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Harry “bright and improving” after Ascot stalls ordeal

J A McGrath

Godolphin enjoyed a hugely successful Royal Ascot, with two important winners, plus 13 others in the royal blue silks collecting prize money over the five days. The total haul was an impressive £702,198.

But the unfortunate episode concerning the injury to Harry Angel in the stalls at the start of Saturday’s G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes spoiled the party to a large extent.

Trainer Clive Cox, who has refused to apportion any blame, reported today (Monday) that Harry Angel had made progress and improved significantly in the past 72 hours. He was upbeat in his progress report. The injury — a deep cut on his near-hind fetlock joint — is responding well to treatment.

“The vets on the course did a first-class job (treating the injury). We’ll know more in the next few days and should be in a position to accurately assess where we stand at the end of the week,” Cox said.

“It was just an awful shame what happened,” he added.

Cox said it was too early to be ruling Harry Angel out of features such as the G1 July Cup at Newmarket. “He was very fit going to Ascot, and he has made big improvement since his injury. He’s a lot better today than he was yesterday. He’s bright in himself,” he added.

The four-year-old, officially the world’s highest-rated sprinter, became anxious when placed in the starting gate for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and lashed out with his hind legs. His near-hind became trapped on a ledge on the interior of the stall, and when the starter hit the button, he was standing on only three legs.

In the event, he missed the start by nearly 20 lengths and finished 11th.

Godolphin’s two Royal winners were notable, Blue Point for his ability to bounce back after an unnerving flight back from Hong Kong for a G1 triumph in the King’s Stand Stakes and Old Persian (pictured) for a decisive victory in the G2 King Edward VII Stakes.

The form of the latter suggests he is up to Classic standard, which he may get the chance to prove at the Curragh on Saturday.