LIBRISA BREEZE is the top-rated horse at Harper Lodge Farm once more after going up 8lbs to 113, following his fine second in the Group Two Hungerford Stakes, when beaten half a length.
The 7yo son of Mount Nelson, was the 16/1 outsider of seven in the 7f contest under Joey Haynes, who was aboard for the first time. It was a race he has contested the last two years but this was his best performance to date, having been second in 2017, beaten a length and three-quarters and then last of eight runners last year.
Despite being off the track for 280 days, Librisa Breeze showed all his old enthusiasm, having lost his way somewhat last year. Held up as usual, he made good headway two out and pressed the eventual winner, Glorious Journey but could never quite get to him. Lack of “match practice” probably told but this was still a very encouraging return to the racetrack for Tony Bloom’s very talented grey.
His future entries include two valuable handicaps including the Ayr Gold Cup as well as the Group One Haydock Sprint Cup and the Group One Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October, a race he won two years ago.
Prior to the race, the previously top-rated horse in the yard was Flaming Spear, who was also a runner in the Hungerford and also owned by Tony Bloom. Rated 109 going into the race and ridden by Martin Dwyer, the horse was never able to get into contention and Martin reported he did not move well.
Flaming Spear, dropped 2lbs by the handicapper, is still rated 107, the second joint top-rated horse in the yard. He and Librisa Breeze are two of five yard horses rated 100 or more, the others being old stalwart, Tropics (107), Stake Acclaim (105) and Lancelot Du Lac (104).