Betfred Sprint Cup betting preview
The Betfred Sprint Cup, one of the highlights of the Flat season takes place at Haydock Park on Saturday and since his Nunthorpe win last month Aussie mare Ortensia is all the rage to land another Group 1 success. The Paul Messara-trained seven-year-old showed a blistering turn of foot inside the final furlong to beat Spirit Quartz by a neck to confirm the promise of his earlier King George success at Goodwood three weeks earlier. Bated Breath, who perhaps needed the ground a bit faster in the Nunthorpe reopposes, and the way Strong Suit finished in the Hungerford last month suggests he should be very competitive once more. A guaranteed pot of £250,000 awaits the winning connections in this six furlong sprint. Check out all the latest free bets for this race.
William Buick stays loyal on board Ortensia despite riding Nathaniel in the Irish Champion Stakes in Ireland just over two hours later. And the in-form rider will be bidding to land this prize for the second year running after Dream Ahead took the race twelve months ago and his mount could not have asked for a better draw out wide in stall 15. The news that Ortensia’s main rival in the market – July Cup winner Mayson – will not head to post after scoping dirty is another major boost to her chances at Haydock. Five of the last nine winners of this contest have been drawn in one of the five widest stalls and this should suit the mare’s running style on ground which should be fine providing no rain falls before the off. She deserves her place at the head of the market and should make a bold bid to take the pot back to Australia.
Bated Breath is a serious horse on fast ground as he demonstrated when landing the Group 2 Temple Stakes at this track in May. Roger Charlton’s charge is also a previous course and distance winner and deserves another crack at landing that so far elusive Group 1 success. A repeat of his three-quarter length second to Little Bridge in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot would put him bang there but the negative is he is drawn in stall one which makes life a lot tougher.
After disappointing in his first two runs over a mile this season Strong Suit bounced right back to his best form when going down narrowly in the Hungerford last month. He looks set to take another strong hand here if he can repeat that effort although there is the suspicion that this three-time Group 2 winner is better over seven furlongs. Strong Suit did win the Coventry as a two-year-old in 2010 though; and Richard Hughes is back on board after partnering him to all of his five career wins to date. Wizz Kid is potentially very interesting for France-based handler Robert Collett after finishing a five-length second to the impressive Moonlight Cloud in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville when last seen. Take the winner out of that race and the four-year-old filly would have won a fair Group 1 with Restiadargent a close-up third to Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee, well held in fifth position. Her chances would increase significantly if rain arrives as most of her form is on a soft surface. Choose from loads of offers for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Last year’s Diamond Jubilee winner Society Rock was sixth in this race 12 months ago and should give his usual sound running once more. He could have been better drawn in stall three and his chances will depend largely on his effectiveness in leaving the starting gates but must hold every chance if breaking away on terms. Godolphin representative Soul deserves a mention after the team were responsible for Ebor winner Willing Foe recently and after his success in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury and his Meydan victory in March. Formerly with Peter Snowden in Australia, Soul was sent off favourite for the Hungerford but was awkward leaving the stalls and never landed a blow but he could reward each-way backers this time around. And Hitchens is running consistently well of late for trainer David Barron and might have bettered his third in a Listed event at Chester on his penultimate start had he not stumbled two furlongs from home. He gained compensation in a similar race over six furlongs at Newmarket last time and could deliver a challenge under rider Graham Gibbons.
A really good renewal of the Sprint Cup and Ortensia’s Nunthorpe victory means she is the one to beat. However, at considerably larger odds a chance is taken on Saeed Bin Suroor’s runner SOUL, who can bounce back from a disappointing run in the Hungerford last time. Bated Breath is a horse who needs fast conditions and he will be dangerous if the ground dries out further. Wizz Kid bumped into an impressive winner last time and is well drawn here to figure.
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