Ante-Post Tips: Haydock Sprint Cup
This 6-furlong contest is the last chance saloon for sprinters to grab a group 1 in Britain this year, and the last 10 renewals have been won by four 3-year-olds, one 4-year-old, four 5-year-olds, and one 7-year-old.
However, no horse, trainer or jockey has won it twice in the last decade.
There are 19 possible runners this year, and the ground is forecast to ride good, so here’s our ante-post analysis and tip.
3-year-old who has won 3 of his last 4 for trainer William Haggas, including a group 2 over course and distance. He has since won the group 2 Hungerford Stakes over 7-furlongs, and won’t mind if the ground softens and becomes more of a stamina test. Worthy favourite.
Last year’s group-1 Dewhurst winner over 7-furlongs, but would only be of interest if the heavens opened.
Due Diligence 33/1
Showed great potential at 3, but 3 very poor runs this season make him impossible to fancy.
Beaten only 2 lengths in the July Cup, and has a decent course run to his name when 4th over 5-furlongs in a group-2. Frankie Dettori rides for the first time, and he’s expected to go close.
Out of form since winning this contest last year and, whilst the brilliant David O’Meara might produce him at his best, this year’s renewal looks a better one.
Gordon Lord Byron 8/1
Run in this race for the last three years, finishing 2/1/2. May find this year’s opposition tougher, and would prefer a little cut in the ground.
Eastern Impact 25/1
Impressive big-priced 3rd in the July Cup, but all his best form is at Newmarket.
Wokingham winner off 102, and might just like this potentially big-field, though has a few pound to find at the weights.
Unbeaten as a 2-year-old, but has finished 2nd twice this year behind Adaay and then Champion Sprinter Muharaar. Fast ground would suit ideally, and his stable weren’t in-form when he finished behind Adaay.
Magical Memory 10/1
Was chucked in off 96 when winning the Stewards Cup, but had the best of the draw that day, and Frankie Dettori has opted to ride Danzeno.
3 lengths behind Adaay last time, nd no obvious reason why he’ll finish any closer.
Likeable gelding, but is well-held by both Adaay and Limato on previous runs. Rain would be a big plus, and trainer did win this race in 2000 and 2003.
Pearl Secret 25/1
Seems much better at 5-furlongs.
Sole Power 16/1
Never won at 6-furlongs, and maybe a little in decline.
Strath Burn 33/1
Improving all the time but still looks short of this class.
Tiggy Wiggy 20/1
Champion 2-year-old filly last year, but something looked amiss at Royal Ascot. Not impossible she’ll bounce back, but it may be one last throw of the dice by connections before she retires to the paddocks.
Twilight Son 10/1
Trained by Limato’s trainer, and remains unbeaten after 4 runs. Could still have loads of improvement in him, but never as highly regarded as his stablemate.
Looked a 5-furlong sprinter through and through, though connections have nothing to lose by trying him over the extra furlong.
Some solid placed form, but would be a major surprise if he took this.
A truly fascinating contest may be fought out two high-quality 3-year-olds in Adaay and Limato, with my ante-post preference just being for Adaay who won’t mind if the ground has a bit of cut in it.
Adaay @ 7/1 (Betfred, Ladbrokes)