Haydock Sprint Cup Preview – Saturday 8th September
Last updated: September 7, 2018 by Leon Marshal
The feature race at Haydock Park on Saturday is the £300,000 Group 1 Sprint Cup Stakes over six furlongs. The going is currently good but rain is forecast for the weekend.
Ante-post favourite Harry Angel won in heavy ground last year and will attempt to emulate Be Friendly (1966 and 1967) by winning in consecutive seasons. Other notable winners of this prestigious race include Green Desert (1986), Danehill (1989), Dayjur (1990), Sheikh Albadou (1992) and Nuclear Debate (2001).
Harry Angel favourite on return from injury
Official ratings but Clive Cox’s Harry Angel 7lbs clear of his rivals. He beat Tasleet by four lengths last year but could finish only fourth in the British Champions Sprint at Ascot. The son of Dark Angel returned to action with a comfortable victory over Brando at York but picked up an injury at Royal Ascot. He was restless in the stalls before losing several lengths at the start, eventually finishing the race lame behind Merchant Navy. He has been given plenty of time to recover and Cox is optimistic that he will be fit enough to do himself justice.
There are two supplementary entries this year in Sir Dancealot and James Garfield. The owners have paid more than £15,000 to run here and both horses arrive in top form. Veteran French jockey Gerald Mosse has formed a terrific partnership with Sir Dancealot, winning three times in four starts. He was particularly impressive last time out when running all over his rivals before winning the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
Sir Dancealot has looked a specialist seven furlong horse but was not disgraced when fourth in the July Cup at Newmarket. He finished just behind runner-up Brando, nearly three lengths adrift of US Navy Flag. Eqtidaar, Limato and Sands Of Mali were all well beaten that day.
Dettori aboard supplemented James Garfield
Frankie Dettori rides James Garfield for George Scott, a three-year-old colt by Exceed and Excel. He won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury before finishing seventh in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. He ran below par at Royal Ascot but posted a career-best effort at Deauville last time when second in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs.
The Tin Man finished a couple of lengths away in third for James Fanshawe and Tom Queally. Oisin Murphy will take over the reins on Saturday, ending a sequence of 18 consecutive races with Queally aboard. Brando finished only eighth but could still come into the reckoning if he can repeat his July Cup run.
William Haggas saddles Tasleet, a five-year-old son of Showcasing out of a mare by Cadeaux Genereux. He was no match for Harry Angel last season and comes here after a lengthy absence. Tasleet has not raced since finishing third to Merchant Navy at the Curragh in May. Aidan O’Brien relies on Gustav Klimt who drops back to six furlongs for the first time since his debut last May. He has been placed twice in Group 1 races over a mile but was five lengths adrift of Sir Dancealot at Newbury.
Eqtidaar won the valuable Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, beating Sands of Mali by half a length. That looked a hot race at the time but the form has not really worked out very well. Joseph O’Brien’s Speak In Colours was well beaten but his trainer has put a line through that effort. A confidence boosting win over Gordon Lord Byron at the Curragh has earned him a tilt at this Group 1 contest.
Sir Dancealot @8-1 Betfred.
James Garfield @8-1
Each-way 1/5 odds, 1,2,3
The Haydock Sprint Cup is due off at 4.15 on Saturday 8th September and will be televised live on ITV.