Watch our Betting Lab analysis and read what connections have to say ahead of the Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock
By Racinguk.com staff
The ground at the Merseyside venue was officially described as soft on Friday morning, with the possibility of further rain ahead of the Group One feature.
"We are obviously very much watching the situation. We are hoping and praying it will be fine," Cox said. "I'm pleased Adam Kirby has rides in the previous races as he can get a feel for the ground. We are very much keen to run, but if it were to turn heavy, that might raise a question.
"The horse is in excellent form, though, and we will see what happens with the weather."
Harry Angel is the general 9-4 favourite and he will be bidding for a Group One double, having landed the July Cup at Newmarket.
Cox said: "We were all very excited going into the July Cup and I think Adam's visible delight when he crossed the line was clear to all. It was not a shock to us and we hoped we could beat Caravaggio. His performance there proved that he is top-flight.
"The track holds no fears as he showed when breaking the track record (in the Sandy Lane Stakes in May), which we are very proud of.
"It is a Group One and there are a lot of horses who deserve a lot of consideration and respect. That is the same with any race, really.
"I was impressed with Brando in Deauville and his form was pretty good before that when just up behind us in the July Cup. There are half a dozen in there that you would give a realistic chance to, as you would expect in a Group One race.
"The Sprint Cup is always a top-class race and one of the iconic sprints of the season."
Brando put in good late work to take third place behind Harry Angel in the July Cup and has since gone on to register his own Group One victory in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
Trained by Kevin Ryan, the five-year-old is owned by Peter Tingey, who feels Brando could have finished closer at Newmarket had things worked out differently.
"Brando apparently ran the last three furlongs of the July Course in the fastest time since records began," said Tingey, ahead of the latest leg in the sprint division of the Qipco British Champions Series.
"Tom (Eaves) did the right thing in following Caravaggio, who was red-hot going into the race, but in hindsight if we'd been following something else we might have got closer to Harry Angel.
"It's not going to be easy and Harry Angel is the one to beat, but I think they will be as worried about Brando as we are are about Harry Angel."
The Tin Man found only Quiet Reflection too good 12 months ago before winning the Champions Sprint at Ascot.
He struck gold at the royal meeting this year in the Diamond Jubilee, but was disappointing in the July Cup.
Trainer James Fanshawe said: "I don't think he wants extremes of going, but he is in good form. I don't want to make excuses for his last run when obviously he didn't run so well. We just want to get him back on track."
WHAT THEY SAY:
Jim Crowley, jockey, Tasleet:
"He's a real player on his best form and this has been his aim for a while. It didn't work out for a number of reasons in the July Cup, they went no pace and it's definitely a case the softer the better for him. If he can return to the form of his Diamond Jubilee run then he'll have a very good chance. It would be nice to get him back on track. It's a good race, it's entitled to be, but on his best form he should be thereabouts."
Charlie Appleby, trainer, Blue Point:
"His preparation has gone very well. Obviously, the ground is an unknown, but we feel he is going to cope with the conditions. Draw-wise, we're sat on the wing (in stall one), but with the ease in the conditions you can get trouble in running on the rail and I think we are better off where we are. He travels well and James (Doyle) can put him where he needs to, so I'm happier being there than tucked up on the rail. He's in really good order. He's had a nice break and is fresh and well."
Sam Hoskins, racing manager, Magical Memory:
"He's very well. He ran a cracker in Deauville (fourth in Prix Maurice de Gheest). He's proved this year he can handle softish ground. We're all not sure what it's going to be like. They're expecting a lot of rain, but he's in good shape. It's a really good renewal. We're just hoping he can run into a place. After last time, Andrea (Atzeni) felt going back to six would suit him. He's got a high cruising speed and was arguably unlucky not to win this race two years ago, but this is a better renewal. He's worth his place in the line-up and we'll see. There are a lot of horses who are questionable on pedigree and previous races on the ground. There are a few like Tasleet and The Tin Man who will handle it, but the others are doubts. If he came out of this well we might go for the Ayr Gold Cup, but this is the prime target."
Richard Fahey, trainer, Kimberella, Growl, Mr Lupton, Queen Kindly:
"They're all outsiders and we'll see what happens. Kimberella is a good, hardy horse and Mr Lupton is the same and Growl would have a chance on his best form. We're very pleased with Queen Kindly - I don't think she'll be rated 103 after Saturday, put it that way. Whether she'll win is another thing, but we are very, very happy with her."