Haggas looking for third Super Sprint success with Relief Rally

Relief Rally will bid to give trainer William Haggas his third success in the Weatherbys Super Sprint when she takes on 20 rivals in the valuable five-furlong dash at Newbury.

Haggas, who struck with Superstar Leo in 2000 and Jargelle eight years later, feels the daughter of Kodiac has plenty going for her – and so do the bookmakers, who make her a warm favourite for the prize which is worth £122,925 to the winner.

Royal Ascot’s Queen Mary has been a good pointer to the Newbury sprint and having finished runner-up to American raider Crimson Advocate, who ended Relief Rally’s unbeaten run and foiled a hat-trick bid, Haggas feels she is the one to beat.

The last nine winners have come from stall 13 or higher and Tom Marquand’s mount is handily placed in stall 18, with Eve Johnson Houghton’s fancied pair Bobsleigh and Juniper Berries berthed in stalls 16 and four respectively.

“She’s a good filly and she’s very well,” said Haggas. “She won’t mind any rain. I don’t know about the draw.

“She is drawn with Bobsleigh and away from Juniper Berries, but there’s not much we can do about that. She has a good chance.”

The weight carried by a horse in the Super Sprint is determined by its sale price and as such, Juniper Berries, who finished fourth, four lengths behind Relief Rally at Ascot, is in receipt of 7lb this time.

Johnson Houghton said: “I was absolutely thrilled with Juniper Berries in the Queen Mary – she ran a blinder – and fourth at Royal Ascot is quite a feather in your cap.

“Relief Rally is obviously the main danger but we have a huge weight turnaround, so I am hoping that will be enough to change the placings.

“Bobsleigh has come out of the Coventry in very good form, I am very happy with him. He ran a storming race (at Ascot, beaten three lengths by River Tiber), which has turned out to be very strong form.

“That (five furlongs) would be my main worry. He has won over five and a half, but he looks like he gets the six furlongs well. They normally go very fast in the Super Sprint, so I am hoping that he we will be picking them up at the end.”

Irish raider Son Of Corballis has won two of his three starts for County Laois handler Kieran Cotter, latterly talking the scalp of the well-regarded Coolmore-owned colt Alabama in a Listed sprint at Tipperary.

Though he won on yielding ground on debut, Cotter is hoping the unsettled weather forecast is wrong.

He said: “We actually would want quickish good ground. He won on quick ground twice and I’m hoping it doesn’t rain to be honest.

“The way I look at it, if Alabama was in the race, he’d be hot favourite after previously running well at Ascot (fifth in the Windsor Castle) on the wrong side of the track. We’ve beat him twice this year with two different horses. He’s a fair horse.

“Before he won, he’d been working really well and we really fancied him. But since then, he’s been really laid back in his work, he just couldn’t be bothered.

“He has gone very relaxed altogether. So, when we were going for the Listed sprint, we thought cheekpieces would be needed, as these sprints are won by short heads.

“He is one of these horses who just pulls it out on the day, which is good, as we’ve had too many horses who will fly up the gallops and then you go to the track and they let you down a bit.

“He’s drawn 13 and that was our one big worry. The lads were saying if he was drawn one or two, you might just turn round the box.

“If you’d have given me the 13 stall yesterday I would have taken it. He’ll jump and go and we’ll see how far he gets.”

Roger Teal was also delighted with the 20 berth that Ffos Las debut winner Rosario has been accorded.

A son of Harry Angel, he had the reopposing Heed The Call and Relentless Warrior behind when scoring by a length and a quarter under George Rooke, who retains the ride.

Teal said: “He did it nicely on his first day at school. It all went very nicely and hopefully he will have improved for that, so fingers crossed.

“He is owned by my wife and we think a bit of him. He’s got a good draw, but the only worry would be the rain that is supposed to come on Saturday.”

He went on: “That could just mess us up a bit – he’s quite a good-moving horse and he wouldn’t want the ground too soft.

“Other than that, he’s pretty straightforward and he did the job nicely, so we’re looking forward to it.

“I’ve had bad draws all year, so it’s about time we got a good one. I don’t know what I’ve done right – they must have got my name mixed up in the computer somewhere!”

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