Speedy stars go head-to-head for the Betfred Sprint Cup
On Saturday the forty-fifth running of the highly-competitive Betfred Sprint Cup takes place at Haydock Park, with the sponsors also appropriately celebrating their forty-fifth birthday.
The race was created in 1966 by former leading owner and breeder Robert Sangster, when it was run as The Vernons Sprint Cup, however it took until 1985 for Sangster to win the race, when his three-year-old Orojoya landed the contest. The Sprint Cup has historically been contested by some of the most outstanding British sprinters of the last half century, including Green Desert, Danehill and Royal Applause, and with many classy horses amongst this year’s 17 entries, we could potentially see another superstar win Lancashire’s biggest Flat race of the season.
This may come in the form of Aussie wonder-mare Ortensia, who landed a hot renewal of the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York two weeks ago, coming from near last to first to win the fifth leg of this year’s QIPCO British Champions Sprint Series. Her in-form jockey, William Buick, who took the race last year aboard Dream Ahead, will take the number number one spot in the British Champions Series Jockey’s Championship should Ortensia take him past the post in front again.
However, she will not be without her challengers, of which there are many. Richard Hughes, who is now 15 winners clear of the injured Ryan Moore in the Flat Jockeys Championships, will be aiming to extend his lead with a win on Strong Suit, whom David Redvers, Racing Manager to Qatar Racing Limited is very sweet on, suggesting, ‘’We’re confident we’ll see something very special.’’
This year there will also be five of last year’s runners returning to lock horns for another crack of the title, including the runner-up Bated Breath, who has been knocking on the Group 1 door for the past two seasons. Sheikh Mohammad is the leading owner in the race’s history, with four Betfred Sprint Cups down the years, and he’s represented this year by Godolphin’s globe-trotting Soul. Frankie Dettori will partner this five-year-old before dashing off to Ireland to ride Snow Fairy in the Redmills Irish Champion Stakes.
All in all, the last leg of the British Champions Sprint Series before Champions Day looks set to be a competitive affair that is not to be missed! To make sure you don’t miss out on one of the hottest races of the season, buy your tickets for Betfred Sprint Cup Day by CLICKING HERE.
Also check out a flyover of the course to see what the runners and riders will be up against at 3.25 on Saturday!
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