14:25 at Haydock on 7th Sept
The Superior Mile was established in 2003 but, as it was not upgraded to a Group 3 until 2013, it seems wise to only consider the trends from the last few years.
The last five winners have all been rated between 110 and 115 and were returned at odds no bigger than 8/1. Age hasn’t had much of a significance, with winners being aged between three and eight.
Only three of this year’s possible runners are rated 110+, with that trio being Sharja Bridge (113), Matterhorn (111), and Tabarrak (110). However, all three have tried and failed in group races before, so they could be vulnerable to one of the potential improvers in the line-up.
Dubai Warrior looks capable of rating much higher than his current mark of 98 but this winner of both of his starts on the all-weather needs to improve and prove he can handle the turf.
That’s why Miss O’Connor is preferred. William Haggas trained the 2016 winner of the Superior Mile with an unexposed 4-year-old and this 4-year-old filly is unbeaten in three runs. One of those runs also came in a Listed Race over course and distance. She’ll be suited by any cut in the ground and has the potential to rate much higher than her current mark.
15:35 at Haydock on 7th Sept
A similar race to the 1 mile and 6 furlongs Old Borough Cup Handicap has been run on Sprint Cup Day for the last few years and there are some interesting statistics to consider.
The last five winners have all been aged four or five, with 4-year-olds having the best record. The last four winners have all been rated between 84 and 93, with none of that quartet carrying more than 8-11.
The last two winners have been well-found in the market at 11/4 and 6/1, but the three previous winners were returned at odds of 12/1, 20/1, and 10/1. All the last five winners had run between eight and 22 days earlier and four of them had finished first or second on their previous start. But last year’s winners had finished 11th on his previous run.
Corelli is the early favourite with many bookmakers, but he’ll have to defy a mark of 102. That’s why Alright Sunshine looks the answer to this tricky puzzle. This improving 4-year-old can race off a mark of 93 and looks sure to relish this test of stamina after winning over a similar trip at Musselburgh last time. He also handles ground ranging from soft to good, so he shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the weather.
16:10 at Haydock on 7th Sept
The Sprint Cup has been one of the most high-profile sprints in England since its inception in 1966. It has been won by a variety of popular older horses over the years including last year’s winner The Tin Man. However, many of those wins for older horses have come in seasons when there have been few top-notch sprinters amongst the Classic generation.
That doesn’t look the case this year, with a 3-year-old winning the July Cup, and it’s notable that all four winners between 2014 and 2017 were 3-year-olds.
Other important statistics include that four of last five winners of the Sprint Cup have all gone into the race rated between 111 and 119, whilst the other was rated 104 but unbeaten. Four of the last winners have also enjoyed a break of five weeks or more, whilst SP’s have varied between 2/1 and 11/1.
Ten Sovereigns sets a decent standard on a mark of 122, which he earned by winning the July Cup, but he may have left this race behind by running at York two weeks ago. Fellow 3-year-old Khaadem is also improving but he finished well-behind Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup.
That’s why the 119-rated Advertise, who enjoyed some cut in the ground at Royal Ascot and has enjoyed a five-week break, is taken to become the fifth 3-year-old to win the Sprint Cup in the last six years.