheduled Coral Bengough Stakes at York on Saturday.
It has been over two years since James Fanshawe’s stable stalwart claimed the third of his three wins at Group One level in the Sprint Cup at Haydock, adding to his previous wins in top-level company in the Qipco British Champions Sprint and the Diamond Jubilee at Ascot.
However, he has run some fine races in defeat since – most recently finishing sixth in his latest tilt at Sprint Cup glory – and drops to a Group Three for a race that was saved from last Saturday’s abandoned meeting at Ascot.
“He’s coming back from a Group One to a Group Three. He’s seems in really good form – the obvious question mark is the going, but he has handled soft ground before,” said Fanshawe.
“He’s been running really well this year. Before the Sprint Cup he was narrowly beaten in a Group Three (Hackwood Stakes) at Newbury and he is still enjoying it.
“We’ll see how he gets on this weekend and take it from there.”
The Tin Man’s seven rivals include David O’Meara’s Stewards’ Cup hero Summerghand, Kevin Ryan’s Brando and the Michael Dods-trained Dakota Gold, who has won four times from seven appearances at York and finished second on two other occasions.
Dods said: “He was actually meant to run in the Rous Stakes at Ascot last weekend, but obviously that meeting was called off and when they switched the Bengough to York, we thought it made sense to run him.
“He seems in good form. It’s a very competitive race, but hopefully he’ll run well.”
Fresh from saddling an across-the-card four-timer at Sedgefield and Newcastle on Wednesday, Rebecca Menzies is looking forward to running Stormy Girl, who claimed a Listed prize at Pontefract in August.
“She’s a very good filly who will also have a big year next year as well, I hope,” said the County Durham-based trainer.
“She’s a big, strong filly who will definitely hold her own as a four-year-old.
“She’s already proved that she can be competitive in Group races and hopefully a Group Three is within reach.”
Brad The Brief (Tom Dascombe), Hareem Queen (Karl Burke) and Kurious (Henry Candy) complete the line-up.
Listed honours are up for grabs in the coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes.
Dods is represented by Blackrod, who steps up in class after a dominant display at Hamilton a few weeks ago.
“He’s a very nice horse,” Dods added.
“It’s a warm race and he has a bit to find on ratings, but he’s an improver and I don’t think he’ll disgrace himself.”
Simon and Ed Crisford’s French Group Three runner-up Legal Attack, Richard Fahey’s pair of Internationaldream and Regional and the Queen’s Light Refrain, trained by William Haggas, also feature.
The most valuable race on the final day of the season on the Knavesmire is the £75,000 Coral Sprint Trophy.
The weights are headed by Mr Lupton and Kynren, third and fifth respectively in the Ayr Gold Cup three weeks ago.
Further down the field is Kevin Ryan’s Magical Spirit, who received a hefty rise for a runaway victory in the Ayr Silver Cup.
Cosmo Charlton, racing manager for Magical Spirit’s owners Hambleton Racing, said: “He seems in great form and Kevin thought it was worth giving him another run in handicap company for some good prize-money.
“It’s a very competitive race and he’s gone up 12lb for winning at Ayr, so it won’t be easy, but I think the track should suit him as you generally need to be on the pace at York and he certainly has plenty of boot.
“Kevin thinks he could be a Pattern-race performer next year, so hopefully he’ll run another big race this weekend.”