There is more Flat Group One action this weekend as Saturday sees the latest renewal of the Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock Park.
The race, which is worth £162,800 to the winner, is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older and is run over a distance of 6 furlongs.
The recent rollcall of winners here includes Twilight Son, Harry Angel, The Tin Man and Dream Of Dreams.
A strong field of 11 runners has been declared for this year’s big race but what can we expect from the 2021 renewal which gets underway at Haydock this Saturday at 3.30 pm UK time.
Find out the latest 2021 Sprint Cup odds plus our win and each way picks for Saturday’s big race at Haydock Park.
Starman The Strong Favourite
July Cup winner Starman is the strong favourite for the Merseyside race despite losing last time out when beaten on soft ground in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last month.
Back in the UK and Ed Walker’s charge is gearing up for a second Group One win of the season and, should he come first, he would join the likes of Dream Ahead and Harry Angel in claiming this pair of Group Ones in the same season. He is though only available for a short price, just as he was in Deauville when he came home third.
His excusers can point to the ground working against him that day and that shouldn’t be the case this weekend leaving him as the horse to beat.
But as we have seen beaten he can be.
Art Power To Challenge For A Place
Creative Force is the second favourite here despite being untested at this distance. It’s true that he likes the softer ground but could find himself being swallowed up by the speedier third favourite Art Power.
Tim Easterby’s Art Power came home behind Starman at York in May and again in the July Cup and hasn’t really done anything to suggest that is about to change.
He did however put in a good effort in the Diamond Jubilee at Ascot and was always likely to struggle with the drop back in trip to 5f at Goodwood for the King George so there is reason to be hopeful that he can stay in the chase this weekend after which anything is possible.
There are two fillies in the hunt, Chil Chil and Richard Hannon’s Happy Romance. Happy Romance was a four time winner last year and came close in the in the Cheveley Park at Newmarket at this distance not so very long ago.
This year she hasn’t really got going, disappointing at Newbury in April, before winning a listed race at Chelmsford on her next start. She was well beaten into tenth in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot although she was heavily impacted by the going that afternoon. Last time out, she bounced back in style with a win in a Group Three at Newbury which was over the same trip as this back in July.
While admittedly that is not much to go on, three year olds such as she have traditionally gone well in this race and, given her filly allowances, remains one to watch.
As for Chil Chil, she is enjoying this season which has been her most profitable. Wins at Newmarket and Newcastle, the latter being the Group Three Chipchase Stakes, have shown what she was capable of.
She struggled on her last and only previous time that she has stepped up to this company, losing by four lengths to Starman in the July Cup but a return to 6f could work in Chil Chil’s favour.
Last time out at York, she came in fifth to Winter Power in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes where one of today’s opponents, Emaraaty Ana, put in a career best performance and came home second.
Emaraaty Ana loves the fast ground and arrives in Merseyside on the back of that superb showing in the Nunthorpe and he could well have the armoury to make this race his own.
At the end of the day though, it is hard to escape the claims of Starman who is in the form of his life and looks likely to get exactly the type of going he wants. The reduced size of the field should ensure a roomy race where he shouldn’t be getting boxed in.
2021 Sprint Cup Stakes Betting Odds
- Starman – 83/100
- Creative Force – 11/2
- Art Power – 17/2
- Glen Shiel – 11/1
- Emaraaty Ana – 14/1
- Supremacy – 16/1
- Chil Chil – 14/1
- Happy Romance – 14/1
- Summerghand – 22/1
- Garus – 33/1
- Nando Parrado – 40/1