WITH rain set to fall at Haydock, the ground is expected to be riding on the soft side for this weekend’s feature race, the Group 1 Sprint Cup.
Punters will be delving into the form book to find horses with proven form on softer ground, and one they shouldn’t overlook is HELLO YOUMZAIN.
Trainer Kevin Ryan has had a quiet summer by his standards but can land this big prize with the son of Kodiak, who easily took the Sandy Lane Stakes over this course and distance in May.
He then got a taste of Group 1 company with an impressive run for third place behind ADVERTISE in the Commonwealth Cup. He will love the ground and goes well fresh, and the 12/1 about him with Carrigill’s looks a nailed on each way gamble.
Connections of ADVERTISE have high hopes for him as a commercial stallion and won’t want to see him beaten again, and the soft ground will be a concern. Trainer Martyn Meade has handled him beautifully so far and, following his win in the Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville last month, stated he wants to finish the horse’s career on a high, so expect him to be primed and ready when Frankie Dettori gets the leg up.
Tomorrow’s (Saturday) encounter is a warm affair with impressive Steward’s Cup winner KHADEEM, July Cup conqueror TEN SOVEREIGNS and Diamond Jubilee runner-up DREAM OF DREAMS in opposition.
TEN SOVEREIGNS marginally missed the start before being blitzed for speed by Battaash in the Nunthorpe and York, but had previously looked the real deal when he dismantled his field over this trip at Newmarket and will be very hard to beat if in the same form here.
The Tom Dascombe-trained HE’S A KEEPER just failed to make a winning debut at Haydock in July but went one better over course and distance just three weeks later and can handle the step up to Listed company to land the Ascendant Stakes at 3.00pm.
Soft ground also seems to be the key to Roger Charlton’s QARASU, who is entered today (Friday) over 10f at the Lancashire track as well as Ascot tomorrow (Saturday) over the longer trip of 12f.
Both will suit and was impressive when winning a mile, a quarter handicap at Newbury last time out.
His only blip came on a quicker surface at Newmarket on his penultimate outing and it looks like the ground is going to be most suitable at Haydock, but wherever he runs I’ll be with him.
I have followed the David O’Meara-trained ESCOBAR off the end of a cliff and I will still side with him if he lines up in the Cunard Handicap at Ascot tomorrow (Saturday 2.45). He’s a horse that needs things to fall right and they didn’t at York last time out, but a return to a big field at Ascot will give him his optimal conditions.
O’Meara is double-handed in the race, also saddling REMARKABLE who has slipped to an attractive mark, 11lb lower than he carried when beating Mijack here two years ago.
Others to note are EAST STREET REVUE who runs off a potentially good mark for the Tim Easterby yard in Thirsk’s 3.05 tomorrow (Saturday), and PLATFORM NINTETEEN at York on Sunday. He goes for a four timer since going handicapping and can handle the step up to 2m and a 5lb hike in the weights in the 4pm on the Knavesmire.