Sprinters,Milers,Stayers and Juveniles made up Haydock Parks biggest raceday of the flat season with the annual running of the Haydock Park Sprint Cup.
Weather wise it looked a bit overcast to begin but the sun shone on what could have been the last remaining chances to don the Panamas before the Trilbys and Flat Caps come out from their summer holidays.
As for the racing we had seven top quality events with the feature race,The Sprint Cup being supported by some nice Pattern races and the usual tough puzzles that make up Haydock Saturday Handicaps.
The Sprint Cup itself was also vindicated by the new shake up this season of the sprint programme with half the field being made up of three year olds and hopefully that will keep on improving as the seasons come and go.
2.00 Betfred.Com Superior Mile,Group 3,1m,3yo+
A tricky race with a few needing a good run to return to form.
As it happenes the punters curried favour with the bookies as the Brian Ellison trained Balty Boys came back from a short break since being second in a valuable Ascot handicap to take this contest,the pace was steady but Balty Boys sat in second spot behind pace setter Master Carpenter and took the lead 1f out and quickened away as the other five all finished in a heap with Sovereign Debt being the eventual second.
Balty Boys ran a fine race here and recorded his second win of the season,he could go for the Cambridgshire but this level is where he operates the best, Sovereign Debt is also a solid operator at this level and he could go to Redcar next month for a 7f Listed race, Last years winner Captain Cat never showed and maybe retirement may beckon.
2.35 Betfred Mobile Old Borough Cup,Class 2,1m6f,3yo+ (0-105)
A competitive as usual renewal of the unofficial Ebor consolation race.
This years prize went in a pulsating finish the Ian Jardine trained Nakeeta just got the edge from Pearl Castle.
Despite being bottom weight Nakeeta came here in flying form after being second in the Lanark Silver Bell behind Melorse winner Polarisation.
The pace was honest enough,set by Oasis Fantasy until Pearl Castle and High Secret took over with 2f to go,Nakeeta was switched out wide and stayed on well to get it by half a length, Hassle stayed on to get third spot from Hugh Secret who came fourth.
Could be worth following the form of this race, Nakeeta has been consistent without winning and deserved a big pot, hard to know where he will go to but he’s an honest horse, Pearl Castle benefitted the extra trip, Hassle ran well but needs dropping down, High Secret from the Sir Mark Prescott yard is already no doubt being eyed up by several jumps trainers.
3.10 Betfred TV Be Friendly Handicap,Class 2,5f,3yo+ (0-100)
Passing the stands
A top quality renewal here but all about one horse,the three year old Roger Varian trained Maljaa who has kept his form and improved since returning to racing in June and followed up his recent Doncaster win as he just held off the fast finishing B Fifty Two with Blithe Spirit and Lexington Place filling the minor honours.
Maljaa looks to be going places,a step up to Listed class looks likely and he should be even better next season at 4.
B Fifty Two ran a fine race in defeat and this was his best run of the season,being a gelding he won’t be off to the Love Shack but he could pick a race up depending how the handicapper reacts, Blithe Spirit is a Chester specialist and with two more meetings left Eric Alston will try and find a race for her, Lexington Place ran well and has plenty more to offer
3.45 Betfred Sprint Cup,Group 1,6f,3yo+
Despite no Muharrar and the defections of Sole Power and Interception this was a top class race as befits its standing.
The first three home here were all three year olds and trainer Henry Candy produced a masterful piece of training with Twilight Son making it 5/5 on his first race in Pattern company,always well to the fore he led 2f out and just held off the fast finishing Strath Burn in second,Magical Memory as the other 3yo in third,the next two home G Force and Due Diligence were the first of the older horses.
Twilight Son has improved leaps and bounds this summer and looks likely to head to Ascot next month and the big 6f races will be the target next season, Strath Burn came here also fresh and has ability,maybe 7f in time will suit but today he was a very unlucky loser and an extra 50 yards would have changed the result
Magical Memory the Stewards Cup winner also looks at home in this company,G Force has been out of sorts this season and he could be happier upped in trip,Due Diligence ran his best race of the season and has a race in him surely.
Tiggy Wiggy came in last after making the early pace,she hasn’t really trained on and the paddocks may beckon for her now
4.20 Betfred Goals Galore Nursery,Class 2,6f,2yo.
The old systems never fail in racing and the Top Weight in a Nursery method came to the fore as Receding Waves bounced back after his last two efforts to just get up on the line in the last stride under Sean Levey from handicap debutant Donjuan Trimuphant by a head, the pair were over a length ahead of favourite Vibrant Chords.
10th in the Super Sprint and 12/18 in a York Nursery,Receding Waves had won a couple of races at Chepstow and Redcar,he is a useful sort.
Donjuan Triumphant looks like one who will cost punters more than he will pay them,Vibrant Chords hit the wrong note here but more faster the ground the better for him.
4.55 Betfred Membership ‘Play Your Way’ Stakes (Ascendant Stakes) Listed,1m,2yo.
A flying dismount from Frankie here as the highly regarded Foundation repeated his course and distance win last month to earn a 20-1 quote for the Derby next year.
Slowly out of the stalls he travelled well and looks a fine prospect for John Gosden, possibly the Royal Lodge and Racing Post Trophy look viable targets but he looks like a horse who will get further next season and has a touch of class about him
Champagne City came second,he is a typical Mark Johnston horse and those nice 1m2f+ handicaps will suit him next season
5.30 Betfred ‘Be Part Of The Action’ Handicap,Class 2,1m6f,3yo.
A very nice 3yo staying test here with plenty coming to the race in good form.
Just a nose was in it on the line as the Richard Fahey horse Pin Up gave the bookies some relief to as the filly just edged out Dawn Missile in a thrilling finish,the pair were five lengths ahead from Soluble.
Pin Up looked to benefit from the step up in trip,she remains in training next season no doubt with a view to pick some black type up,Dawn Missile was also up in trip and could be a useful force in staying races in 2016.
A fine days racing then of what could be the last flat review of the season.
While the Sprint Cup was a top race for me the horse to take out was Foundation who caught the eye for many and those who go racing a lot tend to know a good horse when they see one,after all it was this site that spotted More Of That at Wetherby a few seasons ago!
Racing wise the next meeting will be Fontwell on October 3rd,the first NH of the season proper.
Next weekend may be a footballing one so until then a very good afternoon to you all.