Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday
Betfred Sprint Cup Betting Guide
This Saturday’s Betfred Sprint Cup is a Group One contest run over 6f and always attracts the best speedsters from around the world with £225,000 in prize money up for grabs.
The 2012 renewal will focus around the Aussie mare, ORTENSIA, who’s been over on these shores since Royal Ascot. She failed to sparkle that day, but has since shown her trip to the UK to be more than worthwhile by taking the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and more recently the Nunthorpe at York.
The way she finished on the Knavesmire last time over 5f was breathtaking and at the halfway stage I still don’t know how she made up all that ground! With that in mind this extra furlong should suit her down to the ground, the only slight concern is - will her regular UK pilot, William Buick, be able to ride her?
Buick has also got his sights set on riding this year’s Coral-Eclipse winner, Nathaniel, over in Ireland in their Champions Stakes on the same afternoon, but with just over 2 hours between races and with Haydock being on the west side on England then he could make it via helicopter.
She’s the favourite with most firms to become the first horse since Reverence in 2006 to land the Nunthorpe/Sprint Cup double, and it’s hard to see her not being involved in the finish.
Those against her will cling to the fact she was well beaten by Mayson (8 ¼ lengths) at Newmarket three runs back in the July Cup, and with that run coming on heavy ground if the Haydock area does get any significant rain over the next few days (UNLIKELY) then this might be factor against the Aussie mare.
Richard Fahey’s Mayson looked a big player, but was ruled out of the race on Thursday after a dirty scope and may not been seen now until next season.
Bated Breath, was a nose runner-up in this race 12 months ago, but is still hunting his first Group One win. He’s one that will not really want any rain as all his best efforts have been on good, or faster, ground. Those taking him on will cling to the fact he was 3 ¼ lengths behind Ortensia last time at York and with that race only being 2 weeks ago he’s got a bit to find.
Another one worth a mention is Richard Hannon’s Strong Suit. He’s not quite fulfilled the promise he showed as a 2 year-old after winning the 2010 Coventry Stakes, but is still a top-class animal and comes into this race as one of the highest-rated in the line-up.
We last saw him running a close second in the Group Two Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, but, for me, his better races as he’s got older have been over 7f and, therefore, I’m not sure this drop back to 6f against some of the fastest horses on the planet is going to be ideal.
Of the rest, Genki was a decent fourth in the race 12 months ago and despite not sparkling this season could go well at a fair price, while (should he run) the improving Irish sprinter GORDON LORD BYRON looks interesting. He was last seen easily winning a Listed race at York over 7f, and although he’ll clearly need to step-up again this 4 year-old looks a horse on the up and could run well at a big price should he make the trip over (wait until the day to see if he does run).
ORTENSIA – WIN
GORDON LORD BYRON – E/W
Recent Betfred Cup Sprint Winners
2011 – Dream Ahead (4/1 fav)
2010 – Markab (12/1)
2009 – Regal Parade (14/1)
2008 – African Rose (7/2 fav)
2007 – Red Clubs (9/1)
2006 – Reverence (11/4 fav)
2005 – Goodricke (14/1)
2004 – Tante Rose (10/1)
2003 – Somnus (12/1)
2002 – Invincible Spirit (25/1)
Key Betfred Sprint Cup Betting Trends
9/10 – Had 4 or more career wins to their name
9/10 – Drawn in stall 6 or higher
8/10 – Rated 111 or higher
8/10 – Winning distance 1 length or less
8/10 - Aged 5 or younger
8/10 – Had 4 or more runs that season
8/10 – Had won over 6f before
8/10 – Didn’t win their previous race
7/10 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
6/10 – Drawn in a double-figure stall
6/10 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
6/10 – Ran at Deauville (3) or York (3) last time out
6/10 – Had won a Group race before
4/10 – Had run at Haydock before (2 had won)
3/10 – Winning favourites
2/10 – Had won a Group 1 before
1/10 – Placed horses from stall 1 (2nd 2007)
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 11/1
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