Haydock runner-up Somnus set to become champion sprinter.
SOMNUS, a horse without a win on home soil this year, is champion sprinter elect ahead of the ex-American Var, who advanced his claims with victory in the last Group 1 dash of the season on Sunday, writes Jon Lees.
A campaign in which there has been no dominant speedster ended with a success at Longchamp for Var, a recent addition to Clive Brittain's string.
The victory, in which Var turned the tables on The Tatling, was the best performance at five furlongs this year, earning him a Racing Post Rating of 121, but the overall rankings leader is Somnus, the Tim Easterby-trained sprinter who lost out in a photo-finish to the filly Tante Rose in the six-furlong Stanleybet Leisure Sprint at Haydock.
Somnus earlier won the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest in France but earned a rating of 124 in defeat at Haydock, a figure no other sprinter has yet matched.
Racing Post handicapper Paul Curtis said: 'Last year Choisir was supposedly not the best horse in Australia, and now we have an allowance horse come over from America who has gone to the top of the pile at five furlongs.
'Var won't be top sprinter. That will almost certainly go to Somnus, who was second in the Haydock Sprint Cup.
'Because of the fillies' allowance he comes out ahead [of Tante Rose] at the weights and we have run out of races for anything else to come and win it.
'Var has improved with each run when initially I thought his first win at Goodwood flattered him, but he improved at Newbury and has done so again to turn Newbury form round with The Tatling, who has been a handicapper's dream.
'He is rated 119, behind Var who I have on the same mark as Tante Rose, Patavellian and Ashdown Express.'
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 5, 2004|
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