The Tin Man may have established himself as one of Europe’s leading elder sprinters, yet he does not head the betting markets heading into Saturday’s Darley July Cup.
The James Fanshawe-trained five-year-old confirmed his status among the elite at Royal Ascot last month, finding a gap a furlong out from the finish to take the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Nevertheless, it is the unbeaten Caravaggio — trained by Aidan O’Brien — who has caught the bookmakers’ attention following his Commonwealth Cup triumph at the same royal meeting.
Those Group 1 triumphs have resulted in some branding this weekend’s meeting as a duel, between youthful exuberance and the older brigade, spearheaded by Caravaggio and The Tin Man.
Fanshawe, though, is having none of that, insisting that the field is full of high class sprinters — including Tasleet and Limato, who chased The Tin Man home in the Jubilee Stakes.
“I hate discussing other people’s horses and speculating on who might do what,” said Pegasus Stables’ Fanshawe, winner of the July Cup 13 years ago with Frizzante.
“There are plenty of other nice horses in the race. Tasleet — for a start — we know how good he is.
“It should be a fascinating race, which many will quite rightly believe they can win.
“Our priority is to get The Tin Man there in good shape and in good form.
“If we can do that, the rest is down to him. I like to let my horses do the talking.”
Despite his HQ base, the weekend’s outing will be a first for The Tin Man at Newmarket.
Of his seven career victories to date, three have come at Ascot, followed by Doncaster (two), Windsor and Newbury.
However, having spent much of the summer so far on the Limekilns gallops, Fanshawe has no concerns over the son of Equiano’s ability to adapt to the July Course.
“He likes Ascot a lot, that is obvious, so hopefully he feels the same way about Newmarket,” added the trainer. “He works on the Limekilns and like the July Course, that has a pretty significant dip and a stiff finish.
“It means there is going to be no great surprises for him on Saturday.
“He has run well virtually everywhere else, so there is no reason — given his training — that Newmarket would be any different.”
The Tin Man, who will be ridden once again by jockey Tom Queally, is owned by the 10-man Fred Archer Racing syndicate, which was set up by Fanshawe’s wife, Jacko.