MILLMAN PLANS FIVE-PRONGED ATTACK ON WEATHERBYS SUPER SPRINT
Devon handler Rod Millman accounts for a sixth of the 30 five-day confirmations for Saturday's £135,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury and he reported today that all five of his entries - Azygous, Bathwick Intyre, Bathwick Prince, Montzando and Phantom Whisper - are intended starters.
Azygous has won both his starts on the all-weather at Lingfield but has not been seen out since April 27 while Montzando and Phantom Whisper respectively finished
fourth and seventh in a Sandown Listed event on July 1.
"We're planning to run all five," said Millman. "I didn't think Azygous was quite good enough to win at Royal Ascot so we gave that a miss and, having won a Class 3 at Lingfield, he was getting a 12lb penalty in any other races so there was nowhere to go until Saturday, when Kerrin McEvoy will be in the saddle.
"I was very disappointed with Phantom Whisper last time. He'd had a break since he injured himself at Goodwood but we thought he'd run better than he did. But he hadn't done a lot of work prior to Sandown so was entitled to come on for the race, which he has done, and we're putting a pair of blinkers on him for Saturday, when Richard Mullen will ride.
"Darryll Holland will partner Montzando, who is a really nice horse but has to give the others a bit of weight as he cost more money. But against that he's a big horse, he's 460 kilos, so he can carry the weight better than some others.
"I'm not yet certain who will ride Bathwick Intyre and Bathwick Prince, who are nice enough horses and if they got a good draw they could get a bit of prize money, whereas the other three could be badly drawn and still go close."
Millman is always a big supporter of the Weatherbys Super Sprint, which he won with Lord Kintyre in 1997, and added: "The Weatherbys Super Sprint is a great race, it kick started my career with Lord Kintyre, who is now retired but out in a field at home. The race really helps the smaller trainer, and if we've got one that shows a bit at home we tend to aim for Newbury, this is always our Royal Ascot."
The five-furlong contest offers a bumper payout for less expensive two-year-olds, with only those who went through a British or Irish yearling sale for 40,000gns or less eligible to run. There is a 1lb allowance for each 2,500gns less than 40,000gns that a horse cost as a yearling.
Titus Alone, who gave trainer Bryan Smart a first Royal Ascot success in this year's Windsor Castle Stakes, will be among the leading fancies, while Richard Hannon - who has won the Weatherbys Super Sprint no less than five times before - has five entered this year including Hot, winner of his last two starts.
Mullaad, from the Tim Easterby stable which has won this race with Flanders (1998) and Good Girl (2001), has also landed his last two races while trainer Brian Meehan - successful 12 months ago in the Weatherbys Super Sprint with Siena Gold - has three entries to choose from of whom Coburn is set to shoulder top weight of 9st 3lb, having cost 40,000gns as a yearling.
Triskaidekaphobia, who was an effortless winner of a York nursery on Saturday, could represent trainer Karl Burke, while owner John Fretwell, who specialises in two-year-olds, could run the Eoghan O'Neill-trained Always Hopeful, winner of a Nottingham maiden last time out, and Rosthwaite from Ed McMahon's stable, which also has easy Wolverhampton winner Nigella.
Nick Craven, Commercial Director at Weatherbys, commented: "Saturday's Weatherbys Super Sprint is shaping up into a cracking race and we are thrilled that so many different yards of all sizes are targeting this valuable prize."