Twilight Son (green sleeves) just wins the Sprint Cup
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
THE score between Twilight Son and Magical Memory stands at 3-0 to the Henry Candy-trained sprinter but Charlie Hills is hopeful that his Stewards’ Cup winner will be able to turn the tables in the Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on Wednesday afternoon.
Magical Memory was most progressive last season and went down to Twilight Son by only three-quarters of a length in the Sprint Cup on his final start of the campaign.
He looked as good as ever when winning the Group 3 Abernant Stakes in smooth style on his return at Newmarket last month and trainer Charlie Hills is expecting a bold show in the Duke of York Stakes, for which Magical Memory is the general 5-2 favourite.
“He hasn’t missed a beat since winning the Abernant,” Hills said. “He’s getting 5lb from Twilight Son and I think he’s still improving.”
“The ground and track should be perfect for him and the draw looks okay. All being well he’ll go to the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot afterwards.”
Twilight Son, the 4-1 second favourite for today’s race, won his first five races and only surrendered his unbeaten record to the brilliant Muhaarar at Ascot on Champions Day.
As the winner of the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup, Twilight Son must concede 5lb to all of his rivals at York, a task trainer Henry Candy fears may prove difficult on the horse’s seasonal return.
“He’s done very, very well through the winter – probably too well. He might need his first run and giving 5lb to some might prove too much,” Candy said. “However, he loves York and it’s a great place to start. He likes to get his toe in a little bit, so I would prefer a bit of give in the ground.”
Candy’s wish for a bit of rain was granted as 4.5mm of overnight rain caused the going at the track to ease slightly to good, good to firm in places.
The rain would also have been welcomed by Tim Easterby, trainer of last year’s runner-up Mattmu, who said on Tuesday: “Mattmu is in great form and has been aimed at the race, but if the ground is very firm he won’t run.”
A total of 12 horses have been declared for the Group 2 sprint, which is scheduled to be run at 3.15pm.
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