Little Kim tops full field of 25 for Saturday’s Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury
Top-weight Little Kim heads a maximum field of 25 two-year-olds going for glory in the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint (3.35pm) at Newbury this Saturday, July 21.
Little Kim (Karl Burke/Ben Curtis, 9st 3lb) made a winning debut in a novice event at Carlisle on June 7 and last time out wore down American challenger Chelsea Cloisters to win the G3 Prix du Bois at Deauville, France, on July 3, both over five furlongs, which is the distance of the Weatherbys Super Sprint.
In between, the daughter of Garswood finished eighth, beaten two lengths, behind Signora Cabello in the G2 Queen Mary Stakes over the same distance at Royal Ascot on June 20.
Trainer Karl Burke said today: “Little Kim is in great form. She goes there with a Group race win in the bag and, although she has an 8lb penalty for that, she has a good draw  and will hopefully run well.
“We had her in the Prix Robert Papin on Sunday as well. It was a 50/50 call, but I have another horse [True Mason] declared for that race and it was always his target.
“As well as that, Nick Bradley [part-owner of Little Kim] is happy to go for the money at Newbury as he did not want to take on the Queen Mary winner again.”
Fillies have an excellent record in the Weatherbys Super Sprint, taking 15 of the 26 renewals. They include champion two-year-old fillies Lyric Fantasy (1992), Superstar Leo (2001) and Tiggy Wiggy (2014).
This year’s renewal features 13 fillies. Others to note include Snazzy (Charlie Fellowes/Stevie Donohoe, 8st 10lb), who finished third in a Listed race at York in May for a Highclere Thoroughbred Racing syndicate, and lightly-raced Newbury winner Cookupastorm (Richard Spencer/Martin Dwyer, 8st 2lb).
Richard Fahey has won three of the last five editions of the Weatherbys Super Sprint, making him the joint most successful current trainer in the race. Four of his six runners this year are fillies, including decisive Nottingham scorer Red Balloons (Paul Hanagan, 8st 6lb) and twice-raced Ayr winner Society Queen (8st 3lb), the mount of last year’s winning jockey Paddy Mathers.
Of the colts, both Kinks (Mick Channon/Joe Fanning, 8st 7lb) and Tin Hat (Eve Johnson Houghton/Edward Greatrex, 8st 11lb) come into the race on the back of good efforts at Royal Ascot. Kinks finished sixth in the G2 Norfolk Stakes after being denied a clear run, while Tin Hat ran on to take fifth in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.
The Hannon stable has an unrivalled record in Weatherbys Super Sprint, with eight victories in total. Richard Hannon, who triumphed with Tiggy Wiggy, relies on dual winner Its The Only Way (8st 7lb, Tom Marquand) and Ginger Nut (8st 5lb, Harry Bentley).
First run in 1991, the Weatherbys Super Sprint is for two-year-olds only who were sold or bought in as yearlings by public auction at ‘specified sales’, or as two-year-olds up to and including March 5, 2018, for £60,000 or less before July 1, 2017, or for £63,000 or less after June 30, 2017.
For each £5,000 paid under £63,000, horses are given a 1lb allowance (the last sale to govern the price if sold more than once). Colts and geldings are set 9st 3lb before any allowance and fillies 8st 12lb. The following penalties apply: a winner of a Class 2 race 3lb, of a Listed race 5lb and of a Pattern race 8lb.
There are two reserves – Prince Des Sables (Kevin Ryan, 8st 2lb) and Shaffire (Joseph Tuite, 8st 7lb) – who can come in if there are any non-runners by 1.00pm tomorrow, July 20.
Full field for inaugural £100,000 JLT Cup
A full field of 18 runners is also set to go to post in the first running of the £100,000 JLT Cup (2.25pm) at Newbury on Saturday. The extended two-mile handicap was introduced this year in response to industry demand for an enhanced programme for stayers, supported by the Newbury board of directors, and is also welcomed by bookmakers. The £100,000 prize fund includes a £30,000 contribution from the British Horseracing Authority’s Development Fund.
Heading the weights for the two-mile handicap is the 2017 Ebor Handicap winner and Melbourne Cup fifth Nakeeta (Iain Jardine/Callum Rodriguez (3), 9st 10lb), while the warm favourite is Irish raider Stratum (Willie MullinsIRE/Robert Winston, 8st 12lb), a staying-on third last time out in the two and a half-mile Ascot Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Amazing Red (Ed Dunlop/Frankie Dettori, 9st 6lb) was the impressive winner of a competitive handicap over a mile and six furlongs at Newmarket in June, but needs to bounce back from a disappointing effort last time out when 10th in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
Sir Chauvelin (Jim Goldie/George Downing, 9st 2lb) finished well when third in the Northumberland Plate and was subsequently not beaten far when 10th to his stablemate and full-brother Euchen Glen in the John Smith’s Cup over an extended 10 furlongs at York on July 14.
Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum has two leading contenders in Quloob (Owen Burrows/Jim Crowley, 9st 2lb), fifth behind Amazing Red at Newmarket, and lightly-raced three-year-old Almoghared (John Gosden/Andrea Atzeni, 8st 6lb).
Almoghared is a half-brother to 2014 Oaks winner Taghrooda and finished fourth behind Kew Gardens when last seen out in the G2 King Edward VII Stakes over a mile and a half at Royal Ascot.
Trainer Alan King has been enjoying a great run with his Flat performers in 2018 and is represented by Coeur de Lion (Martin Harley, 8st 9lb), a close sixth in the Ascot Handicap last time out, while Gary Moore has an intriguing contender in Kloud Gate (Harry Bentley, 8st 9lb), a Listed-placed performer when trained in France and seventh in the Ascot Handicap on his first Flat outing for the Sussex trainer.
Other leading contenders include Buzz (Hughie Morrison/Liam Keniry, 8st 11lb) and Percy’s Word (Simon Crisford/Paul Hanagan, 8st 9lb), who have both shaped up well on the all-weather recently.
Great supporting action
There is also a G3 sprint on Saturday in the £60,000 bet365 Hackwood Stakes (3.00pm, 10 runners) over six furlongs. This contest sees a fascinating clash of the generations with the three-year-olds Equilateral (Charlie Hills/William Buick) and Invincible Army (James Tate/Luke Morris), who both contested the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, set to take on some very decent older sprinters, led by G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes fifth Projection (Roger Charlton/Harry Charlton) and Wokingham Handicap scorer Bacchus (Brian Meehan/Frankie Dettori).
Saturday’s racing gets underway with the £37,000 Listed bet365 Stakes (1.50pm, seven runners) over 10 furlongs. The field for this contest includes Desert Encounter (David Simcock/Andrea Atzeni), successful in the G3 Dubai Legacy Cup at Newbury in September, and Godolphin’s Emotionless (Charlie Appleby/William Buick), who won the G2 Champagne Stakes back in 2015 and is making his first UK start in almost two years.
The going at Newbury remains Good to Firm, Good in places. The GoingStick reading at 7.50am today was 6.5.
“Party In The Paddock” with Craig David
Saturday, July 21 is the first of the “Party In The Paddock” racedays at Newbury in 2018, with acclaimed singer-songwriter Craig David set to take to the stage at 6.05pm.
David released his debut album, Born To Do It, in 2000, and has had 20 UK top 40 singles, and seven UK top 40 albums, selling over 15 million records worldwide as a solo artist.
Tickets for July 21 are selling fast, with the Grandstand completely sold out and very limited availability in the Premier Enclosure.
Racegoers wishing to attend should book tickets as soon as possible online at www.newburyracecourse.co.uk to avoid disappointment.
Newbury also stages a seven-race card tomorrow, Friday, July 20, when the highlight is the £25,500 Listed Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Rose Bowl Stakes (3.35pm, six runners) over six furlongs for two-year-olds.