MARCHAND D’OR GIVEN GREEN LIGHT FOR BETFRED SPRINT CUP AS 38 GO FORWARD AT FORFEIT STAGE FOR £300,000 CONTEST
A thrilling showdown is on the cards at Haydock Park on Saturday, September 8, as the £300,000 Group One Betfred Sprint Cup promises to bring together the best sprinters in Europe.
The six-furlong showpiece has 38 top-class contenders remaining at the first forfeit stage, including this season’s star turn, the Group One July Cup winner Sakhee’s Secret, and last season’s Betfred Sprint Cup hero Reverence, as well as France’s top speedster, the Freddie Head-trained Marchand D’Or.
Chantilly-based Head revealed this morning: “Marchand D’Or is on course for Haydock and I am very happy with him. He took his race at Deauville extremely well, so at the moment he has the green light.”
Marchand D’Or has proven himself to be one of Europe’s leading sprinters in the past two seasons and captured the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest for the second year in succession at Deauville on August 5.
The grey Marchand De Sable gelding swooped late to collar Dutch Art in the closing stages of the six and a half furlong contest, with Silver Touch third and crack Australian speedster Bentley Biscuit back in seventh.
That victory followed a solid run at Newmarket in July when, despite finding his path momentarily blocked two furlongs from home, Marchand D’Or ran on to take fourth in the six-furlong Group One Darley July Cup, two lengths behind Sakhee’s Secret.
Head continued: “I thought the July Cup was a good race. Perhaps the going was a bit firm for him that day and I wonder if he handled the ups and downs of Newmarket as that was a bit new for him. It was in fact his first Group One six-furlong race on turf.
“He was impressive at Deauville last time and ran a very good race. I think he has improved a bit on last year - I thought it was a better race this year.
“I think he will run well in the Betfred Sprint Cup but you always need a bit of luck. There will be a lot of runners and the draw may be important. The good thing is that my horse won’t mind if the going is a little bit on the soft side.
“It won’t be easy but I think he will run a good race and he has his chance. Davy Bonilla will ride him as usual.”
Sakhee’s Secret, unbeaten in four starts this season, is the star of the sprinting division so far this term following his scintillating victory in the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
Hughie Morrison’s charge defeated a top-class field that included Dutch Art, Red Clubs, Marchand D’Or, Dandy Man, Asset, Hellvelyn, Mutawaajid, Amadeus Wolf, Prime Defender and Balthazaar’s Gift.
Dual Group One winner Dutch Art has filled the runner-up spot on his last two starts behind Marchand D’Or in the Prix Maurice De Gheest and Sakhee’s Secret in the Darley July Cup. The three-year-old, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, could be joined in the field by stablemates Al Qasi, winner of a Group Three over the distance at the Curragh on August 12 and Group Two Betfair Cup victor Tariq.
Reverence secured the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York over five furlongs last season prior to holding Quito by a neck to collect the Betfred Sprint Cup on his next start. The Eric Alston-trained gelding was fourth to Balthazaar’s Gift in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Ascot on July 27.
Soldier’s Tale, trained by Jeremy Noseda, proved too strong for crack Australian sprinter Takeover Target when taking the Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Aidan O’Brien could be represented by the brilliant and enigmatic George Washington, who could have his first start over six furlongs since his juvenile days, as well as Group One Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Astronomer Royal and Theann, a Group Three winner at York on July 13.
The Mick Channon-trained Group Three winner Silver Touch was third to Marchand D’Or at Deauville before finishing fifth to Red Evie in the Group Two CGA Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on August 18, and could be joined by stablemate Mutawaajid, a Group Two winner in Australia.
Australian handler Peter Moody could field Magnus, a Group One winner in his homeland, who was third to compatriot Miss Andretti in the Group Two King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Tim Easterby-trained Somnus won the 2003 renewal of the Betfred Sprint Cup and was runner-up to Tante Rose in 2004. He has filled fourth spot in the past two editions of the contest behind Goodricke (2005) and Reverence (2006). Stablemate and fellow Group One winner Fayr Jag may also take his chance.
The Andreas Lowe-trained Electric Beat is a Group Three winner at the distance in Germany, while Irish raider Dandy Man, one of seven remaining entries from Ireland, was runner-up in the King’s Stand Stakes and ran a respectable fifth in the Darley July Cup.
For further information, please contact: Dickon White, Managing Director of Haydock Park Racecourse, on 01942725963 or 07798928924
BETFRED SPRINT CUP
Class 1, Group 1, £300,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.45pm, Haydock Park, Saturday, September 8, 2007. For 3yo+, 6f. Weights: 3yo colts and geldings 9st 1lb; fillies 8st 12lb; 4yo colts and geldings 9st 3lb; fillies 9st; Entries received July 11 (54 entries); entries revealed July 17; forfeit stage August 21 (38 remain), supplementary and six-day confirmation stage September 3; final declaration stage 10.00am, September 6. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, August 20, 2007. All-weather form in brackets. May not include some overseas form.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
0/3(2)32-500 ADVANCED 4 T Doherty and McHeen Kevin Ryan
1211-6021 AL QASI (IRE) 4 Ziad Galadari Peter Chapple-Hyam
235-100 AMADEUS WOLF 4 Duddy, McDonald, Heeney, Irish National Stud Kevin Ryan
(1)02-1362 ASSET (IRE) 4 Highclere Thoroughbred Racing XXVI Richard Hannon
21-6134 ASTRONOMER ROYAL (USA) 3 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
0-4053016 BALTHAZAAR'S GIFT (IRE) 4 Ryder Racing Ltd Luca Cumani
2153-10 BENBAUN (IRE) 6 Ransley, Birks, Hillen. Mark Wallace
0211-460 BYGONE DAYS 6 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
52131-6 CAPTAIN MARVELOUS (IRE) 3 Ronnie Arculli Barry Hills
11-2501 CONFUCHIAS (IRE) 3 Annette O'Callaghan Francis Ennis IRE
03-1225 DANDY MAN (IRE) 4 HRH Princess Haya of Jordan Tracey Collins IRE
11-23422 DUTCH ART 3 Susan Roy And Cheveley Park Stud Peter Chapple-Hyam
3115-10 ELECTRIC BEAT 4 Rennstall Directa Andreas Lowe GER
5-30600000 FAYR JAG (IRE) 8 Jonathan Gill Tim Easterby
5-3003206 FONTHILL ROAD (IRE) 7 Una Towell Richard Fahey
231(6)-43 GEORGE WASHINGTON (IRE) 4 Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O'Brien IRE
14-0113 HAATEF (USA) 3 Hamdan Al Maktoum Kevin Prendergast IRE
11124-0 HELLVELYN 3 H E Sheikh Rashid Bin Mohammed Bryan Smart
234130 MAGNUS (AUS) 5 R Crabtree Peter Moody AUS
10-(0)0141 MARCHAND D'OR (FR) 4 Mme J Giral Freddie Head FR
02311-0 MISS BEATRIX (IRE) 3 Bill Durkan Kevin Prendergast IRE
5-022300 MOSS VALE (IRE) 6 Lady O'Reilly David Nicholls
1-111400 MUTAWAAJID (AUS) 4 Hussain Nasser Abdullah Lootah Mick Channon
(2)101205 PRIME DEFENDER 3 S Falle, M Franklin, J Sumsion Barry Hills
10-2043 RED CLUBS (IRE) 4 Ronnie Arculli Barry Hills
05112-56 REVERENCE 6 Gary & Lesley Middlebrook Eric Alston
1-14040 RISING SHADOW (IRE) 6 G Morrill David Barron
14-1111 SAKHEE'S SECRET 3 Bridget Swire Hughie Morrison
150-1066 SCARLET RUNNER 3 Nicholas Jones John Dunlop
011150 SIERRA VISTA 7 David Metcalfe David Barker
2105-0135 SILVER TOUCH (IRE) 4 Jaber Abdullah Mick Channon
114/-331 SOLDIER'S TALE (USA) 6 Budget Stable Jeremy Noseda
42644-6 SOMNUS 7 Legard Sidebottom & Sykes Tim Easterby
114-2063 SONNY RED (IRE) 3 Michael Pescod & Mr Leek Richard Hannon
13-50111 TARIQ 3 Saleh Al Homeizi & Imad Al Sagar Peter Chapple-Hyam
303501 THEANN 3 Evie Stockwell Aidan O'Brien IRE
020-0342 WELSH EMPEROR (IRE) 8 Sylvia Clegg Tom Tate
212-5024 WI DUD 3 John Duddy, L Duddy, P McBride, E Duffy Kevin Ryan
38 Entries remain after August 21 forfeit stage
THE FOLLOWING HORSES WERE REMOVED AT THE AUGUST 21 FORFEIT STAGE:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN (IRE), BALTIC KING, EXCELLENT ART, FIRENZE, HOH MIKE (IRE), INTREPID JACK, JEREMY (USA), MAROZI (USA), MISU BOND (IRE), MUNADDAM (USA), NEW GIRLFRIEND (IRE), OPERA CAPE, RAHIYAH (USA), SANDER CAMILLO (USA), STEENBERG (IRE), UTMOST RESPECT