2:05 – Sandown – CORAL CHARGE (REGISTERED AS THE SPRINT STAKES) (GROUP 3) (CLASS 1) (3yo+) Good To Soft 5f6y
In the last 10 renewals of the Sprint Stakes horses drawn in stalls 1, 2 and 3 have won eight times and on the two occasions that the ground has been Good to Soft the winner has come from stalls 2 and 3 so a low draw is a definite advantage.
Spirit Quartz is drawn in stall 2 and brings some decent recent form into the race. The 4 year old bay gelding finished 5th in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and three runs back was 2nd in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock and he also finished 2nd in the Listed Achilles Stakes at Haydock in between.
Spirit Quartz only came over to the UK in March having raced in Italy as a 3 year old. He won four times last season, including the Group 3 Premio Tudini and he also won at Listed level during the campaign. All four of his wins to date have come over 6 furlongs but he does have some strong form over the minimum trip this season. In fact all six of his UK starts have been over 5 furlongs and on five of his starts he has finished placed with all five results coming in pattern races at Group 2, Group 3 and Listed levels.
The Good to Soft going should not be an issue for him as he has won in Soft and Good to Soft ground in Italy and he has placed for at Group 3 level in the ground in the UK. He is ridden by Frankie Dettori today who rode him on his last start at Royal Ascot so will have a better understanding of where to place him in the race.
With 13 runners in this year’s renewal of the Sprint Stakes getting a run at the right time will be crucial to Spirit Quartz’s chances today. However, he has a fantastic draw to help him and an extremely experienced jockey on board. If he is able to reproduce the form which saw him finish 5th in the King ‘s Stand Stakes he could take some beating today. The fact that he stays 6 furlongs really well will also be a big benefit considering the cut in the ground and the still uphill finish at Sandown.