Watch vital galloping clues and read the positives and negatives for each contender ahead of the Group One showpiece on Saturday, live on Racing TV.
The £225,000 Group One Betfair Sprint Cup is the highlight at Haydock Park on Saturday. Staged over six furlongs, the event has a classy roll of honour which boasts the likes of Danehill (1989), Dayjur (1990), Invincible Spirit (2002), Dream Ahead (2011), Gordon Lord Byron (2013), Harry Angel (2017) and The Tin Man (2019)
This year’s renewal sees the Kevin Ryan-trained Hello Youmzain bid to make history as just the second horse to win two runnings of the Group One event after Be Friendly (1966 & 1967), who coincidentally, captured the inaugural Sprint Cup.
However, with the likes of Dream Of Dreams, Oxted and Golden Horde attempting to block his path to history, we have previewed the contest with our runner-by-runner guide.
Trainer: Kevin Ryan. Rating: 110. Betfair Odds: 25-1
Positives: Goes on soft ground and finished a fine second in this event behind The Tin Man in 2018. Shaped well when sixth in the July Cup and was not suited by the step up to seven furlongs at York last time out.
Negatives: Now an eight-year-old and his best form has clearly come on rattling fast ground. Will give his running and has form figures of second, fourth and ninth in this event, but this renewal demands more.
Verdict: He has a fine record in the race, but he is reaching the veteran age and looks bound to find a few too good.
2. DREAM OF DREAMS
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute. Rating: 120 Betfair Odds: 3-1 favourite
Positives: Was electric when recording a seven-length romp in the Hungerford Stakes. The second has advertised the form since and he may have won the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot with another stride. A gelding operation seems to have worked wonders and he handles soft ground. He also boasts winning course and distance form at the track.
Negatives: Is still yet to win a big one. He finished a head second in both the 2019 and 2020 Diamond Jubilee and he therefore needs to prove he can get his head in front in Group One company. Testing ground would also be a concern.
Verdict: A serious player. He looked in the form of his life when taking the Hungerford last time out and is a danger to all.
3. GLEN SHIEL
Trainer: Archie Watson. Rating: 108 Betfair Odds: 16-1
Positives: A first ride in a Group One in Britain for Hollie Doyle aboard this six-year-old. He has won three of his last four starts and recorded a gutsy success in Group Three company at the Curragh last time out.
Negatives: Whilst he showed a good attitude at the Curragh, this race demands a lot more and he needs to prove he is up to Group One level.
Verdict: A horse in the form of his life, he could well outrun his odds with Doyle riding with plenty of confidence.
4. HELLO YOUMZAIN
Trainer: Kevin Ryan. Rating: 118 Betfair Odds: 7-2
Positives: Defending champion who bids to become just the second horse to win multiple renewals of the Sprint Cup. He made all on that occasion and backed up his Diamond Jubilee win this term with a fine second in the Prix Maurice De Gheest last time out. He is a serious contender given his form at the track and liking for soft ground.
Negatives: Disappointed when weakening out of contention sharply at Newmarket in the July Cup.
Verdict: The defending champion looks sure to go close. He relishes Haydock and ground conditions won’t bother him.
Trainer: David O’Meara. Rating: 113 Betfair Odds: 33-1
Positives: Has enjoyed a tremendous season with his Stewards’ Cup win the highlight. He ran a cracker to finish a neck second in Listed company over the weekend and is folly to write off given his current form.
Negatives: Was only sixth on his latest start in Group company and despite handling soft ground, this demands a career best.
Verdict: Looks sure to give his running, but needs to take a big step forward to win this.
Trainer:Owen Burrows. Rating: 112 Betfair Odds: 10-1
Positives: Unexposed five-year-old who showed a smart turn of foot to land the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury last time out. He is clearly capable of further improvement and has to be respected.
Negatives: Having his ninth career start and first run in Group One company. He therefore may lack the big-race experience of some of his rivals, whilst soft ground would be a negative.
Verdict: A solid each-way contender. He is thoroughly unexposed and looks sure to go well.
7. THE TIN MAN
Trainer: James Fanshawe. Rating: 112 Betfair Odds: 25-1
Positives: A stable star for James Fanshawe. He boasts form figures of first, second, second and third in this race. He shaped well when second to Tabdeed in the Hackwood and he could represent serious each-way value at 20-1 given his liking for the track and soft ground.
Negatives: Now an eight-year-old who needs to show he can still mix with younger rivals at Group One level, whilst his last win came in this race in 2018.
Verdict: He could easily run into a place given his fine record in this race and could struggle to win this.
8. ART POWER
Trainer: Tim Easterby. Rating: 115 Betfair Odds: 8-1
Positives: Was very impressive at Naas in a Group Three event in July and shaped better than the bare result suggests when sixth in the Nunthorpe. He will relish soft ground if conditions come up testing at Haydock.
Negatives: Looked to be taken off his feet by the speed at which they went in the Nunthorpe. That experience will have stood him in good stead, but he needs to come on from that run to be a player here.
Verdict: Easy to forgive his Nunthorpe flop given that was his first start in Group One company and this test could be more to his liking.
9. GOLDEN HORDE
Trainer: Clive Cox Rating: 117 Betfair Odds: 5-1
Positives: Remains unexposed at this level following solid runs in defeat in the July Cup (third) and the Prix Maurice De Gheest (fifth). Cut in the ground would be ideal for his chances and trainer Clive Cox has been bullish about his chances in the build-up to the race.
Negatives: He has ground to make up on Hello Youmzain and Lope Y Fernandez who were in front of him at Deauville.
Verdict: A leading player. He has not been disgraced in two starts since winning the Commonwealth Cup and this track and test could really suit.
10. LOPE Y FERNANDEZ
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Rating: 117 Betfair Odds: 6-1
Positives: A horse who clearly has bundles of ability. He has been placed in an Irish 2000 Guineas, Prix Jean Prat and Prix Maurice De Gheest this term. This stiffer test of stamina at Haydock could really play to his strengths, but he may prefer a quicker surface.
Negatives: The trip is an interesting one. He clearly does not stay a mile, but is he more effective over six or seven furlongs? It looked as if things perhaps happened too quickly for him over an extended six at Deauville last time which tempers enthusiasm.
Verdict: A serious talent who could easily play a major role here. However, he might be better suited to seven furlongs.
11. ARCHER’S DREAM
Trainer: James Fanshawe. Rating: 103 Betfair Odds: 33-1
Positives: A horse on the upgrade who scored over course and distance on his latest start on soft ground, with the third going on to subsequently score in Listed company at Newmarket.
Negatives: Clearly progressing with every start, this does however require a massive career best
Verdict: No doubting his liking for Haydock, but it would be a surprise if he won this.
12. FOREVER IN DREAMS
Trainer: Aidan Fogarty. Rating: 105 General Odds: 25-1
Positives: A fascinating runner. She boasts winning course and distance form at Haydock in Listed company and was quietly fancied for last year’s Sprint Cup. She disappointed when 10th on that occasion, but ground conditions could be in her favour.
Negatives: Has not won since that victory at Haydock in May 2019 and has form to find with Glen Shiel having chased home that rival when third in a Group Three event at the Curragh last time out.
Verdict: Clearly talented, she likes the track and is perhaps overpriced. She looked to be returning to form last time out and is one of the more interesting big-priced runners.
13. QUEEN JO JO
Trainer:Kevin Ryan. Rating: 107 General Odds: 25-1
Positives: A filly in great heart. She defeated subsequent French Group Three winner Breathtaking Look at York in July, before backing that up with a fine effort when second in the City Of York on the Knavesmire earlier this month. She also finished second at Haydock in Listed company earlier this year.
Negatives: Has to be respected in her current form, but is another who needs to prove she is capable of being competitive at Group One level.
Verdict: A fascinating contender given her current form. A reproduction of her last two efforts give her each-way claims for a trainer who launches a three-pronged attack on this event.
A vintage running of the Sprint Cup. Dream Of Dreams has to be respected on the back of his impressive Hungerford Stakes win. He boasts winning course and distance form and would not be inconvenienced by soft ground. Hello Youmzain is the defending champion and has been in excellent form this season and looks sure to run well at his beloved Haydock.
Lope Y Fernandez is talented, yet frustrating, while Art Power should have learnt plenty from his experience in the Nunthorpe and is another to consider along with the unexposed Tabdeed.
However, GOLDEN HORDE has shaped well in his first two starts taking on older horses and he can put those experiences to good use. His Commonwealth Cup win marked him out as a superstar and his trainer Clive Cox is hopeful of a big run on Saturday.
Ground conditions should not be a problem and Haydock’s long straight could really suit. He can replicate Cox’s mercurial Harry Angel with victory in this event.
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