1. Henry Candy
Limato has been Henry Candy’s flagbearer in recent seasons with a win in the 2016 July Cup at Newmarket, having finished runner-up in the previous year’s Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
He was taking over the mantle from Twilight Son, who mastered Strath Burn in the 2015 Haydock Sprint Cup before also landing the following term’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal fixture. Candy had also earlier won the first of those two contests in 2010 with Markab, while Twilight Son’s father Kyllachy had scorched to success in York’s Nunthorpe Stakes in 2002.
2019 was fairly quiet by the trainer’s lofty standards, but his outstanding ability with speedsters was displayed with three of his four pattern successes coming over the minimum trip.
Kurious took a Listed and a Group race at Sandown, while Rebecca Rocks scored in a Listed heat at Ayr and both could enhance their value further this year.
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2. Robert Cowell
Cambridgeshire’s Robert Cowell has arguably become ‘the trainer’ that you think of when it comes to sprinters.
His first really good speedster was Prohibit who landed the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2011, while Kingsgate Native and Spirit Quartz both flew his flag a couple of seasons later with Group 2 victories in the Temple Stakes and in France respectively.
Jwala was his next top-class horse taking the Nunthorpe Stakes at York in 2013 and two years afterwards Goldream was the golden boy winning Newmarket’s Palace House Stakes before providing him with a second King’s Stand and the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.
His two pattern race successes last season came at opposite ends of the age spectrum with Strive For Glory winning a two-year-old heat over five furlongs and six-year-old Raucous scoring in a Listed race at Newmarket over a furlong further.
3. Clive Cox
Top trainers can never relax if wily Cox has a combatant in a race and he’s done ever so well with his sprinters over the years.
Both Royal Ascot sprints, the King’s Stand and the Diamond Jubilee have gone his way. Profitable lived up to his name in the former in 2016, while Lethal Force obliged under Adam Kirby in the Diamond Jubilee three years’ earlier.
The July Cup has been a very happy hunting ground with Lethal Force again in the winner’s enclosure in 2013 and he was emulated by Harry Angel four seasons’ later. Harry Angel also prevailed in the 2017 Haydock Sprint Cup in which he made all under Kirby to score by four lengths – a huge margin in a 6f sprint.
Cox looks to have some exciting speed merchants for 2020, including three-year-olds Golden Horde and Streamline, four-year-old Shades Of Blue, and older horse Snazzy Jazzy – who won a Listed race last season.
4. James Fanshawe
Fanshawe has done consistently well with sprinters throughout his career, most recently with The Tin Man, who has won a race – including the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and Haydock Sprint Cup – at the highest level three years’ running from 2016.
Frizzante provided him with his first Group 1 sprint victory under Johnny Murtagh in the 2004 July Cup at Newmarket.
Royal Ascot in 2011 was an annus mirabilis for Fanshawe when in the space of 45 minutes he scooped both the Golden Jubilee Stakes courtesy of Society Rock and the Wokingham with Deacon Blues. The former also landed the Haydock Sprint Cup the following term.
This year his sprinting aspirations could be represented by Archer’s Dream who a Listed race in 2019. He also produces in the big sprint handicaps and as well as getting a tune out of Deacon Blues, he also scored in Goodwood’s Stewards’ Cup with Zidane in 2007.
5. Sir Michael Stoute
His sole Golden Jubilee Stakes winner was as far back as 1985 with the Willie Carson-ridden Dafayna in the Aga Khan’s famous green colours. He also doffed his top hat at the Royal extravaganza four years’ earlier when Marwell triumphed over the minimum five in the King’s Stand Stakes under the late Walter Swinburn.
Marwell was also the first of Stoute’s three winners in his local course’s flagship event the July Cup and he followed up with Green Desert (1986) and Ajdal the following season. Those last two won the same season’s Haydock Sprint Cup.
You have to go even further back in the archives for the first of his two Nunthorpe Stakes wins, Blue Cashmere under Edward Hide in 1974 and Ajdal troubled the judge again in 1987.
Dream Of Dreams was a wafer-thin second in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes last season and is one to follow for this season.
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