James Fanshawe glad to have The Tin Man back on the road again
Weatherbys Hamilton Leisure Stakes |Listed | 6f | ATR
The Tin Man follows the yellow brick road – or more accurately the M11 and M25 from Newmarket – to get back on track on Monday evening.
The high-class sprinter returns from illness in a Listed event in which he scored his first victory after stepping up from handicap company two years ago.
He went on to land the Group 1 Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot that season and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the royal meeting there last year, and James Fanshawe is happy to have him back in action after an abortive trip to the Far East.
"It's good to get him back," the trainer said. "He went to Hong Kong and he took the journey pretty hard; he got a fever over there and it knocked him around.
"He had a nice break after that, he seems in good form now but this is his first run of the year. He's never one to be overexuberant at home but he's moving well and is nice and fresh."
The other previous winner of this race in a field that contains five sprinters with Group 1 entries at Royal Ascot is Tropics, who set a track record which still stands when successful in 2015.
His trainer Dean Ivory also runs last month's Chelmsford winner Lancelot Du Lac and said: "It would help if they had a thunderstorm as the ground could be a bit lively for them.
"Lancelot Du Lac found a little more at Chelmsford when it looked as though he was going to get caught and if he lets himself down on the ground he'll go very close.
"Tropics likes Windsor and he's better in this sort of race than when there are loads of runners and it stresses him out."
Gifted Master returns to Listed company after making all to defy top weight in a handicap at Newmarket.
He means a lot to trainer Hugo Palmer, who said: "He was our first two-year-old winner of his season and he's still winning aged five. I was very emotional when he won at Newmarket, he's got a really big place in my heart."
Gifted Master's penalty means he gives each of his rivals 3lb, and Palmer added: "It's never easy for him. He's rated 112 now and there aren't easy races – but his next assignment will probably have to be a Group 1 at Royal Ascot, so it will be easier here than there."
Godolphin are seeking to reinvent mile winner D'bai as a sprinter after an encouraging effort on his 6f debut in Dubai last time.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "He put up a nice performance and I felt the style of racing would suit him in sprints, but he's still a juvenile in the sprinting division and he's taking on proper, seasoned sprinters."
Projection was third in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and Harry Herbert, managing director of the Royal Ascot Racing Club, who own him, said: "We were thrilled with his first run. It's a hot contest but I hope with that run under his belt he can be competitive."
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