News Weatherbys Super Sprint 2022

Weatherbys Super Sprint 2022


Tom Clover (pictured) put winning the Weatherbys Super Sprint high on his wish list when he first took out his trainer's licence in 2016, and after two good placings already he looks to have the perfect candidate for Saturday’s £200,000 renewal in ante-post favourite Rogue Spirit.

The attraction of the Super Sprint is obvious, with a whopping first prize and every finisher down to tenth going home with a share of the purse, and having cost just 11,000gns, despite being by Dark Angel, Rogue Spirit gets in off a handy weight in a race in which runners must not have cost more than £63,000.

Clover saddled Declarationoflove to finish second to Bengali Boys in 2017 and he had £7,000 purchase Soldierpoy finish a good third to Happy Romance two years ago, but neither had credentials to compare with Rogue Spirit’s two wins and an excellent second from only three starts.

The gelding’s colourful owners The Rogues Gallery - ambassador the football and film star hard man Vinnie Jones - have already had big days this year with their filly Rogue Millennium, whose Lingfield Oaks Trial win earned her a supplementary entry for the Oaks, but Rogue Spirit can give them their biggest payday yet on one of Newbury’s most popular days of the year.

Clover is really looking forward to it and said: “The Super Sprint is a really good pot to be aiming at with an inexpensive horse, and from the day we bought Rogue Spirit we thought he could be just the type for it, hence why we dodged Royal Ascot, even though I thought he was capable of running well in the Windsor Castle.

“We went for a Wolverhampton novice instead, having already won at Beverley on his debut and then been beaten only a neck by Chateau in the Two Year Old Trophy back there next time, and he won there in the style he was entitled to. The Two-Year-Old Trophy form looks particularly good, with Chateau finishing fourth in the Windsor Castle and third-placed The Ridler winning the Norfolk.”

He added: “When we started training we didn’t have a lot of money, and it was fun to think we might buy an inexpensive horse and have a realistic crack at a big pot, and we’ve picked up good money before with Declarationoflove and Soldierpoy. Rogue Spirit seems really well, and he’s certainly working well, so hopefully he can run a big race granted the luck in running you sometimes need in these big fields.”

The Rogues Gallery syndicate have become significant supporters of the stable, with 20 wins in three years. Clover enjoys their involvement and said: “The Rogues are a hugely enthusiastic team of real horse racing fans. They just love it, whether it’s a quiet mid-week meeting or one of racing’s big days, or a visit to the yard.  Wherever it is, there’s always a good turn out,, and we’ve got some lovely horses for them too, which is great.

“We had nine winners for them last year, and we’ve already had eight this year, including two from Rogue Millennium, who was second in a Group 3 at Newcastle after running in the Oaks and will probably be seen next in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

“They also have Rogue Lightning in the Rose Bowl at Newbury on Friday, and he’s really quite a nice horse who was impressive first time out in a Newmarket novice which is already working out well. It’s definitely a syndicate which is going places.”

If successful, Clover would be just the third Newmarket trainer to win the Weatherbys Super Sprint in its 31-year history, following his late father-in-law Michael Jarvis, who won with Blue Iris in 1995, and William Haggas, who won with Superstar Leo in 2000 and Jargelle in 2008.

The Hannon stable has dominated the event almost from the start, with no fewer than 11 wins, and Richard Hannon, successful in three of the last four runnings, is responsible for five of Monday’s 27 confirmations, including Miami Girl, who has won at Newmarket and Windsor and was a good fifth in Royal Ascot’s Queen Mary.

Rod Millman is another multiple winner, with Lord Kintyre (1997) and Betty’s Hope (2019), and he has Ignac Lamar, Safari Dream and Woolhampton.

David O’Meara has yet to win a Super Sprint, but his two confirmations include Rogue Spirit’s main market rival Maria Branwell, who won Sandown’s Listed National Stakes in style before finishing third in the Queen Mary. She could be the one to beat.