Just over a decade ago there were plenty of complaints about the poor quality of British sprinters.
Choisir’s historic double in the 2003 King’s Stand and Diamond Jubilee set the ball rolling for the Australians to come over here and plunder our top speedster contests.
Things have changed in recent times, though, with the introduction of the Commonwealth Cup last year a massive boost to the programme for three-year-old sprinters.
Muhaarar won the inaugural edition and went on to be crowned champion sprinter after his fourth straight Group One in the QIPCO Champions Sprint on Champions Day.
Following him home in last year’s Commonwealth Cup was Limato, who was such an impressive winner of last Saturday’s July Cup.
These really look to be golden times for UK sprinters and I expect the cream to rise to the top again at Newbury on Saturday in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes (3.35pm).
THE TIN MAN was a big disappointment in the Diamond Jubilee last time, but I wouldn’t be writing off James Fanshawe’s four-year-old just yet.
That was a strange race for a Group One sprint – it was a small field and they didn’t go as fast as you would expect.
Fanshawe is an excellent trainer of sprinters. He’s tasted plenty of success over the years and he felt The Tin Man didn’t have the ideal preparation coming into Ascot.
Prior to that, he was impressive at Windsor on his seasonal reappearance while he also ran a creditable fourth behind Muhaarar in the Champions Sprint last October.
I have no doubt in my mind that this son of Equiano is a top notcher and expect him to take all the beating at 9/4 with Betway.
It doesn’t look a strong race, although Ibn Malik is a threat. He didn’t seem to like the ground at Ascot, yet still ran well to finish fourth in the Jersey.
Charming Thought has just his second start since winning the 2014 Middle Park. He is obviously unexposed, but it will take a leap of faith to back him here.
This is one of the most low-key weekends of the summer, as proven by the Weatherbys Super Sprint (4.10pm) being the highlight of the day.
I wouldn’t normally get heavily involved in a race like this with so much to be taken on trust.
There are plenty of horses who haven’t even run yet, but I’d be surprised if any of them will be able to live with Keith Dalgleish’s CLEM FANDANGO.
The daughter of Elzaam was only reeled in late on two starts back in Beverley’s Hilary Needler Trophy, before an excellent third behind Wesley Ward’s superstar, Lady Aurelia, in the Queen Mary at Ascot.
That is top class form and as she was bought so cheaply she can run off just 8st in this £250,000 sales race.
Over in Ireland, the fillies take centre stage in the Irish Oaks (5.45pm) at the Curragh.
Aidan O’Brien’s Even Song is the odds-on favourite but I’m happy to take her on at the prices.
Jim Bolger’s string are in good form and his TURRET ROCKS could cause a shock here.
She didn’t seem to handle Epsom, but was a promising sixth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
The 12/1 generally available is decent each-way value with the ground continuing to dry out.
The Tin Man, 3.35pm Newbury
Clem Fandango, 4.10pm Newbury
Turret Rocks e/w, 5.45pm Curragh