Cox Hopeful for Diligent Harry at Newmarket

Clive Cox looks poised to send Diligent Harry to the Jenningsbet Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket next month on the back of his fine run at Newbury on Saturday.

The five-year-old was beaten a head by Commanche Falls in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes and was subsequently raised 2lb to a mark of 109 by the handicapper.

Though he came with a well-timed run under Richard Kingscote and had his head in front inside the final 110 yards, he was pipped on the line in the six-furlong contest.

Diligent Harry beat Royal Ascot’s subsequent Buckingham Palace Stakes scorer Witch Hunter in the All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes at Newcastle in April, and was beaten just over three lengths by Equality in the Group Three Coral Charge at Sandown when dropped to five furlongs on his penultimate run.

“It was a very pleasing run on Saturday and I’m pleased that he has come out of it well as well,” said Cox.

“I think that run at Sandown, trying five furlongs on a stiffer track, the rain came pretty much the last half hour before racing which made the going a little bit different still. I was much happier with the run on Saturday.

“With a bit of luck, the Hopeful might be a possibility. He seems to have come out of the race well and if he continues to give that impression, we will be looking at that.”

Five times a winner and twice runner-up from his nine all-weather starts, Diligent Harry is 0-10 on turf, although Cox feels a good prize deserves to fall his way.

The Lambourn handler added: “He is proven over six furlongs, even though he is lacking that success on the turf, and he has run some mighty races in defeat.

“It would be nice to see him win a decent race. He is back up to 109 this morning, so the handicapper thought it was a good run as well.

“Listed and Group races are certainly within his compass and after winning the All-Weather Final earlier in the year, he has continued to produce top-end results.”

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