Haydock Sprint Cup date: TBD
Racecourse: Haydock Park
Type: group 1 weight for age stakes flat race
Age of the horses: 3 years old and older
Distance: 6 furlongs
The Haydock Sprint Cup was first run at Haydock Park in 1966 and held in November around a bend. In 1979, it moved to its current September slot and the principle behind the race has always been older sprinters against younger ones. When Haydock installed a six-furlong straight track for 1986, it moved onto that and attained Group 1 status in 1988. For some small periods of its history, the Sprint Cup was open to juveniles but has been for three-year-olds and up since 1994. Younger horses get a small but significant 2lb weight for age allowance for their elders here.
As part of the established pattern for sprinters, it follows the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and is the penultimate Group 1 race in that division of the British Flat season. Often run on softer autumn ground that blunts the speed of horses who have performed on sounder surfaces during the preceding summer in races like the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the Haydock Sprint Cup has an illustrious roll of honour yet no horse has won the race more than once since 1967. Among equine greats to earn victory in it are Danehill, Dayjur, Invincible Spirit, Dream Ahead, Society Rock and Harry Angel.
You can expect to find betting on the Haydock Sprint Cup well in advance of the day as it is an early closing race. The picture in terms of entries becomes much clearer nearer the time, however, so be sure to check back then to see which horses are running. Taking a punt in the ante post market remains an option open to you but, while you may well get a better price than waiting for the day, it is possible that your horse won’t line up.
That is one of the risks with such betting – you may not end up getting a run for your money. As a prestigious Group 1 prize, many of the best British sprinters will be running at Haydock seeking Sprint Cup success.
A race like the Sprint Cup is sure to be targeted by the bookies for offers and promotions, especially if it has a big field. Make sure you check back nearer the time of the race to view the latest bonuses that give you incentive to bet on this big day at Haydock.
The thing about statistics and trends is they exist to be defied, but you are more likely to make better betting decisions knowing them about a horse race than by ignoring them. It is no different with the Haydock Sprint Cup. As you will see below, younger horses have a fine recent record but that doesn’t preclude older ones from turning up at the track and winning it. Here are the stats and trends you should know:
What has happened in recent runnings of the Sprint Cup? These are the last 10 winners and below you will find detailed race summaries of the previous three renewals:
A wide-open Haydock Sprint Cup went to Hello Youmzain, one of three 9/2 co-favourites who made all the running. When asked for approaching the final furlong by jockey James Doyle, the Kevin Ryan trained sprinter edged left but kept on well for a half-length victory over previous race winner The Tin Man, who was closing at the line and returned at 7/1. The front two pulled two lengths clear of 9/1 German raider Waldpfad in third. He was another going on at the finish and a head in front of another Ryan runner Brando, who was found to have bled from the nose by vets after the race.
Victory for Hello Youmzain continued the fine recent trend of three-year-olds landing the Sprint Cup. There were a number of disappointments in the race, however, with fellow co-favourites Dream Of Dreams in eighth and Stewards’ Cup scorer Khaadem last behind 11/1 Irish runner Forever In Dreams. This was compensation for Hello Youmzain after his unlucky break in the Commonwealth Cup earlier in the season.
The Tin Man made it third time lucky at Haydock as James Fanshawe’s sprinting star landed odds of 7/1 in the Sprint Cup. Aged six, he had twice placed in the race before but finally got his head in front. Racing in midfield under Oisin Murphy early doors, The Tin Man came under a ride and stated making headway two furlongs from home. He led inside the last and kept on well for a half-length success over 14/1 chance Brando, who in turn was a neck ahead of 16/1 shot Gustav Klimt from the powerful Aidan O’Brien stable.
Previous Haydock Sprint Cup winner Harry Angel ran below that form in the defence of his crown, however, when a weakening sixth and sent off the 6/4 favourite. The William Haggas trained Tasleet at 6/1 and 7/1 chance Sir Dancealot also failed to live up to market expectations as they finished down the field in eighth and ninth respectively. The persistence of aiming The Tin Man at this race paid off at last for Fanshawe who had previously saddled Society Rock to success back in 2012.
Harry Angel made it two wins from two at Haydock with Sprint Cup glory for owners Godolphin and trainer Clive Cox. Returned the 2/1 favourite, this Dark Angel colt followed-up on his Sandy Lane and July Cup victories with a scintillating four-length victory over 9/2 chance Tasleet. Racing enthusiastically in the hands of Adam Kirby, Harry Angel made all and drew clear inside the final furlong in impressive fashion.
Previous Sprint Cup runner-up The Tin Man was beaten a further 1½ lengths in third at 11/2. Harry Angel’s owner companion and Ascot conqueror Blue Point, sent off at 15/2, was back in fourth. He had the field well strung out on heavy ground which he had never encountered before. This extended Godolphin chief Sheikh Mohammed’s record of being the most successful owner in Haydock Sprint Cup history after four previous wins in his own colours.
Many sprint contests in the British Isles can be considered trials for the Sprint Cup, but these six races in particular are all either over the course at Haydock and/or distance: