Society ready to rock
Friday 19 October 2012
Society Rock will be attempting to follow in the hoofprints of stable companion Deacon Blues when he contests the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
Deacon Blues won the race for trainer James Fanshawe last year and Society Rock comes into the race having landed a second Group One success in the Betfred Sprint Cup, following the Golden Jubilee Stakes over this course and distance in 2011.
"He's been in good form and he's come out of the Sprint Cup in good form. He seems nice and bright," the Newmarket handler told BCSTV.
"He won the Golden Jubilee last year and then ran a really good race in the Prix Maurice de Gheest. I think that was the end of him after that, as he missed the break at Haydock and then with his record at Ascot, I ran him in the 2011 Qipco Sprint behind Deacon Blues and hopefully he will be in better form this year."
The Richard Hannon-trained Libranno was third last year and has been running chiefly over seven furlongs, including when unplaced in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket last weekend.
"Libranno will be one of the outsiders, but he was a 25-1 shot last year and ran a stormer to finish third, only a neck behind Wizz Kid, who is second-favourite," the Herridge trainer told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.
"Granted, the ground will be a lot softer, but he owes us nothing and he certainly has what it takes to finish in the money again."
Clive Cox is worried the ground might be too soft for Jimmy Styles, but reports the eight-year-old in top shape after his latest success at Deauville in August.
The Lambourn trainer said: "He definitely performs well at Ascot, but I'm a little bit concerned the ground is a little bit easier than ideal for him. He's enjoyed a wonderful season and his last win in France was very pleasing - the formlines through that prove he's as good as ever."
Eve Johnson Houghton expects The Cheka to bounce back from a disappointing run in the Ayr Gold Cup and said: "He's in great form, but I think he just had something on him at Ayr and he was a bit dull for a few days. I think he'll run a big race."