The summer seems to have flown by and it’s frightening to think we are now in September. That means it’s Haydock Sprint Cup time and I’ll be heading there on Saturday with a leading chance Art Power, but more about him later. The alarm will go off early on Saturday morning around 5am and I’m heading to ride one out for Chris Dwyer at 6am before jumping in the car and heading north to Haydock where I have four rides to look forward to. Here are my thoughts on their chances …..
2.55pm ISLAND BRAVE Bet At racingtv.com Handicap 1m 6f
My first ride of the afternoon is Island Brave in this 1m 6f handicap for Heather Main. He has been in good form of late running well at York’s Ebor meeting and previously at Ascot. Both of those runs were over two miles so whether he is crying out for the this drop in trip remains to be seen but we’ll give it a go. He is a proper stayer and I’ll ride him prominently to ensure that it doesn’t turn into a sprint. Looking at the others, my eyes are drawn to the top and bottom of the racecard. At the top, Noble Storm from Charlie Appleby’s yard is better than he showed last time in the Ebor and is probably better judged on a good second at Newmarket the time before that. At the bottom, Noble Masquerade arrives here in form and has a light weight.
3.30pm ART POWER Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes (Group 1) 6f
The feature race of the day is the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup and I’m really looking forward to getting back aboard Art Power. You can forget his most recent run at Goodwood as I don’t think he handled the track and is far better judged on his really good runs prior to that in the July Cup and at Royal Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee. This looks a really competitive renewal with the likes of the July Cup winner Starman and Godolphin’s Creative Force to name but two but I think we will go well as Art Power is in good form and will appreciate conditions. King Power’s other runner Chil Chil shouldn’t be discounted if they go quick. She ran really well behind Art Power at York last time and will relish fast ground, a strong pace and the step back up to six furlongs. She could be over-priced and run well. Obviously Starman looks the one to beat as he was really impressive in the July Cup and didn’t disgrace himself in France last time on ground he wouldn’t have enjoyed. He sets the bar very high and is a progressive sprinter but the King Power team will give it a good crack.
4.05pm STONE OF DESTINY Betfair Be Friendly Handicap 5f
Next up I am riding another for King Power and Andrew Power with Stone Of Destiny in the sprint handicap. He didn’t show his best form at Ascot last time when last of the 10 runners behind Tis Marvellous but has bits and pieces of form that throw him right into the mix here. Notably running well at Ascot in the King’s Stand and also being a close up third at Epsom in the Dash. If he can reproduce that form on ground we know he likes off a strong pace I am sure he can go well. Looking at the others, Copper Knight bounced back to form last time at York and won well and you have to respect the likes of Jawwaal and Atalis Bay. It looks really competitive but we’ll give it a go and the faster they go the better for my guy who likes to come off a strong pace.
5.15pm LASTING LEGACY Better Odds On Betfair Exchange Handicap 1m
My last ride of the afternoon is the filly Lasting Legacy in the finale for Chris Fairhurst. I’ve never actually ridden her before but she arrives here having won two of her last four starts and can hopefully be competitive. I guess the big challenge for her now is that her mark is now in the 70’s and her two wins came from marks in the 60’s. Life will definitely be tougher for her, she was beaten at Ripon last time out over 1m 2f but should relish the drop back to a mile as she looked not to stay that day. On past form she should run her race.