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2019 Sprint Cup ante-post tips – Two tips for Haydock’s Group One highlight

Last year's runner-up, Brando (left, yellow) could be worth an ante-post gamble in next month's Sprint Cup.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Group One sprint at Haydock and provides readers with two betting suggestions.

The highlight of Haydock’s flat racing schedule takes place at the start of next month, with a field of top quality sprinters expected to assemble in the Sprint Cup. First staged in 1966, greats like Moorestyle, Dayjur and Invincible Spirit have travelled to Merseyside to win the Sprint Cup and it will take a top-class performance from any of this year’s entrants if they want to get their hands on the trophy.

We’re still three weeks out from this year’s renewal of the Sprint Cup, so the final field is far from being confirmed. Despite that, our expert has cast his eye through the long list of entrants and highlighted two horses he feels offer excellent value in the ante-post market.

7/9/19 4:15pm Haydock Sprint Cup Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) 6f

Martyn Meade has already stated that Commonwealth Cup winner and recent Prix Maurice de Gheest champion, Advertise, will most likely be saved for the Champion Sprint at Ascot. Aidan O’Brien has the Nunthorpe pencilled in for his runaway July Cup winner. The turn around between that and the Sprint Cup is quite sharp and he wouldn’t want to run Ten Sovereigns on testing ground - something the runners are likely to encounter on Merseyside come the beginning of September.

Khaadem proved he was a cut above his rivals when cruising to an excellent victory in the Stewards’ Cup last time out and deserves another crack at a Group One. Charlie Hills’ three-year-old has run well on softer ground in the past, but he seemed to relish quicker conditions at Goodwood and a hard slog at Haydock won’t play to his strengths.

Mabs Cross and Fairyland followed Khaadem in the betting and both fillies would be big players should they appear at Haydock. Both, however, look likely to clash in the Nunthorpe and the prospect of softer ground won’t fill either set of connections with much optimism. Dream Of Dreams is another who cannot be ignored, but his best performances have all come on quick ground and he doesn't hold much in the way of appeal for me.

Now we’ve ruled some of the top guns out, it’s time for some selections and there are several horses who capture my imagination in the ante-post market. The first of those being INVINCIBLE ARMY (14/1 William Hill) for James Tate.

Tate’s stable star has won three of his five outings so far this season. Invincible Army followed a routine victory in the Cammidge Trophy with a superb triumph in the Duke Of York Stakes. Another Grouped victory followed at Newcastle, where PJ McDonald’s mount scooted clear of some decent rivals to win the Chipchase Stakes.

Both of Invincible Army’s appearances in Group Ones this term have resulted in lengthy defeats - there were excuses on both occasions though. McDonald reported his mount was never comfortable on the fast ground during the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Invincible Army was handed a horrible inside draw as he made his French debut in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
At his most comfortable when there’s a little cut in the ground, the conditions of the Sprint Cup should be perfect for Invincible Army. This looks an ideal opportunity for Tate’s star to prove he is truly top class and follow in the footsteps of his father, 2002 Sprint Cup winner, Invincible Spirit.

German raider, Waldpfad upset the apple-cart when winning the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury. Khaadem may have come out and boosted that run considerably at Goodwood, but I’m not sure Dominic Moser’s five-year-old is up to this sort of challenge. Le Brivido has been hugely disappointing this term and Irish rival, Speak in Colours – although he has secured some good results this season – is rated no higher than when he was well beaten as a three-year-old in this race last term.

Cape Byron might have flopped in the July Cup, but his triumph in the Wokingham proved he was a high-calibre sprinter and his record when the word “soft” features in the going description is very strong. Hello Youmzain is another classy sprinter who will relish softer conditions and Kevin Ryan’s charge is certainly worth watching.

Hello Youmzain’s stablemate, BRANDO (16/1 Ladbrokes) is a regular here at Haydock and returns to Merseyside on the back of a superb performance in the Prix Maurice de Gheest. At his current price, he looks worthy of an each-way ante-post punt.

Tom Eaves was the last to come off the bridle in this race 12 months ago, as Brando loomed into contention along the near side. It was The Tin Man, however, who dealt with the heavy turf best and Brando had to settle for second.

After two poor outings to kick off his campaign, it looked as if Ryan’s seven-year-old might be on the decline. Brando proved all his doubters wrong with a superb defeat of Donjuan Triumphant and Sands Of Mali up at Hamilton and, after a decent showing in a July Cup where none of the hold-up horses made up any ground, Brando gave Advertise an almighty scare when finishing just half-a-length behind the favourite in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.

That was the fourth occasion Brando has placed in a Group One and he’s running out of time to collect a second top-level honour. Yet, Brando is clearly in good form, a bit of juice in the ground will suit and Ryan’s charge has run many a good race here at Haydock. Brando will be my second, and final, ante-post tip.

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2019 Sprint Cup ante-post tips – Two tips for Haydock’s Group One highlight

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Group One sprint at Haydock on Saturday 7th September and provides readers with two betting suggestions.

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