Tag Archives: Sprint Cup

Saturday Selections: September, 7th 2018

Leicester Racecourse home straight

4.15 Haydock: Group 1 Sprint Cup, 6f

Hard to argue against red hot favourite Harry Angel…. if he’s top fit and back to his best. That’s a big if. He’s coming back from an injury here and can easily get fired up. With ground not ideal, I feel he is vulnerable.

That says, he’s the defending champion and won this race last year in similar conditions when quite a few things were staked against him. So he’s the one they all have to beat. What I’m saying is: Harry Angel is beatable here. Certainly at short odds not one to play for me.

Plenty of better options given the odds available here. I’m siding with Jim Crowley’s mount Eqtidaar. An excellent winner of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot when getting home with a bit to spare despite hanging badly in the final furlong, he looks certainly overpriced here being harshly judged by one poor subsequent outing.

He was comprehensively beaten in the July Cup, so clearly needs to bounce back. But given he showed fine form in his two seasonal starts prior to Royal Ascot could mean Eqtidaar simply had a bad day in the office.

round conditions will be totally different to Ascot. In saying that he has shown to act with cut in the ground. A winner on good to soft and runner-up in the Group 3 Pavilion in Stakes on genuinely soft ground on his seasonal reappearance make me think Eqtidaar is going to be fine.

The draw may not be totally ideal as it may favour those wider drawn given how the race could pan out in these conditions, it’s also where the pace looks like to be. At 28/1 that’s a risk worth taking.

10pts win – Eqtidaar @ 26/1 PP/MB


4.50 Haydock: Class 2 Handicap, 5f

Largely consistent top weight Gracious John hasn’t been good in his most recent race but showed multiple times this year already that he is still very competitive in this class and off this type of mark.

He’s been running to higher TS ratings than his current mark in the past and achieved twice this year alone a 93 and 95 TS rating, suggesting he’s as good as ever. Returning to sharp 5f and most importantly with cut in the ground will be a big help for this course and distance winner.

Gracious John has a 40% strike rate in 5f Handicaps, won already two times this year, including a 5f Handicap of a mark off 98 in good to soft conditions. For one who can go forward his draw looks perfect also.

10pts win – Gracious John @ 15/2 PP

Preview – Haydock Sprint Cup

Twilight Son

3.45 Haydock: Sprint Cup (Group 1), 6f

The Sprint Cup is a wide open renewal this year, despite the fact that the last two winner give it another go. The slight ease in the ground may indeed help G Force to find back to something close of his best, but he has been so utterly disappointing this year – it’s hard to fancy him. Gordon Lord Byron is the consistent force he’s ever been. On form he is in with a very fair shout – he’ll be in the shake-up surely but hardly an attractive price.

Adaay is the obvious favourite, though. The three year old has top class form to offer and will relish the conditions. He’s the one to beat. But the most intriguing contender in this field, even more so while being slightly unappreciated in the betting, is scopey Twilight Son.

Unbeaten in four starts, albeit never tested beyond Handicap company, he has made a big impression in his two starts this season, when running out impressive successes at Newmarket and York. Obviously this here is a massive step up in class, however he looks a pattern winner in the making. He has a big, scopey frame; is progressing with each run and it’s fair to assume that we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

Twilight Son is pretty ground independent, but potentially will appreciate the drying ground at Haydock. Come race time, there might not be too much soft in the turf any more. He is drawn in five which in theory gives jockey Fergus Sweeney plenty of options.

Twilight Son @ 10/1 VC – 5pts Win