August 23, 2021

Sprint Cup

A fair bit is made of the ground for the Sprint Cup, mainly because we know how soft it can get underfoot at Haydock. So, in the past five renewals, the ground has officially been soft or worse. But in the seven years prior, it was no worse than good to soft, including multiple running’s on good to firm and even one on firm.

I’d rather see more sun than rain this time around, especially for Starman.

I put him up for the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, which he skipped due to the horrendous ground conditions. But he made up for that missed engagement when impressively winning the July Cup under a month later.

He was sweating up beforehand and looked in trouble under pressure a couple of furlongs from home, but he proceeded to power through the closing stages to win in emphatic fashion.

Connections put his defeat in the Prix Maurice de Gheest down to the distance and the ground conditions. It was perhaps slightly softer than Starman would have liked, but I wouldn’t be particularly concerned about the ground for him unless it was bottomless, as he didn’t exactly perform badly on soft being third in a Group 1 at Deauville.

I think it was more the distance that caught him out, the extra half furlong just put too much of an emphasis on stamina. He was beaten by two French horses who have winning form over further. Still, he was the best of the British.

He’s the best 6f sprinter in the country, I have no doubt about that.

Back to that distance at Haydock on ground, which is hopefully no worse than good to soft, I struggle to see him beaten.

Recommended Bet

Back Starman @ 9/2

Alex Peperell

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