Saturday 4th September 2021
Author: Jordan Yates
“Welcome to this week’s Saturday Preview where I’ll be focusing the attention on Haydock Park where it’s Sprint Cup Day. Taking a look back at the week that was though on the site, it’s been a fine start to September for “The Punts” on the Facebook Story, two winners were had on the first day of the month which were quickly followed by a treble at Ascot on Friday with Khanjar (13/8), Recovery Run (5/2) and Uncle Bryn (3/1) all doing the business.
Looking forward to Saturday, I’ll be taking a look at the majority of the races on the card at Haydock as I’ll be attending the meeting, don’t feel as though you have to punt on them all of course. Bet only what you can afford.”
The first race of the day at Haydock comes at 1:15 and it’s the Ascendant Stakes which is a Listed race that’s contested over a mile. This year’s renewal of the race has attracted a small runner field of which I think Hafit will take the spoils from. He’s a 2.1 million son of Dubawi who made the perfect start to his racing career when winning at Newmarket last month. The form of that race could not be working out better, with the horses in behind him coming out and winning since, and even the horses that they’ve beat have even come out and won again. So, from a form perspective he’s looking very strong and could well prove a serious prospect for his top connections.
Next up is the 1:45 which is a Group 3 contest in the form of the Superior Mile Stakes. Having gone through this race several times I find it hard to see past Lord Glitters here for the team of David O’Meara and Danny Tudhope. He’s getting three pounds of the second favourite My Oberon and has top-level form in the locker which can’t be said for pretty much all of the rest of the field. The only concern would be the small field as he tends to show his best form in sizeable line-ups, however, if anywhere near his best he should prove difficult to beat.
We move into handicap company next as the 2:20 at Haydock is the Class 2 Betfair Handicap over a mile and six furlongs. Valley Forge will be a hot favourite here and rightly so as he arrives here with back to back victories from Ffos Las and York respectively. I’ve tried to take him on though with one who’s currently a bigger price and that’s Praiano for Roger Varian and Andrea Atezni. He was last seen when finishing fourth in a stayers event at Sandown behind one of today’s rivals (Oceanline) when going off the 11/4 favourite. On that particular occasion he didn’t get the clearest of runs and still managed to stay on well during the closing stages, he’ll take his chance here off the same mark and if getting more luck could prove to be a big player.
It’s more handicapping next as the 2:55 is another Class 2 Betfair Handicap that’s over a mile and six furlongs. Once again this is an extremely competitive affair of which you couldn’t rule out any of them. I’ve taken a somewhat tentative chance though with Indianapolis for Ian Williams and Ray Dawson. He’s a six-year-old gelding by Galileo who’s currently on what looks to be a very workable mark, on his most recent outing he finished sixth and three lengths behind Just Hubert which was a run not devoid of hope, which can be said for many of his efforts despite not being the most prolific of winners. I think he’s got every chance of grabbing at least a place off this mark.
The feature of the day takes place at 3:30 which is of course the Group 1 Sprint Cup over six furlongs. A race that has seen some of the greatest speedsters of all time try their hand in it, I think we could well have another one on our hands in this year’s renewal as I think the Ed Walker trained Starman will be very hard to beat here. Winner of the July Cup at Newmarket earlier in the season he was last seen when finishing third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in France. Walker thinks Haydock will be much more to his liking, even more so than Newmarket when he triumphed and I think I have to agree. If getting a clear run he’s very much the one to beat.
There is one more race I’ve had a look at Haydock and that’s the 4:05 which is a five furlong Class 2 Handicap. I fancy the chances of Mondammej here for Anthony Brittain and Cam Hardie. He’s a horse that’s been knocking on the door for quite some time now, mainly in big field handicaps like his most recent outing where he finished a solid fifth of 22 at York last month at the Ebor Festival. He will contest this off the same mark and this looks slightly easier, he’ll need things to drop right but he could well finally have his day.