Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes

By Samantha

The highlight of this Saturday’s action is the group one Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes over six furlongs.

Eleven of the original thirteen are set to go to post, if there are no more withdrawals, with the absence of smart three year olds Advertise, due to a dirty scope, and Ten Sovereigns, due to the soft going. The former will now be aimed at the sprint on Champions Day and Ten Sovereigns will be prepped to run in Australia later in the year. This is really disappointing but it opens up the race to a great extent.

A form line in this is the Prix Maurise De Gheest. It was won by Advertise with Brando second, So Perfect eighth and Invincible Army thirteenth. Brando is a grand seven year old. He’s won eight of his starts. Five of his outings have been in 2019 and he hasn’t been beaten that far on all occasions but he followed in Invincible Army at York in May and So Perfect and Fairyland in the July Cup. He won a handicap over this course and distance on soft aged three and has previously been second in this race in 2018 and ninth in 2017. He won at Hamilton in June and should run a big race. However, two of his stablemates have good chances as well. Major Jumbo won a listed race by three and a half lengths last time but was two places behind Brando in the July Cup. He’s done quite well recently and is so consistent. He usually likes it on the soft side of good. Hello Youmzain is extremely lightly-raced and looks an exciting horse for the future. He won a group two on soft at Maison-Laffitte convincingly aged two but didn’t stay seven furlongs in the Greenham. He won the Sandy Lane on his second start this term and then finished third, with Forever In Dreams in second and Khaadem in seventh, in the Commonwealth Cup.

Forever In Dreams, a grey filly by Dream Ahead who won this in 2011, ran a blinder on her first start for the Phoenix Ladies Syndicate at Royal Ascot and she hasn’t been seen since. She’s lightly raced and came from a yard in France before going to the Slattery yard in Ireland. She definitely has each way claims. The other mentioned horse was Khaadem. This Dark Angel colt is four from seven and was beaten on debut by Calyx, then completed a five timer, beaten ten lengths by Advertise and, on his penultimate start, got beat one and three quarter lengths by Waldfpad at Newbury, with The Tin Man behind. However, Khaadem’s run last time was most impressive. He skipped clear inside the final furlong to be a going-away winner of the Stewards Cup. He was the proverbial ‘group horse in a handicap’ and warrants his place here but attention on this horse makes the German raider Waldfpad is interesting.

Waldfpad, by Shamardal and halfs to a multiple group three winner, was having his first try in the UK when winning easily at Newbury. British filly Royal Intervention beat him at Baden-Baden last time. She’d previously been beaten three and a half lengths by Hello Youmzain. The German horse is an established group three performer and it will be interesting to see how he goes. He beat The Tin Man at Newbury. The Tin Man has ran in this race for the past three years – coming second in 2016, third in 2017 and was the winner last year, with Brando in second. That was his first win on heavy ground having won on good to firm or good on all other starts. This season, he’s been beaten two lengths by Dream Of Dreams, behind Dream Of Dreams and ahead of Invincible Army in the Diamond Jubilee and then behind Waldfpad and Khaadem last time. He needs to step up.

Dream Of Dreams won his first two this season nicely then finished incredibly strongly to only go down a head to Blue Point at Royal Ascot. He was then a 9/2 shot for the July Cup but ended up tenth with Major Jumbo, Brando, So Perfect and Fairyland all ahead. He’s won on soft twice before and will probably run better than last time. Another on a retrieval mission is Invincible Army. His sire Invincible Spirit won this in 2002 and this horse was thirteenth in the Prix Maurice De Gheest last time. Previous to that, he won at Newcastle in a group three and a group two at York. He’s as art horse and gets first time cheek pieces. They’ll be hoping they eek out some more improvement in him.

Aidan O’Brien has two of the three year old fillies in the race – Fairyland and So Perfect. The former has ran over various trips this term and came fifth and sixth in the two versions of the 1000 Guineas. Since then, she’s been fifth at Royal Ascot, third in the July Cup and came tenth in the Nunthorpe with stablemate So Perfect third. Fairyland will need to step up. So Perfect won a group three at the start of the season and has ran well all season, not being beaten all that far. The ground is the worry but if she builds on last time – she has each way claims.

SELECTION

This is no one horse race but I am very keen on HELLO YOUMZAIN. I think this could be the day he wins his big prize. Khaadem has a touch of star quality after his demolition job at Goodwood but I think the German horse Waldfpad is the interesting contender. He definitely has place claims. Same can be said for So Perfect who ran a blinder last time. It would be good to see Brando go well too.

REST OF THE CARD

R1- Calculation
R2- Great Scot
R3- He’s A Keeper
R4- Alright Sunshine
R6- Intense Romance
R7- Borossa Red

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