The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze could make history this Saturday as the pair bid to become the first horses to win a British Champions Day race twice in the Champions Sprint Stakes.
A total of 12 rivals stand in their way, but the speedsters head the British Champions Sprint betting, 2016 winner The Tin Man favourite at odds of 3/1, and last year's winner Librisa Breeze a top price of 5/1 with 888 Sport.
Who will win the Champions Sprint Stakes, comes down to who will be fastest on the day, and on the ground, and it could pay to look away from the top two when considering your bet.
First held in 1979 as the Diadem Stakes, the British Champions Sprint Stakes is a Group 1 run over 6f, and incorporating the final of the British Champions Series Sprint category - a league The Tin Man will win, if winning on Saturday.
The Tin Man (3/1 Paddy Power) was winning for the second time this year when recording a half length victory in the 6f Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on heavy going last month. Three times a winner at the highest level, including twice over this course and distance, he could finish only fifth on soft ground in last year's Champions Sprint.
However, that marked a rare below par effort for the six-year-old, and he is versatile in terms of going, having finishing a close fourth on good-to-firm in the course and distance Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
None of those who finished in front of him then are set to contest this event giving him strong claims of recording a fourth course-and-distance success from eight starts with the son of Equiano’s latest success arguably a career-best effort.
Librisa Breeze’s (5/1 888Sport) victory in this race 12 months ago marked the culmination of some decent efforts that year, including when fourth to The Tin Man in the Diamond Jubilee four months prior to British Champions Day.
His form this time around hasn’t been anywhere near that level, with a held fourth in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville his best effort in 2018. Below par back up to 7f subsequently, there’s every chance he will bounce back, particularly on his return to the forecast soft going.
Fourth to Librisa Breeze last year, Harry Angel 6/1 William Hill) started his campaign by winning on good-to-firm ground in a small field Group 2 at York in May.
Disappointment has followed in two subsequent runs, having been very slowly away at Royal Ascot in June, and managing only a mid-division finish when sixth in a 12-runner renewal of the Sprint Cup at Haydock Park last month.
Sent off favourite that day, he has been upset at the start on his last two runs and those wishing to back Clive Cox’s charge may well be best doing so as close to the start of the contest as possible. While clearly a top class performer on his day, he has been unable to show it recent times, primarily due to those antics at the start.
Somewhat surprisingly given the six-year-old has dabbled in the sprint division throughout his four-year career, French Group 1 winner Limato is set to make his first appearance in this contest.
Henry Candy’s charge has looked back to something resembling his best lately and, while his two Listed race victories over this distance were in races far weaker, he did win a Group 2 over 7f on good-to-firm going just a week ago.
A hardy individual, the son of Tagula wouldn’t be contesting this Group 1 had he not come out of that race in good form and, at 20/1 (Betfair Sportsbook) in the betting, he looks worth backing each-way, having won once and placed twice from three starts over the course and distance.
Donjuan Triumphant finished a close fourth in a 7f Group 2 at Goodwood (good) at the end of July and put a below par effort over that distance behind him when finishing fourth to The Tin Man in the Group 1 Sprint Cup over this distance at Haydock Park (heavy) early last month.
Absent since that day, the five-year-old ran a decent race when finishing eighth in this race last year and has already placed at this level, having finished runner-up in the Prix Maurice de Gheest over an extended 6f at Deauville (good) in August 2016. At 25/1 with Coral he looks worth an each-way bet.
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