With an estimated £280,000 up for grabs in the Scoop6 this Saturday, there’s no doubt that those going in search of the prize will have cast their eye over two interesting runners from James Fanshawe’s yard.
Sleeping Lion and Spanish Archer are set to contest legs three and four on what is sure to be a sweltering day at Ascot.
And while it’s been difficult to comprehensively plan any horse’s campaign this year, there’s definitely an interesting rationale to their placement here.
“We have been a bit scuppered with the current circumstances. Making a plan for each and every horse can be tricky. The reason why we are running Spanish Archer and Sleeping Lion is because, in what would have been Shergar Cup races, these races are for four-year-olds and up. The older horses can be vulnerable to an improving three-year-old.”
No time for rest as Sleeping Lion heads to Ascot
The first of the two-pronged attack for James on Saturday is Sleeping Lion. Apparently in good form at home, he put in a strong showing on his last appearance.
“He ran very well at Newcastle last time out but he possibly took the lead too far out. When you take the lead at Newcastle a long way from home, you’re there to be caught.
Fanshawe has always liked the horse and thinks the distance could catch some of his rivals out. “He has taken a bit of time to grow up, he used to get a bit warm in the preliminaries. They all have to stay the two miles, and he does, we just hope he doesn’t get caught flat-footed coming round the bend and on to the straight.”
Spanish Archer hoping to zero in on the gold
In the 3:35pm, Fanshawe is hoping Spanish Archer can build upon his victory at Ripon just a fortnight ago.
“He can be very useful on his day. We slightly paid the price for beating The Queen’s horse, Sextant, when two-years-old as we were in the handicapper’s grasp after that.”
Having only finished outside the top five once, this consistent, now five-year-old, hasn’t lost any zest for racing.
“He was very game when he won and has only gone up two pounds for that. He has come out of that victory really well. There could be something coming out of the pack that is improving but there is some good prize money involved in the race.”
Keeping The Tin Man fresh for Haydock
Away from Ascot, Fanshawe’s fan favourite The Tin Man looks set to be heading for Haydock after a strong run in the Hackwood at Newbury.
“He has come out of that run really well and we were thinking about going for the Prix Maurice de Gheest but we just want to freshen him up for Haydock. We don’t know how many chances we have left at Group ones so we have to give it a go while we can.”
Selino back to himself after difficult trip to Newbury
Selino was one of the horses that looked certain to win next time out after an eye-catching second at the Royal Meeting. However, things did not go his way when he was nearly brought down at Newbury.
“He is one that really did miss out on a programme. We wanted to get him out in early April but we threw him in at the deep end at Royal Ascot. He was nearly on his knees, and with the slow pace he wasn’t going to get involved in the sprint to the finish”.
He is back to himself now and he will be targeted at one of four races. “There is a two-mile handicap at York, the Ebor, the Lonsdale and another race at Chester that we can go to, but we would have to get in the Ebor before considering it”.
James will be hoping for more luck next time and he feels that a brisker pace puts Selino in with a big chance. “He is a stayer, a proper stayer” and one to look out for in the next couple of seasons.