Betfred Sprint Cup - 7th September 2013  

2012 Sprint Cup

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Gordon Blitzes Sprint Cup Field

1 Gordon Lord Byron 7/2
2 Slade Power 9/1
3 Hoof It 33/1
NR: Kingsgate Native (IRE), Reckless Abandon, Tiddliwinks
13 ran Distances: 3l, ¾l, ¾l
TIME 1m 12.25s (slow by 1.75s)

Gordon Lord Byron went one better this time after his narrow defeat 12 months ago when running away with the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Gordon Lord Byron
© Grossick Racing Photography

Gordon Lord Byron

The Tom Hogan-trained five-year-old did gain compensation in the Prix de la Foret last autumn after being beaten by Society Rock and he registered his second Group One triumph with a demolition job in this six-furlong showpiece.

Helped by Heeraat setting the pace on the far rail, Gordon Lord Byron (7-2) was always travelling easily for Johnny Murtagh. Taking it up with two furlongs to go, he quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals and won as he liked by three lengths from another Irish raider Slade Power. Hoof It was three-quarters of a length away in third.

Murtagh said: "He was different today. I don't know if it was the ground, but when I got to the three marker I was taking him back. I let him coast down to the two and when I gave him a couple of cracks, unlike the last time I rode him when he was hard work, today he was just electric and he picked up really well and won easy.

"He ran very well in France (Prix Maurice de Gheest). He's very tough and was staying on really well on ground that was probably quicker than ideal. Today he was different. He looked different. The girl who rides him out said he was in a different zone."

Hogan admitted he had high hopes before the off, saying: "I knew that he had improved at this time of year every year. I knew last week he was well. I felt today was his day and hopefully he will keep on improving this year.

"I think we will go for the Foret and then we might look at the QEII and go for a Group One over a mile for a change. He went to Hong Kong last year over a mile and that would be another option to go back if we get invited."

Lethal Force, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and July Cup winner, was well beaten on the rain-softened ground.

Trainer Clive Cox said: "It was clearly not his true running. The track walked a lot better than it rode. I will take all the blame. It was my fault, not the horse's. We shouldn't have run him really, but at the same time we thought it was just on the easy side of good. Fair play to the winner, he was very impressive. Our horse will be fine, we just have to put a line through it. It was my fault."

Eddie Lynam was proud of the efforts of Slade Power, saying: "Our horse has run a very good race. He could do no more than win the race on his side, but the winner was a long way ahead on the far side of the track. Our horse behaved himself in the stalls today, which was good to see.

"He's won two Group Threes and finished second and third in two Group Ones, so he's had a good year and I think he'll be an even better horse next year. He'll go for the big sprint at Ascot on Champions Day now (Qipco British Champions Sprint, October 19) and that will be his last run of the year."

It was a much improved performance from Mick Easterby's Hoof It, who had shown little since being narrowly beaten into third in this race two years ago. David Easterby, assistant trainer to his father, said: "We're chuffed to bits. Two years ago the sky was the limit, but then we suffered a setback when his wind went wrong.

"He's come back today on ground which wouldn't have suited him and I feel there will be more improvement to come. On Wednesday he did the best piece of work he has done this year. He has improved every week. He's getting his confidence back now. He's in the Ayr Gold Cup and that's what we'll look at."



Betfred Sprint Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£250,000 added, 3yo plus, 6f, Class 1
13 ran
Going: Going: Good to Soft (Soft in places in the back straight)

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Gordon Lord Byron
T Hogan
J P Murtagh
9st 3lbs
7 - 2
Slade Power
E Lynam
W M Lordan
9st 3lbs
9 - 1
3 lengths
Hoof It
M W Easterby
G Gibbons
9st 3lbs
33 - 1
3/4 length
J S Goldie
G Lee
9st 3lbs
22 - 1
3/4 length
S bin Suroor
J Fanning
9st 3lbs
16 - 1
R A Fahey
R L Moore
9st 1lbs
5 - 1
3/4 length
K A Ryan
Jim Crowley
9st 3lbs
25 - 1
1 1/2 length
M F De Kock
P Cosgrave
9st 3lbs
50 - 1
2 lengths
Lethal Force
C G Cox
A Kirby
9st 3lbs
5 - 2
8 lengths
Intense Pink
C F Wall
S Sanders
9st 0lbs
40 - 1
1 length
Rex Imperator
W J Haggas
N Callan
9st 3lbs
12 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
W J Haggas
P Hanagan
9st 3lbs
14 - 1
1 1/4 length
Swiss Spirit
J H M Gosden
R Hughes
9st 3lbs
14 - 1
15 lengths
Kingsgate Native
R M H Cowell
Non Runner
9st 3lbs
K A Ryan
B McHugh
9st 3lbs
Reckless Abandon
C G Cox
Non Runner
9st 1lbs
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