A tremendous day’s racing today, with the primary meeting at Haydock, where the 32Red Sprint Cup Stakes takes place.
This Group 1 event has been brought forward to 2.25 by ‘management’, to allow it to be run on fresher ground and 12 top sprinters are scheduled to take part.
Favourite at 11-4 is the consistent and likeable Harry Angel, whose trainer seems to have no doubt that his charge will act on the forecast very soft going. Winner of the July Cup when last seen, young Harry did win a Group 2 at Newbury last season on good to soft ground, but this afternoon will be something else entirely.
One runner who will not be inconvenienced by cut is the Kevin Ryan trained 5-y-o Brando and that is our selection at 7-2. ‘Marlon’ was 3rd in the Newmarket race, less than two lengths behind Harry Angel on a good to firm surface and, because of the changing w-f-a allowance, can re-oppose on 4lbs better terms. Added to that, he has since gone on to land the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, taking the scalp of Caravaggio among others and with soft ground a plus rather than a minus, he rates a fair win bet.
The other Group race on the Haydock card is at 3.35 in the shape of the 32Red Mile and at 9-2 the field, this 10 runner affair has a wide open look about it. Our sporting pick for this race is Kaspersky at a working person’s 16-1. Jane Chapple-Hyam’s entire is a multiple Group winner in Italy and Germany and, in the five runs for this yard has acquitted himself really well in higher class races. His fine second in the Summer Mile Stakes (Group 2) at Ascot in July is probably the best form on offer so the apparently generous price (PaddyPower & BetVictor) should be snapped up e/w.
There is a competitive looking 2-y-o Listed race at 1.50 which sees the return to action of the ‘airport’ horse Dee Ex Bee, who was an expensive flop at York last month. With no apparent excuses for that run we are going to oppose with Marco Botti’s Dark Acclaim, second in at 100-30. A promising debut run was followed by a demolition on soft ground at Doncaster and, with the placed horses both winning decent races next time, this Royal Lodge entry can continue his progress.
To finance your bets today, feel free to lump on the unbeaten Time Chaser in the opening handicap at 1.20. She will still be unbeaten by 1.23 and the evens available will then seem a really good price.
Elsewhere on the mainland today, there are top class meetings at Ascot and Kempton, so we will add one to the portfolio from each.
Most valuable race on the Ascot card is the Appletiser Stakes Handicap at 3.55 and in this we give another chance to Speedo Boy, e/w at 14-1. True to say things haven’t quite gone right for this gender neutral 3-y-o since joining Ian Williams’ yard from France, but today is the first time it has its preferred ground and, with a helpful 2 lbs drop in rating since an unlucky 7th at York, we may see what it can do.
The Group 3 toteplacepot September Stakes kicks off the Kempton card and, quite frankly, this looks like a penalty kick for the 13-8 favourite Chemical Charge. On the basis that you don’t have to like the name in order to back a horse, we suggest a fair lash into this 5-y-o and leave the rest to Oisin Murphy.
Brando 2.25 Haydock win @ 7-2
Kaspersky 3.35 Haydock e/w @ 16-1
Dark Acclaim 1.50 Haydock win @ 100-30
Time Chaser 1.20 Haydock win @ evens
Speedo Boy 3.55 Ascot e/w @ 14-1
Chemical Charge 2.05 Kempton win @ 13-8