Paul Mulrennan column: Archi's Affaire looks ace in my pack

By Paul Mulrennan
Fri 8 Sep 2017

In his latest column, Paul Mulrennan talks about his hopes of springing a surprise in the Sprint Cup plus his other rides this weekend at Haydock, Wolverhampton and the Curragh

It’s great to pick up a ride in one of the big races of the season, the 32Red Sprint Cup, but the horse I am most excited about at Haydock runs a little later on the card.

Trainer Richard Fahey and owner Clive Titcomb have very kindly put me up on Kimberella in the Group One showpiece – and he has some decent form in the book – but Archi's Affaire is the one which could give me a winner.

Archi's Affaire has done nothing but improve this season. He started on a mark of 63 and runs off 89 in the Handicap.

He didn’t get a clear run in a decent handicap at Hamilton last time and I think he’s better than that. He is proven on soft ground and the track will suit him too. I’m pretty sure there will be more to come from him.

Back to the big race of the day and Kimberella has some encouraging form in the book, especially this season after joining Richard.

He won the big sprint on all-weather finals day at Lingfield and also won a Listed race at Chester, when it was good to soft, a month ago.

The forecast rain and soft conditions could throw up an odd result and these sprints can sometimes upset the formbook, so don’t discount a decent showing from him at a big price and Richard wouldn’t be running him for the sake of it.

I do like the chances of Brando, who was so impressive when taking the Prix Maurice de Gheest over an extended six furlongs at Deauville. He’s five years old and in the form of his life, seemingly improving with every run. The Tin Man could run a big race too – and, remember, it wasn’t so long ago he too was in Group One-winning form at Royal Ascot. Both will like the conditions.

And well done to Haydock Park for bringing the race forward to being the third on the card in a bid to keep the ground as fresh as they can, rather than run it later on the card when the ground could be very heavy.

Holmeswood comes into the 32Red Be Friendly Handicap on a four-timer, having dead-heated with his stablemate Intense Romance in the richest apprentice race in the UK at York last time – which was a great result for the Michael Dods yard!

It was a good-quality race too and just keeps improving with every race. He would have a favourite's chance.

Kaspersky is an interesting ride to pick up for Jane Chapple-Hyam. His best piece of form came at Ascot in July, when he was runner-up in the Group Two Summer Mile.

He was subsequently seventh behind Massaat at Newbury but this drop in grade will suit and he is only 1lb off the top-rated horses in the 32Red Mile.

I’ve got what appear to be two nice rides at Wolverhampton in the evening.

I rode Arizona Mist for Simon Crisford at Ripon in July, when he was second and the Sun Bets Download The App EBF Novice Stakes looks a nice opportunity to go one better, while Richard Fahey's Flo's Melody has every chance of completing her hat-trick in the Follow Sun Bets On Instagram Nursery Handicap.

I’m off to the Curragh on Sunday for two rides, including Lord Yeats in the feature Comer Group International Irish St Leger. He made the progression from handicapper to Pattern performer this season, with a win in the Listed Fred Archer Stakes to his credit.

He was disappointing when one of the leading fancies for the Betfred Ebor, but I think the ground was too quick for him that day. He wants cut in the ground and the big galloping track at The Curragh will suit his front-running style.

I am also on Camacho Chief for Michael Dods in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes. He was fancied to complete a hat-trick at Hamilton last time but was blocked and squeezed and it didn’t go for him.

These Sales races are always very competitive with big fields, but the quality doesn’t always reflect the huge prize-money on offer, and there doesn’t seem to be a stand-out classy runner.

Both my rides have a hope of hitting the frame at very big prices.

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