Good morning all,
It’s a new day, a new month, and a new season. Well, the latter is for weather forecasters who make September 1st the start of autumn,
It looks like the mainly dry but boring dull weather is here until the weekend. That news will be music to the ears of Starman’s connections who will be hoping its stays dry for the 4-year-old’s bid for Saturday’s Betfair Sprint Cup. Now all they need is for Haydock racecourse not to overwater the track.
Inside today’s main piece I have had an in-depth look at the Betfair Sprint Cup. Plus, I have a selection from this evening's meeting at Hamilton.
The Weekend Starts Here – Part 1
Group 1 action returns in Britain at Haydock on Saturday with its feature race of the year, the Betfair Sprint Cup (3.30). There’s also Group and Listed action from the Merseyside track plus some hopefully competitive handicaps, including Betfair Exchange Old Borough Cup Handicap (2:55).
The September Stakes at Kempton (2.05) is one of two Group 3s on a card, the other being the Sirenia Stakes (1:30). The seven-race card also features the London Mile (handicap) final (2.40) while Ascot seven-race card includes a 1m 4f heritage handicap (3:10) for three-year-olds.
The ITV cameras will be covering the best of the action from Haydock, Kempton, and Ascot as part of an eight-race programme.
Betfair Sprint Cup
With forecast of continued dry weather, it’s hard to look beyond the claims of the favourite. As a racing tipster I’m kind of obligated to take on a short-priced favourite like Starman. However, he’s the best horse in the race on official ratings and seems to tick every box. His path for victory was also eased by Dragon Symbol not being declared at the five-day stage.
Since 2008 there have only been four Betfair Sprint Cup’s run without soft or heavy in the ground description. The last of them came in 2014 when the going was officially described as good. And the last time firm was in the going description was nine years ago.
If Starman is win the race, he will have to defy an interesting stat. Since, 2008 four-year-olds are 0 winners from 52 runners 10 placed – (29% of the total runners). As a comparison in the same period 3-year-olds have provided 7 winners from 52 runners 12 placed.
Other potentially interesting trends include:
Odds SP: 16/1 & bigger – 0 winners from 95 runners 6 placed (54% of the total runners).
Day Since Last Run: 20-days or less – 1 winner from 61 runners 7 placed. The only horse to have win within 20-days of their last run was G Force in 2012 who had run 15-days previously in the Nunthorpe Stakes.
Trends are there to be broken and I suspect that the 4-year-old trend will be busted this season although there are only two of that age group: Starman & Art Power among the 14 entries for this year’s renewal.
Who can beat the favourite?
There’s likely to be an Irish trained runner in Gustavus Weston. The 5-year-old has won two of his last three starts and looks to be improving. Whether he’s as effective on quick ground is a an unknown.
Art Power got closest to Starman in the July Cup, beaten 1 ¾ length into 4th at Newmarket. He also was one of only two runners to race on the far side in the race. The 4-year-old was below his July Cup form in the King George Stakes (5f) at Goodwood last time although he wasn’t favourably drawn that day. The return to 6f will suit and he might be hard to peg back over an easy 6f.
Creative Force was a neck behind Art Power in 5th in the July Cup. He was only a neck second to Kinross back over 7f in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last time but the 3-year-old wasn’t really suited by the slow early gallop and would have preferred a more truly run contest.
Glen Shiel was runner-up in last year’s race on soft ground and was 2 ¼ length 6th of 19 in the July Cup on quick ground. Normally consistent 7-year-old was a disappointing 10th of 12 in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time. I’m sure he will bounce back from that poor run but would be of more interest here on an easier surface.
There’s been support ante post for the Clive Cox trained Supremacy. The 3-year-old won the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes last season. He has been well beaten on both starts including the July Cup. However, he does go well on quick ground, If he was to bounce back to his juvenile form he can get into the money.
Don’t rule out the old boys
Brando might be at the veteran stage but the 9-year-old wasn’t beaten far in 7th in the July Cup, And was only one place and ¼ length behind Starman in Prix Maurice de Gheest. The softer ground would have suited him better than Starman that day. However, he showed he remains a high-class sprinter on his day. Might find an easy 6f, on quick ground, in Group 1 company a bit sharp these days. However, he should be doing his best work at the finish and could get into the places at big odds.
The 7-year-old Summerghand took advantage of a very strong pace and the under performance of of more fancied rivals when winning the Group 3 Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket last Saturday. That performance was up with his best.
He’s got an excellent record on good to firm ground – 6 wins from 14 starts +49.63 9 placed. Since 2020 the only time he’s been out of the first two on good to firm ground was in this season’s July Cup and there was a possible excuse for that poor effort, as he was found to be suffering from post-race ataxia.
This afternoon’s action comes from Lingfield, Bath and Gowran Park and there is a jumps card at Uttoxeter. The day’s sport is completed this evening with a jumps card at Worcester and a flat fixture at Hamilton. It’s the latter meeting that provides today’s selection.
6:20 – A tight little 1m 3f handicap with just 2lb separating the five runners on RPR’s. Real Terms improved for the step up to 1m 2f when a ¾ length 2nd of 8 at Wetherby on her handicap/turf debut. Off for seven weeks she ran poorly dropped back to 1m at Musselburgh last time. Granted the 4-year-old has a question to answer after that performance. However, she is bred for this sort of trip and trainer Grant Tuer’s horses remain in winning form.
7:20 – Iris Dancer has been knocking on the door on here on her last two starts over 5f. She was very unlucky in the run here 5-days ago when beaten only a short head. Strong at the finish last week she stays 6f so the step up in trip is fine. Up 2lb but that shouldn’t stop the filly from going close again.
7:20 – Iris Dancer – 10/3 @ Bet365
Good luck with your Wednesday bets.