Betfred Sprint Cup
1st 9 Red Clubs 9/1
The Barry Hills-trained Red Clubs gained a deserved Group One victory in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock under the handler's son Michael.
French raider Marchand D'Or took second, while Balthazaar's Gift ran a big race to take third, but hot favourite Sakhee's Secret finished out of the money after having every chance.
16 Chase Betfred Sprint Cup Glory
A total of 16 horses will go to post in Saturday’s £300,000 Group One Betfred Sprint Cup, the highlight of the Flat season at Haydock Park.
Sakhee’s Secret, who created such a favourable impression when
landing the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, is the 11/10 favourite with
Betfred. Trained by Hughie Morrison, Sakhee’s Secret is unbeaten
in four outings this season.
He is sure to face some stiff opposition in the six-furlong contest
including from French challenger Marchand d’Or, who finished fourth
behind Sakhee’s Secret at Newmarket before landing the Group One
Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville for the second year in succession.
Red Clubs, third at Newmarket, also takes his chance on Saturday.
Asset will be partnered by Frankie Dettori and will be fitted with blinkers
for the first time on Saturday. He has run some good races in defeat
this year, including when third behind Soldier’s Tale in the Golden
Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The gamble in the ante-post market this week has been Hellvelyn, now
a 10/1 chance with Betfred, and his trainer Bryan Smart is predicting
a big run from the three-year-old at Haydock Park on Saturday.
The Hambleton House handler revealed this morning: “Hellvelyn is in great form and we go there hopefully with a big chance as he’s in good order with himself.”
Smart saddled Sheikh Rashid’s son of Ishiguru to a hat-trick of
wins from five starts as a juvenile last term, including the Group Two
Coventry Stakes over the distance at Royal Ascot, and believes the colt
has major claims after two good efforts this season.
A short-head victory from Borderlescott in the five-furlong Listed totepool Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes at Beverley on August 25 showed that Smart’s charge is firing ahead of the Group One Betfred Sprint Cup.
Hellvelyn missed the first part of the season due to a bruised foot
and pulled muscle and was pitched in at the deep end on his seasonal
debut in the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket on July 13, when
he performed with great credit in finishing just over four lengths eighth
of 18 behind Sakhee’s Secret.
Smart continued: “I was delighted with Hellvelyn’s run in
the Darley July Cup. The horse needed the race and he has come on and
won since, so we’re hoping for a big run at Haydock on Saturday.
“The ground should be fine for him and Ted Ducan rides him as usual.”
Also declared for the Betfred Sprint Cup is Al Qasi, trained by Peter
Chapple-Hyam and successful in a Group Three contest at the Curragh last
time out. North Yorkshire-based Kevin Ryan is triple-handed with Advanced,
last year’s third Amadeus Wolf and Wi Dud while Balthazaar’s
Gift, a Group Three winner at Ascot this season when he defeated Al Qasi,
represents Luca Cumani.
Somnus won the Betfred Sprint Cup in 2003 and also finished a short-head
second in 2004 as well as finishing fourth for the past two years. His
trainer Tim Easterby also runs Fayr Jag.
John Dunlop, successful four times before with Invincible Spirit in
2002 as well as Lavinia Fontana (1994), Habibti (1983) and Runnett in
(1981) is double-handed with ex-Italian performer Per Incanto and Scarlet
Runner, while Mick Channon’s stable is represented by Mutawaajid,
a smart performer in Australia but not seen at his best in Britain so
far. Completing the field is Sierra Vista, successful in the Group Two
Temple Stakes at Sandown earlier this season.
The going at Haydock Park is currently good to firm, good in places.
Betfred Sprint Cup Thriller On The Cards
Excitement is building as Haydock Park prepares for an outstanding renewal of its showcase Flat race, the £300,000 Group One Betfred Sprint Cup, which takes place over six furlongs at 3.10pm on Saturday, September 8.
The north-west track’s only Group One contest of the Flat campaign
invariably attracts the best sprinters in Europe and this year is no
exception, with the Hughie Morrison-trained champion sprinter-elect,
Sakhee’s Secret, poised to stretch his winning sequence this term
The impressive Group One Darley July Cup winner will bid to confirm
his superiority over the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Dutch Art, who was
runner-up at Newmarket before filling the same spot behind Marchand D’Or
in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on August 5.
Marchand D’Or’s trainer Freddie Head is confident of a big
run from his charge, who is the current star of the French sprinting
division, while Jeremy Noseda is poised to unleash his Group One Golden
Jubilee Stakes hero Soldier’s Tale, who has not run since winning
at Royal Ascot in June.
A host of top-class sprinters make up the fantastic supporting cast, including the Chapple-Hyam-trained Al Qasi and his four-timer seeking stablemate Tariq, as well as the Barry Hills-trained Darley July Cup third Red Clubs.
Balthazaar’s Gift and Hellvelyn are also set to tackle the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock. The former, trained by Luca Cumani in Newmarket, put up his best run this season when victorious in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Ascot in July, while the latter recently won a Listed five-furlong race at Beverley on only his second start as a three-year-old.
Asset, owned by by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, who found seven furlongs
too far when runner-up to Tariq in the Group Two Betfair Cup at Goodwood
on July 31, is seeking revenge on both Sakhee’s Secret and Soldiers
Tale after finishing sixth in the Darley July Cup and third in the Golden
Another of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s syndicates enjoyed victory in the Group One Haydock race with Tamarisk, trained by Roger Charlton, in 1998.
The Betfred Sprint Cup, generously sponsored for the second year by
the world’s largest independent bookmaker, is the highlight of
a superb seven-race card on Saturday, September 8, while Haydock Park
also races on Friday, September 7, PFA Centenary day.
The going at Haydock Park is currently good to firm and the forecast
is for generally dry conditions for the rest of the week.
Marchand D’Or Given Green Light for Betfred Sprint Cup
A thrilling showdown is on the cards at Haydock Park on Saturday, September 8, as the £300,000 Group One Betfred Sprint Cup promises to bring together the best sprinters in Europe.
The six-furlong showpiece has 38 top-class contenders remaining at the
first forfeit stage, including this season’s star turn, the Group
One July Cup winner Sakhee’s Secret, and last season’s Betfred
Sprint Cup hero Reverence, as well as France’s top speedster, the
Freddie Head-trained Marchand D’Or.
Chantilly-based Head revealed this morning: “Marchand D’Or is on course for Haydock and I am very happy with him. He took his race at Deauville extremely well, so at the moment he has the green light.”
Marchand D’Or has proven himself to be one of Europe’s leading
sprinters in the past two seasons and captured the Group One Prix Maurice
de Gheest for the second year in succession at Deauville on August 5.
The grey Marchand De Sable gelding swooped late to collar Dutch Art
in the closing stages of the six and a half furlong contest, with Silver
Touch third and crack Australian speedster Bentley Biscuit back in seventh.
That victory followed a solid run at Newmarket in July when, despite
finding his path momentarily blocked two furlongs from home, Marchand
D’Or ran on to take fourth in the six-furlong Group One Darley
July Cup, two lengths behind Sakhee’s Secret.
Head continued: “I thought the July Cup was a good race. Perhaps
the going was a bit firm for him that day and I wonder if he handled
the ups and downs of Newmarket as that was a bit new for him. It was
in fact his first Group One six-furlong race on turf.
“He was impressive at Deauville last time and ran a very good
race. I think he has improved a bit on last year - I thought it was a
better race this year.
“I think he will run well in the Betfred Sprint Cup but you always
need a bit of luck. There will be a lot of runners and the draw may be
important. The good thing is that my horse won’t mind if the going
is a little bit on the soft side.
“It won’t be easy but I think he will run a good race and he has his chance. Davy Bonilla will ride him as usual.”
Sakhee’s Secret, unbeaten in four starts this season, is the star of the sprinting division so far this term following his scintillating victory in the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
Hughie Morrison’s charge defeated a top-class field that included
Dutch Art, Red Clubs, Marchand D’Or, Dandy Man, Asset, Hellvelyn,
Mutawaajid, Amadeus Wolf, Prime Defender and Balthazaar’s Gift.
Dual Group One winner Dutch Art has filled the runner-up spot on his
last two starts behind Marchand D’Or in the Prix Maurice De Gheest
and Sakhee’s Secret in the Darley July Cup. The three-year-old,
trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, could be joined in the field by stablemates
Al Qasi, winner of a Group Three over the distance at the Curragh on
August 12 and Group Two Betfair Cup victor Tariq.
Reverence secured the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York over five furlongs
last season prior to holding Quito by a neck to collect the Betfred Sprint
Cup on his next start. The Eric Alston-trained gelding was fourth to
Balthazaar’s Gift in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Ascot on
Soldier’s Tale, trained by Jeremy Noseda, proved too strong for
crack Australian sprinter Takeover Target when taking the Group One Golden
Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Aidan O’Brien could be represented by the brilliant and enigmatic George Washington, who could have his first start over six furlongs since his juvenile days, as well as Group One Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Astronomer Royal and Theann, a Group Three winner at York on July 13.
The Mick Channon-trained Group Three winner Silver Touch was third to
Marchand D’Or at Deauville before finishing fifth to Red Evie in
the Group Two CGA Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on August 18, and could
be joined by stablemate Mutawaajid, a Group Two winner in Australia.
Australian handler Peter Moody could field Magnus, a Group One winner in his homeland, who was third to compatriot Miss Andretti in the Group Two King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Tim Easterby-trained Somnus won the 2003 renewal of the Betfred
Sprint Cup and was runner-up to Tante Rose in 2004. He has filled fourth
spot in the past two editions of the contest behind Goodricke (2005)
and Reverence (2006). Stablemate and fellow Group One winner Fayr Jag
may also take his chance.
The Andreas Lowe-trained Electric Beat is a Group Three winner at the distance in Germany, while Irish raider Dandy Man, one of seven remaining entries from Ireland, was runner-up in the King’s Stand Stakes and ran a respectable fifth in the Darley July Cup.
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