Clive Cox looking to Koditime to defy draw in Scurry test

Koditime (left) on his way to winning at York last month

Clive Cox is keeping his fingers crossed Koditime can overcome a seemingly unfavourable draw and claim victory in Saturday’s Randox Health Scurry Stakes at Sandown.

The three-year-old finished down the field in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last summer, but appeared to have raised his game when making a successful reappearance in handicap company at York last month.

He was only narrowly beaten when bidding to follow up at Windsor 10 days later, conceding almost a stone in weight to the winner Cowboy Soldier, and Cox feels his wide starting berth is the only negative heading into this weekend’s Listed assignment.

“He has done really well this year. I was very pleased with him at York and it was a good effort last time at Windsor trying to give the weight away,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.

“I hope the ground stays quick for him. The draw (stall 10) is not the best, which is a shame, but apart from that I’m very pleased with him.

“He did run in some good races last season but he is a nice horse. It’s just a shame about the draw.

“I think he is probably an out-and-out five-furlong horse.”

Koditime faces nine rivals over the minimum distance.

The highest-rated runner is Charlie Appleby’s Sound And Silence and he is fitted with blinkers for the first time in a bid to help him bounce back from two disappointing efforts so far this term.

The James Tate-trained Haddaf won over the course and distance in April, but following successive victories he has something to prove after failing to make an impression in the Listed Westow Stakes at York last time out.

Tate said: “I was little bit disappointed with him at York, but that’s twice he’s run poorly there now and I definitely think he prefers Sandown.

“He’s run twice at Sandown, he finished third in the National Stakes as a two-year-old and obviously won there earlier this year. He seems to finish well up that hill.

“On paper this doesn’t look the strongest Listed race in the world, so hopefully he’ll run a big race.”

Spoof also appears a major contender for Charlie Hills. The three-year-old was third behind Haddaf on his penultimate start, but won at Sandown last season and returns on the back of landing a valuable prize at Chester.

Hills said: “You always need a bit of luck at Sandown over five furlongs. He’s drawn in stall five.

“Certainly I think the ground is much more in his favour than when he ran at Sandown earlier in the year.

“Hopefully he goes there with every chance.”