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Betfred Sprint Cup

The weather might be getting colder and damper but there's still life in the British Flat racing season. The Group 1 sprinters head to Haydock for the time-honoured Sprint Cup. Is there a dominant sprinter amongst them, or will they share it around even further?

Taking the reins is shrewd analyst Darren Goodbody, @DarrenPGoodbody. You can read more of his work here.

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Betfred Sprint Cup
Group 1, 6f
£260,000
1545 local 0045 AEST


As the season winds down we enter the autumn month of September, with most of these top sprinters it is going to be hard to bring myself away from the younger generation to land this race.

Probably one of the best two year old sprinters of the past two years Tiggy Wiggy returns after a two and a half month lay off for Richard Hannon. She is the only filly in the race and despite her margin of allowance she will find things tough once more.

For me she peaked as a juvenile with her most courageous success coming in the Lowther Stakes when fending off the smart Cursory Glance who never got to see a racecourse again after injury struck last month and was retired to stud. She did win the Cheveley Park Stakes on her last juvenile outing, but for me I thought it was a dead renewal and not as strong as most thought. Her transition has not gone to plan and even though she has been placed in the 1000 Guineas this season the trip saw her out when five lengths off the winners pace.

She looked out of her depth in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot on her last start, up with the pace she faded a long way from home and even though she was one of my favorites of 2014 she did not look the same, she is attempting to become only the third filly to win this race over the past decade, a tough ask indeed.

Magical Memory has been going the right way this year, notching up two good handicaps at Newmarket and last month when landing the Stewards Cup coming off the pace to finish powerfully under Frankie Dettori who has opted for Danzeno instead this time around. This is a big step up for the son of Zebedee coming out of handicapping straight into to pattern company, he is on the improve no doubt about that, but my concerns is the ground this time.

Dettori staying loyal to Danzeno has to be interesting, his fifth in the July Cup looked alright even though he was done for pace in the closing stages. His only pattern success came last year when winning the Chipchase Stakes, but has to contend with a 12lb rise since. He comes here with not too many miles on the clock this year and has held himself well in black type company in all three runs only concern could be the draw in stall two.

It's been a year since we was Tom Hogan's Gordon Lord Byron land the QPC Champion Sprint at Ascot, and he is another that is going to enjoy any rain that hits Haydock over the next twenty four hours. He has been on the go since mid March and has only got his head in front on the one occasion when winning the Listed Dubai Duty Free Dash Stakes, he went on to win that well by three lengths, he has not won at this level since landing the George Ryder Stakes in Australia last year. He is now seven years old and it is going to be a tough ask for him to overhaul the upper coming youngsters here.

David O'Meara won this last year with G Force who has lost his way this season but this does not reflect on the chances here of Watchable who ran a cracker to finish fourth last time out in the Maurice de Gheest, with only a length separating him and Gordon Lord Byron these two look on paper evenly matched once more.

The northern-based trainer looks to grab another title in the North and even though he has a tissue price at present of 25/1 he does not deserve that kind to be easily discounted in an open contest. I was looking into his run though when finishing fourth of four at Newbury when contesting the G3 Hackwood Stakes. He look to have problems with the course when hanging terribly from the outset at Newbury when behind Strath Burn who takes on again.He was shedding 5lb to the winner and i personally feel he will be a lot closer to Strath Burn this time, the four runner affair is working out well, the third Divine has recently won the Listed Flying Fillies Stakes at Pontefract, is he good enough to win this not really, but I expect a big run from him for a each way betting angle.

Adaay looked impressive when landing the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury three weeks ago, coming with a swooping run on the inner he got up to hold as half a length victory, how solid is the form, i think it is questionable with the runner up and third beaten comfortably in the Celebration Mile last week. Even though he is by one of the best sprinting sires Kodiac, this race takes a lot of winning and I am not convinced the pedigree is strong enough to land a Group 1.

So this brings me on to the selection, Tim Easterby has a really nice looking sprinter in MATTMU. He has only finished out of the first three this season on one occasion when fifth behind Adaay in the Sandy Lane Stakes. He has improved much since and with runs this season behind Mecca's Angel in the Nunthorpe at York last month was creditable to land a race of this nature. Lets not forget the Nunthorpe field was strong, we probably saw a nice juvenile that will come on nest year in Acapulco, and fending off the likes of Goldream and Sole Power he has to come into the equation as a strong live contender.

Others that should get a mention, the unbeaten Twilight Son of Henry Candy who has a good record in this race, some punters have been shouting that he is a Group horse that has been nursed in Handicap company and will be unleashed in his first pattern competition of his career, off a mark of 104 he has a lot of work to land this kind of race from stall five, another hat trick seeking entry is Charles Hills' Strath Burn whose Hackwood Stakes was not that encouraging, but the form on paper does not look questionable, at this level again I cannot see it.

John Gosden always seems to keep back a useful sprinter and Waady has stepped out of Listed company well when landing the Group 3 Coral Charge on his last start. The form-line is strong believe it or not. back in fourth that day was Stepper Point who beat Mecca's Angel in the Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh two runs back but failed to show that form in the Nunthorpe. Waady could be the the best each way bet of the day if Gosden has had this race in mind for a while.

As a conclusion, I would want to be in Mattmu's corner if he can shows his consistency that has seen him run big races already around this sphere, as each way bets go, i would not put you off at all having small bets on Watchable and Waady in the race, with maybe a reverse on Mattmu and Waady into the mix.

MATTMU : 2pts each way @ 8/1

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Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo C&G
£220,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


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