Godolphin's champion sprinter Harry Angel made a perfect start to his 4-year-old campaign with a decisive victory in the May 16 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (G2) going six furlongs at York. The Clive Cox-trained Dark Angel colt will go next to the June 23 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot.
"We know he is good, and we just have to get him there in one piece," Cox said.
Successful at the group 1 level in the Darley July Cup and the 32red Sprint Cup Stakes (G1) last year, Harry Angel was quickly into his stride in his first race of 2018. He disputed the early running before being held in second, racing a bit keenly, behind leader Ornate in the field of five.
Sir Dancealot made his move approaching the final quarter-mile and took the lead, but Adam Kirby on Harry Angel in third was aware of what was happening and asked his mount to quicken.
Harry Angel showed an instant turn of foot and soon went to the front, opening up a clear advantage. He galloped out strongly to score by two lengths over last season's LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) victor Brando.
The final time was 1:10.87 on good to firm turf.
"Harry Angel seems more grown up and more mature this year," Cox said. "We have not squeezed him off the bridle at home.
"I am thrilled he has taken this first step well. I think all these sprinters need a run to get them back into gear. He had a penalty today, and even though it was a smaller field than usual, I know he will come forward from today.
"Mentally, I am so pleased with the way he has conducted himself. Walking across (the course) here is a bigger test than anything he has done before. He has really grown up mentally.
"In the early days, it was quite tough to harness his mind. We are reaping the rewards of that patience, and I am really delighted for Sheikh Mohammed keeping him in training."
"I was really pleased with Harry Angel," Kirby said. "We knew that he would be a little bit fresh, and he showed his well-being for the first quarter-mile. When I pulled him and sank into him a bit, he found top gear and finished off strongly.
"I think he is definitely improving, and his mind has definitely improved—he is relaxing and doing everything a lot better now. Fair play to Clive Cox, who has done a fantastic job. Not only has he trained the horse, he has trained his mind."