Global Weekly Review: Formidable 'Harry' shows he's the real deal
When those regularly associated with outstanding horses start handing out the accolades, then it is time to sit up and take notice.
That's what we were doing when trainer Clive Cox and jockey Adam Kirby were producing a string of superlatives to describe Harry Angel, Godolphin's brilliant G1 Darley July Cup winner.
Cox has always been lavish in his praise and admiration for Harry Angel, who on Saturday reversed Ascot's Commonwealth Cup form with Ballydoyle's Caravaggio to the tune of two and a half lengths.
But the often-reserved Kirby was also weighing in with an appraisal that paints the son of Dark Angel as the most formidable leader of the sprinting ranks in quite some time.
For Cox, Harry Angel is "very special," while Kirby is adamant that "he's the real deal."
There is a lot more to being a great sprinter than possessing sheer speed. The demanding six-furlong track on Newmarket's July Course also calls for courage and even reserves of stamina to land the premier prize.
Harry Angel is fast; very fast. But Kirby has also managed to get him to relax in the early stages of a race, which enabled him to cope with the company of Intelligence Cross with a minimum of fuss on Saturday.
Kirby was cool, and so was his partner. They were able to convincingly defeat Limato, last year's winner, by a length and a quarter, and there is confidence in the Cox stable that Harry Angel could do that over and over, if asked.
The Haydock Park Sprint on Sept 9 is an obvious target, but there is an array of top sprints looming large on the horizon after that.
Harry Angel has a fascinating pedigree that has Newmarket written all over it. He is by Dark Angel out of a Cadeaux Genereux (July Cup) mare, out of a Grand Lodge (2nd in 2,000 Guineas) mare.
Another win at Newmarket of great significance for Godolphin at the weekend was that of debutante Poetic Charm in the seven-furlong Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
The Charlie Appleby-trained filly is a Dubawi half-sister to Teofilo.