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Tuesday 5 July 2016

Limato to get back to what he's good at

Supporters of Limato will be welcoming the news that trainer Henry Candy is ready to return the four-year-old to the sprinting trips at which he excelled himself as a young horse.
Limato was one of the most imposing 6f sprinters around last summer, beaten only by the exceptional Muhaarar in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June.
A prolonged break followed as Candy was forced to keep his powder dry and wait for decent ground and, when the chance duly arrived at Doncaster in September, Limato showed the sort of gear change that had him marked down as a really exciting horse for this season.
That Group 2 win in the Park Stakes saw Andrea Atzeni riding a patient race with Limato held up out the back over 7f.
He weaved his through the pack with consummate ease and Limato put the race to bed almost in a matter of strides as he scampered clear to score decisively.
That was his first start beyond 6f and the manner in which he finished his race might have had some bearing on the decision to target the Lockinge over a mile at Newbury on his first start this term.
On ground that was described as good, good to soft in places, Limato ran with a degree of promise but his effort flattened out in the closing stages.
The prevailing soft ground from then until now means that Candy has once more been forced into a waiting game with Limato.
The trainer revealed he hopes to have Limato back in action for the July Cup at Newmarket, a race for which his horse is appealingly priced in the current horse racing betting.
The return to 6f will surely suit and Candy admits that he believes the horse has grown and strengthened during his spell on the sidelines.
It is also worth recalling the manner in which he returned to such good effect at Doncaster back in September after a short break to score in the Park Stakes.
His run in the Lockinge has perhaps dampened expectations for Limato in some quarters but this is a sprinter of genuine promise and, feasibly, one from which there could still be more to come back at his best trip.
In eight career starts at 6f, Limato has recorded five wins and three runner-up finishes.
While the soft ground stopped Limato from making an appearance at Royal Ascot, his stablemate Twilight Son was a game winner of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
By his own admission, Candy hates the thought of running his horses against one another but the Lambourn handler has signalled his intention to do just that by running Twilight Son and Limato in the July Cup should there be good summer ground at Headquarters.

Limato's supporters will be watching the conditions overhead with intrigue in the coming days. The prospect of seeing him back doing what he does best is one that appeals greatly – as he does it better than most.