3 Bets for the Haydock Sprint Cup

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3 Bets for the Haydock Sprint Cup

You know that autumn is on its way when the Haydock Sprint Cup rolls around. The school holidays are over and Haydock Park hosts the Northwest of England’s only Group 1 contest in the annual horse racing calendar.

Sprinting greats like Abergwaun, Danehill, Dayjur, Invincible Spirit, Dream Ahead, Society Rock and Harry Angel have all tasted Sprint Cup success on this corner of Merseyside.  Ahead of this yea’s renewal of the feature contest over six furlongs, here are three bets for the Haydock Sprint Cup to consider.

Oxted

It is hard to believe that just less than a year ago, Oxted won the Portland Handicap during the St Leger Festival at Doncaster. Trainer Roger Teal has done a terrific job of improving this four-year-old gelding from that level to elite company. It has required tender handling and a patient approach which has really paid off.

Oxted got his first piece of black type in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes holding Breathtaking Look, a subsequent winner in the grade, by a length. Instead of quickly turning him out again at Royal Ascot, however, Teal persuaded his owners to wait for the July Cup and to run him again at Newmarket instead.

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For those claiming horse racing offers with UK bookies at the time, that was an inspired decision. Oxted tanked into the leading approaching two out and stayed on strongly inside the final furlong to win by over a length. He will also meet any three-year-olds who re-oppose in the Haydock Sprint Cup off better terms, so that gives him every chance of confirming the form.

On that basis, it is no wonder that Oxted heads the betting for the race at 4/1. Teal has given his horse every chance of following-up by going to Haydock fresh.

Hello Youmzain

Winning the Haydock Sprint Cup is one thing but retaining it is another entirely, so last year’s winner Hello Youmzain is out to make his own slice of history on Merseyside. Trained by Kevin Ryan, this four-year-old son of Kodiac has since scored at the highest level again.

That second career Group 1 victory came on reappearance in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Although then a fading fifth in the July Cup, Hello Youmzain has since taken a big step back in the right direction. Racing prominently throughout his trip to France for the Prix Maurice de Gheest over an extended six furlongs at Deauville, he went down fighting in the final 50 yards.

It was a big effort in defeat behind the thriving Godolphin runner Space Blues. Now returning to Haydock where he has a superb record of two wins and a second over course and distance, Hello Youmzain could defy history and become the first horse in over 40 years to retain the Sprint Cup. Odds of 5/1 say he will do precisely that.

Art Power

When picking a winner of the Haydock Sprint Cup, it is important to know key race trends and stats. One of those is that five of the last six victors have been three-year-olds, so that brings Golden Horde and Art Power into consideration too.

While the former is already a Group 1 winner after landing the Commonwealth Cup, he hasn’t been able to back that performance up in open company. That leaves the progressive Art Power who won’t mind a softer surface and looks sure to give a better account of himself now stepped back up in trip.

Trained by Tim Easterby, the Yorkshire handler that saddled Pipalong and Somnus to Haydock Sprint Cup successes in the early 2000s, this King Power Racing owned colt put daylight between himself and a Royal Ascot handicap field. Art Power has since landed a Group 3 contest over in Ireland and, on those runs, is well worth forgiving his poor run in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

He was slowly away that day and down in trip. If you miss the break over the flying five furlongs, hen all chance is usually gone. That was the case with Art Power but, now stepping back up in distance, he is well worth another crack at this level at 10/1.

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