The horse racing action lined up for the first Saturday of the month is nothing short of exquisite. With the Betfred Sprint Cup Festival starting at 2.05 from Haydock, before the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown shortly after, it is sure to be a highly-entertaining day for punters.
Betfred Sprint Cup (Group 1)
The Betfred Sprint Cup is the feature race of the Haydock meeting, with Clive Cox’s Lethal Force leading the market at 3/1 with William Hill. He is bang in form with both the Diamond Jubilee and the July Cup victories and will be looking for another top performance, although slower ground will not help his cause.
Bet365 and William Hill both place Gordon Lord Byron as the second favourite at 9/2 and the 5-year-old will be bidding to beat the favourite in the same fashion as he did so last year, over a longer trip that time. He was second in this in 2012, however may need a little more to win.
Garswood is another interesting contender following a Group 2 win at Goodwood in July and should go well once more here. Most firms are offering 9/2 for him, whilst the value bet in this one may well be the Stewards’ Cup winner, Rex Imperator.
betfred.com Superior Mile (Group 3)
The Group 3 betfred.com Superior Mile is another of the main races in the thrilling meeting, with the prolific Montiridge and Richard Hughes bidding for a third consecutive success over the distance.
He is currently 11/8 favourite, with Stan James and BetVictor supplying the best odds for this one. He beat Tawhid at Goodwood in the early stages of last month and is fancied again here, despite carrying a penalty.
If Friday’s rain continues, the Godolphin entry should run well and may pose an even greater threat to the big favourite. Gabrial should run well, but was beaten by Highland Knight when they met prior to this.
Hay Dude has won over course and distance a number of times in the past but the big step up in class may be too difficult, however the 25/1 that William Hil are offering is tempting each-way.
Chief Barker is another to watch out for in the Betfred TV Stakes later in the meeting, as Richard Hughes rides again to try and make it 3 wins from 3.
The two feature races at Leopardstown are sure to be thrilling, with Kenhope the bookies favourite for the first. She has placed in a number of Group 1’s and runs particularly well on fast ground so will take all the beating in this one. Say, Caponata and Chigun all warrant respect and cannot be ignored.
Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1)
The final Group 1 race of the day’s action is the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes, which is the one everyone will want to get their eyes on. Al Kazeem, Declaration Of War and Trading Leather all meet once more following the Juddmonte, with Al Kazeem seeming the best choice in these conditions.
With rain expected, Roger Charlton’s 5-year-old is at fair odds, with William Hill offering 5/2. Declaration Of War and Trading Leather were both very solid last time and the former will appreciate fast ground.
The latter has been solid all season and should run well again, although the drop in trip may not suit. The Fugue ran fantastically well in the Yorkshire Oaks but will also be affected if it is to rain.
A P O’Brien’s second string is Kingsbarns, who has not ran since winning last year’s Racing Post Trophy, so remains an interesting contender.
Other fantastic racing action is available for punters throughout the afternoon and evening, with; Ascot, Kempton, Stratford, Thirsk and Wolverhampton all supplying racing.
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