Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 6th September 2014

Racing UK

Gordon can Lord it over Haydock again

I will be at Haydock with James Willoughby for the Betfred Sprint Cup on Saturday. It is a race that I remember fondly from last year as I was very keen on Gordon Lord Byron and he did not disappoint. One year later the question is can he do it again?

Gordon Lord Byron
© Caroline Norris
Gordon Lord Byron

His performance in the race last year was sensational. On ground described as good to soft he routed a decent field with the world class sprinter Slade Power three lengths back in second.

The ground this year will be a little bit quicker - at the time of writing it is being described as good. Ideally I believe a little bit of cut suits this horse, but his trainer is adamant that good ground is perfect. He does not want it any quicker than that though as his poor run at Royal Ascot showed.

In terms of recent form Gordon seems to be winding up for a big effort. He was narrowly beaten at the Curragh last time by Jamesie and in truth probably should have won. It would be wrong to think that he is in quite the same form as he was last year coming into this race, but he looks to be returning to his best. He should be backed to win at 5-1 with BetVictor and SkyBet .

This is a deep race and Sole Power will be popular. That said there has to be a doubt about him being as effective at six furlongs as he is at five. His record at the trip is now wins from seven starts and in essence he has too much speed for a test at six furlongs.

Richard Hughes was brilliant on him at York, but that was under ideal conditions, which are five furlongs on a sharp track. Do not get me wrong I am a big fan of this horse but the Sprint Cup just may not be his race.

He could make the frame but he is not a solid win proposition and should be layed at 4.0 or shorter on the exchanges.

There are many fringe challengers with place claims, but none of the have the class of either Gordon Lord Byron or Sole Power and Gordon has to be the one.

10/1 Sole Power in The Betfred Sprint Cup
Betfair New customers Only.

Christophe Soumillon has issued a plea to Cristian Demuro with reference to Sea The Moon's run in the Grosser Preis von Baden in Germany on Sunday - a prep run for next month's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Soumillon cannot ride due to commitments for the Aga Khan, his retainer, but he is likely to be on board at Longchamp. He is seemingly very concerned that the horse does not have too hard a race. This in itself is telling for it neatly shows us just how keen Soumillon is to ride this horse in the Arc and how highly he rates him. Perhaps we could translate his thoughts into the following: "Please Cristian look after this Sea The Moon for me because I am going to win the Arc on him, so please don't mess the whole thing up for me."

Perhaps we should be having a few quid on him for the Arc on the back of the above sentiments. He is currently a 4-1 shot generally. That could look very generous after his trial on Sunday and he is the selection for the race here on the blog at this stage.

Angus McNae's Saturday selections:

3.50 Haydock: Gordon Lord Byron at 5-1 with SkyBet

3.50 Haydock: Lay Sole Power at 4.0 in the win market on the exchanges.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: Back Sea the Moon at 4-1