IT is usually at around this time of year that the sprinters begin to sort themselves out into some sort of order and Muhaarar staked a solid claim to the champion sprinter’s title when he won the July Cup on Saturday.

It was interesting to watch the race again having listened to rider Paul Hanagan’s post-race comments concerning the dip, that his horse did not handle the downhill run and that he couldn’t really ask him for his effort until he met the rising ground. It was a top ride from Sheikh Hamdan’s rider, who continually impresses as one of the top - yet sometimes unheralded - riders in Britain. A different ride, a more aggressive ride, a less patient ride, a different rider, and Muhaarar could have finished second or third or fourth.