The Tin Man will be vying for his second crown in the British Champions Sprint Stakes when he participates in the event at the end of October. James Fanshawe’s charge triumphed at Ascot in 2016, defeating his nearest rival by a length.
The six-year-old has recorded victories since then, including at Royal Ascot, suggesting that he will be a formidable opponent at the racecourse. The Tin Man will face stiff competition to notch his second win as he attempts to bounce back from a poor performance at the race last season.
Librisa Breeze will aim to replicate his display when he triumphed to defeat The Tin Man. Only two horses have won the British Champions Sprint Stakes twice in the history of the race.
The two contenders will be vying to make history and will surely be worth monitoring their form and progress with the tips on Oddschecker ahead of the contest to get the best value. We’ll now break down their recent results on the track to determine the outcome of the race at Ascot.
The Tin Man
Source: The Racing Post via Twitter
Fanshawe’s charge returned to action at the start of the 2018 term off the disappointment of the Champions Stakes last season when he finished down the order in fifth. Tom Queally took to the saddle and was able to guide his charge to a victory by three-quarters of a length, pulling clear of the field down the stretch. The Tin Man had a chance to string back-to-back triumphs at Royal Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. He was considered one of the leading contenders for the win, and put forward a decent performance to challenge for the crown, but he just lacked the pace down the stretch, placing in fourth.
The next race on the agenda for the six-year-old involved a trip to Deauville for the Prix Maurice de Gheest. The Tin Man challenged for the crown, displaying the pace to match the leading the group. However, in the closing stages, Polydream was able to make the surge to claim the win as the bay gelding placed in third. Fanshawe’s charge bounced back from his difficult run of form at the Sprint Cup Stakes. Oisin Murphy took the reins and was able to get a fine performance out of the six-year-old. He battled Brando down the stretch, but edged out his rival to claim the win. He has the form ahead of the event and it will take a fine effort to stop him.
Dean Ivory’s charge is the returning champion after a brilliant display at Ascot last season to take the crown. No other competitor had the speed to catch him down the final furlong, finishing one-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of the rest of the field. However, his form this season has been a major issue, failing to kick on from his victory. It began at Meydan when he placed down in ninth in the Al Quoz Sprint, struggling to find his speed at the event. Librisa Breeze participated in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and was one of the outside contenders for the race, despite his lack of action in the season.
Robert Winston could not generate speed out of the grey gelding, who was off the pace from the off and placed down in ninth, failing to muster a challenge. Librisa Breeze faced off once again against The Tin Man in Deauville. However, he had similar struggles to his rival in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, leaving him one spot behind him in fourth place. Ivory’s charge had the opportunity to build form ahead of the defence of his crown at Ascot, only to put out one of the worst displays of his career, finishing last at the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. The grey gelding will have to dig deep to defend his crown based on his form this term.
Source: HorseRacingUK via Twitter
The Irish horse had form entering the Champions Stakes with wins at the Darley July Cup Stakes and the Sprint Cup Stakes. He was considered the favourite for the event, but he failed to muster the pace needed to challenge down the stretch, placing in an underwhelming fourth place. Harry Angel returned to the track for the start of the 2018 season at the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes. Clive Cox’s charge made a statement with a strong performance, displaying great speed to clinch the victory by two lengths ahead of Brando.
The dominance of his display saw Harry Angel installed as the favourite for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. However, he failed to rise to the occasion with Adam Kirby in the saddle. The Irish horse suffered one of the worst outings of his career, placing down in 11th out of a field of 12 competitors. Harry Angel had a chance to make a statement ahead of the Champion Stakes in the defence of his crown at the Sprint Cup Stakes, but once again he had issues with his rhythm, finishing sixth, well off the pace. Cox’s charge will have to be brilliant to win at Ascot this term.
The French horse could be the value pick with odds in the region of 8/1 for him to claim the win. He has been in impressive form throughout the campaign, although his three victories have come on French soil. City Light began the season with a strong performance in the Anabaa Stakes, winning the event by a comfortable margin to give him momentum for the rest of the campaign. Next on the agenda was the All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield. He was a slight outsider for the crown, but was able to muster a strong finish to see off favourite Kachy.
Stephane Wattel’s charge maintained his excellent form with a third win on the bounce, triumphing at Longchamp in the Prix de Saint-Georges. He defeated his rival Gold Vibe by one-and-a-half lengths to enter the Diamond Jubilee Stakes with momentum. City Light was outstanding in his first run at Ascot as he made a brilliant surge down the stretch to come within striking distance of victory. However, Merchant Navy had just enough to beat him by a short head to take the crown.
The French horse finished behind The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze at Deauville last time out with his worst outing of the season down in fifth. Mattel’s charge is certainly the one to watch given his display on debut at Ascot. He could well go one better to stop the two horses vying to win the Champions Stakes for a second time. There’s a reason why two-time winners are so few.