Candy relies on Son not Limato

Quiet Reflection will face 13 rivals in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Saturday – but Limato is not among them.

Twilight Son (nearest) will represent Henry Candy

Henry Candy's Limato had the Karl Burke-trained Quiet Reflection back in third when claiming a hugely impressive victory in the July Cup at Newmarket and has since doubled his top-level tally in the Prix de la Foret at Chantilly just under a fortnight ago.

However, Candy insisted he would only run his charge if conditions were deemed suitable and with the ground on the soft side of good, he has not been declared.

"It's just the ground. He'll go to the Breeders' Cup now," said the trainer.

The Wantage handler still has a major contender for the six-furlong contest in Twilight Son, winner of the Diamond Jubilee at Ascot and runner-up in this race last year.

Quiet Reflection claimed the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot prior to his Newmarket reverse and looked better than ever in last month's Sprint Cup at Haydock.

"I don't think anybody has really given the filly the credit she deserves," said Burke.

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"There's always been sideway glances and references to the ground – winning because it's soft and not because she's a very good filly. Good ground on Saturday would be perfect.

"Physically, she has kept getting stronger all year and she's a completely different filly to when we took her to France in April, even though I thought she looked well at the time. We've had some coughing in the yard but if we can get her to Ascot in anything like the form she was in at Haydock then I think she will be the one all the others have to beat."

Shalaa is a fascinating contender for John Gosden having bounced back from a pelvic injury suffered in the spring with victory at Ascot.

"He's had a difficult year, it's not been easy and a long road back since he sustained his injury in the spring – but full marks to the horse, who has a great mind on him," said his handler.

"I'm happy with the way he has come out of his race at Ascot. He seems in great order and if we don't get any rain I'm sure that will help greatly because he's a horse with a lot of speed.

"I thought he was about 80 per cent right in terms of fitness and I think it will bring him on, though we are aware it could be a completely different class of race. He's ready to run a great race in what is a fabulous Sprint, it really is."

Nunthorpe heroine Mecca's Angel is set for her swansong before retirement and trainer Michael Dods is hoping that she can bow out in style.

"You dream about having horses like her," he said.

"She's done the whole yard a lot of good, she's done Paul Mulrennan and myself a lot of good. We live in hope that we can find another one like her, but it will probably be impossible.

"It's a stiffish six and nobody knows if she will stay but I'm encouraged that the two times she's won at York she's been way around the corner before she's been pulled up. Good ground, or good to soft, is perfect for her."

The Tin Man, Brando and Librisa Breeze also figure for the home team, with Signs Of Blessing representing France.

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