The main supporting race on Super Sprint day at Newbury on Saturday is the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes (15:00), and The Tin Man looks a worthy 2/1 favourite with Betfred to cash-in on a drop in class and land the 6f contest for second time.
This James Fanshawe trained seven-year-old landed the spoils in 2016 and has since tasted success at the highest level to become one of the best older sprinters in training.
He showed his customary late burst of speed to beat Tasleet in the 2017 Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, and was far from disgraced in the same race last when beaten just over a length into fourth by Merchant Navy.
The Tin Man also shaped much better than the bare result suggests when a three-length third of 20 to Polydream in the Group 1 Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville, where he found himself with a mountain to climb from a poor draw and did all his best work at the finish.
Victory in the Haydock Sprint Cup by a neck from Brando followed, so he looked as good as ever last term.
The son of Equiano has had just two starts this season, finishing a not knocked about two length third to Dream Of Dreams in a Listed contest at Windsor.
He then finished a highly creditable staying on 4 1/2 lengths sixth of 17 to Blue Point in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot after being slowly away.
An official rating of 116 also gives The Tin Man 5lb and upwards in hand on his nine rivals.
So, with ground conditions ideal, everything suggests that this is a golden opportunity for the Tin Man to notch a 10th career success.
Khaadem the main danger
Trainer Charlie Hills has his team in flying form, so his lightly-raced Khaadem is feared most at Newbury.
This three-year-old son of Dark Angel shaped with plenty of promise on debut when an 11 lengths third of nine to the hugely exciting Calyx at Newmarket.
He duly built on that to win minor contests at the same venue and Doncaster in taking fashion, travelling well in both and showing a smart turn of foot to score by 3 1/4 lengths and 1 1/4 lengths respectively.
Khaadem also looked smart when making a winning return to action in Listed company over this course and distance in the Carnarvon Stakes when running on strongly to beat Oxted by half-a-length.
Although never a factor last time out when dwelling at the start and finishing a 10-length seventh of nine to Advertise in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, this represents a return to much calmer waters.
Khaadem is a young sprinter with plenty of scope for further improvement, so could well be the one to take advantage should The Tin Man fail to live up to expectations.
At 7/1 with William Hill, he looks a solid each-way betting proposition.
Fox Chairman a strong Newbury fancy in Steventon
Fox Chairman is an unexposed and progressive sort with very strong form in the book, so now eased in grade looks the one to be on at evens with Boylesports in the Listed 1m 2f Steventon Stakes (13:50).
This Andrew Balding trained three-year-old could not have been more impressive when making a winning debut in a 13-runner maiden over a mile at this venue.
After being sent off a heavily backed 15/8 favourite, the son of Kingman quickened clear at the furlong marker to win easily by four lengths from Migration.
The runner-up is a useful sort who has since finished a fine second on handicap debut in the Esher Cup at Sandown before winning at Newmarket, whilst the fourth home Fifth Position has come out and won since to give the form a boost.
Given that Fox Chairman gave away ground that day after being slowly away, it was a performance which suggested he was an exciting prospect who needed keeping firmly onside.
That view was confirmed when he finished a fine 3 1/4 lengths third to subsequent Group 1 winner Circus Maximus in the Listed 1m 2f Dee Stakes at Chester when denied a clear run at a vital stage before keeping on strongly.
Fox Chairman also ran a blinder in defeat last time out at Royal Ascot when a 2 1/4 lengths runner-up the highly-regarded Sangarius in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes where he encountered trouble in-running on more than one occasion.
It was a career-best performance and Fox Chairman is clearly going the right way.
This also doesn’t look the strongest renewal of the Steventon, so he’s strongly fancied to land the spoils en route to better things.
Shady looks the real McCoy in Newbury finale
In the 7f handicap that brings proceedings to a close on a cracking seven-race card at Newbury (17:20), the Ian Williams trained Shady McCoy looks weighted to run a huge race.
It’s been a long time between drinks for this nine-year-old who has not scored since landing a 19-runner handicap at York back in October 2017 off a mark of 91.
However, the veteran did post some solid efforts in defeat last year in some very competitive big field contests.
They included when a half-a-length second of 18 to Burnt Sugar in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket over the 7f trip of this off a rating of 97.
Shady McCoy also ran well when third of 15 to Raising Sand off a mark of 100 in the Challenge Cup at Ascot – another valuable Heritage Handicap – when beaten just over three lengths.
The form of those races read very well in relation to this weaker looking class 2 affair and Shady McCoy is able to race in it off a rating of 96.
It makes the son of English Channel a key player from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.
The booking of James Doyle to do the steering also catches the eye as he has won on him before and does well when teaming up with the yard.
Shady McCoy’s hold-up run style means that he will need the gaps to appear at the right time, but if they do he looks sure to make his presence felt. He makes plenty of each-way appeal and thus completes this Newbury preview.