David Ord has a horse-by-horse guide for Saturday’s Betfair Sprint Cup where he sides with a horse that is returning on a journey.
Was making a late seasonal reappearance in the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes when fourth behind Kinross, and showed plenty before the ten-month absence and seventh furlong took their toll. Cleared to participate and a great player here if he does as he is back to his best journey in a race in which he finished fifth and fourth respectively in 2021 and 2020.
BRAD THE BRIEF
Matt Brocklebank’s Value Ante-Post selection and arrives here on a streak and a hat-trick. Unheard of since winning the Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh in May with connections awaiting a cut in the ground and missing a scheduled outing in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. However, goes well fresh and on this track, which means he is on the shortlist.
Was one of the best sprinters in 2021 but not quite on the same level this season, his only victory coming in a race in small field conditions in Hamilton. Ran an honorable race while fifth at Nunthorpe but was pulled in the right place on the day and the overall balance of his form leaves him with something to find.
Won last year when he came on after a good run in the Nunthorpe – and followed the same hoofprints this term, finishing strong in third place behind Highfield Princess. It was his best performance of the campaign and clearly a player in a race playing to his strengths.
Beaten head and neck in the Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket over the weekend where he pulled away from the top two. Had already run a very good run when sixth in the Stewards’ Cup, but while the potential big field scenario here is fine, the opposition may not be.
Beat Raseel at Goodwood and come out on top of his group when he is fourth behind Highfield Princess in the Nunthorpe. Has campaigned exclusively at five stadiums this term but remains six – although it remains to be seen if he does as well as some of them.
Back to his best when he comfortably won York City last time out, having looked unlucky in the Lennox at Goodwood the previous time, he arrives at Haydock at the peak of his powers. He is perhaps best known as a seven-yard performer, but he did well in the sprint of British champions Maurice de Gheest and QIPCO last season. At Ascot he found persistent problems throughout the last two stages and finished with petrol in the tank.
It’s less dependent on the terrain than it used to be, but the rain forecast towards the weekend is clearly not a concern either.
Reliable, top sprinter whose only day off came in cheeks at Royal Ascot. Very good second to Maurice de Gheest and seems sure to make his race – and to approach it.
Arguably pretty much the choice of form in its Platinum Jubilee win and July Cup runner-up behind Alcohol Free, but not at its best in France last time out behind Minzaal and Rohaan. Could easily rebound.
Could never land a blow behind Kinross at York but was misplaced there. His win at Wokingham and his solid efforts in the Hackwood and Maurice de Gheest are better guides to his luck – and he’s a leader.
Kept great company at two but only saw her once this term when she was fifth behind Ladies Church in the Sapphire Stakes. Much more needed on Saturday.
THE LEGEND OF DUBAWI
He has returned to the sprint in the last three starts and won a prized German prize, the Goldene Peitsche in Baden-Baden, this weekend. It may be good for his confidence, but he still has a bit to prove against the older sprinters.
Second in Sandy Lane here and the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot before a first dip in the older sprinters ended in ninth place behind Alcohol Free in the July Cup. It might be too deep too.
GO BEAR GO
Very fast on his day and back to winning ways in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh last time out. He had the course of the race that day, however, and it will not be easy to dominate them.
Moved up in the handicaps to win a Listed at Deauville and was unbeaten so far in tenth place in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at the same track last time out. It requires more.
Hasn’t been at her best this season and there was nothing about her run behind Princess Shabnam at Pontefract last time out to suggest she was close to breaking her group one duck.
Brilliant start to his season at Newmarket in April, but below that level at Ascot and York since and has a bit to prove at the moment.
Useful on her day – especially with a few cuts – but the limits on display in the Sprint of Champions at Ascot last season and only a respectable warm-up race when she was third behind Ebro River at Chester.
HALA HALA ATHMANI
Well regarded and a good effort when seventh on his Commonwealth Cup reappearance but fell back when bottom of 12 behind Flotus at York next time and hard to imagine in that area.
KINROSS perhaps best known as a seven-stage performer, but he comes here at the top of his game and his run in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint last October suggests he can be effective on this journey at this level.
He gets the vote ahead of Minzaal and Naval Crown, with Rohaan also being feared.
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