Haydock Park, Saturday 7th September 2019, Betfair Sprint Cup Day

Hello, Is It Youmzain You’re Looking For?

North West England’s only Group One flat race found itself being taken across the other side of the Pennines yesterday afternoon as Hambleton based trainer Kevin Ryan was jumping for joy as Hello Youmzain powered his way to take the Betfair Sprint Cup under James Doyle in the colours of Jaber Abdullah who certainly would have been dancing on the ceiling watching this all night long

On paper this was a top class renewal with plenty of regulars at this level plus horses improving through the sprint races who all deserved to take their chances and from the stalls opening the pace was pretty strong, Hello Youmzain was always to the fore and began to move away from his field in the last furlong, last years winner The Tin Man gave pursuit but the winner had plenty in his favour as the line came up and was a worthy winner.

Successful here in May’s Sandy Lane Stakes over course and distance where he beat talking horse Calyx in good style, Hello Youmzain had been aimed at this race after his Commonwealth Cup third back at Royal Ascot in June and he looked a fresh horse showing plenty of zest as he scorched up the Haydock turf , The Tin Man was another also trained with this race in mind and almost looked like he was going to retain his crown but he was honorable in defeat and given a respectful round of applause from the crowd in the paddock after racing.

Both now look set to do battle in next months Champion Sprint at Ascot on Champions Day on what could potentially be the race of the whole meeting.

Back in third was German raider Waldpfad who enhanced his stallion value very nicely while this step up in grade proved too much for Stewards’ Cup winner Khaadem who trailed home in last spot.

Great Scot The Superior Miler

Tom Dascombe has had a very good festival here over the three days and of all the winner his Malpas based yard have had, none will have been more enjoyable than Great Scot making all to win the Group Three Superior Mile beating some fair sorts in the process.

From the gate his pilot Richard Kingscote got the inside and promptly stayed their and wound up the gallop down the straight, the well fancied Sharja Bridge couldn’t pick up when asked and finished out the back but Great Scot was always going the best of the field.

Already boasting good course form here when taking the Ascendant Stakes las year, Great Scot has been 9th and 4th in the English and German 2000 Guineas this season and its possible races in France would suit him in easier company or even maybe a visit over to the Dubai Carnival in 2020, he should offer even more as a 4yo and he should stay a little bit further in time.

Pyledriver Shocks Ascendant Field

PJ McDonald picked up another festival win here as he executed hold up tactics to aplomb on 14-1 shot Pyledriver to gain some nice black type when obliging in an intriguing looking Ascendant Stakes over a mile.

In a race full of plenty unexposed types this Royal Lodge entry will probably take up that engagement for trainer William Muir as he stayed on nicely past Sound Of Cannons to pick up the £11,363 first prize, already a 50-1 winner on his debut at Salisbury he was stepped up in trip following a recent 4th of 5 in a Newbury Listed race and he will be a fair enough yardstick next year.

Sound Of Cannons back in second place ran a sound race but ultimately was beaten by a better horse.

Other Races

The big betting handicap on the card came in the Old Borough Cup for the stayers over 1m6f and this had an exciting finish to it from a race run at a real gallop as Crystal King set a real madcap pace from the stalls opening and despite having a long lead turning for home the peleton reeled him in and we had a real battle between Time To Study and Alright Sunshine with Time To Study just getting the edge on as both warriors past the line.

Time To Study made this two wins on the bounce following a recent win in France at Clarefontaine and all roads will no doubt lead to Newmarket for the Cesarewitch in which he holds an entry and is currently around the 20-1 for the second leg of the autumn double.

Three days of excellent races come to a close and in all probability the end of the turf flat sseason on here, next month will be the first of the many jumps meetings that will be covered from top class to grassroots level.

Till next time, Goodbye

Haydock Park, Friday 6th September 2019, Sprint Cup Festival Day Two

Alaadel Has His Day

Friday’s feature race on day two of the three day festival came in the Optional Claiming Handicap over 6 furlongs and this went the way of the Stuart Williams trained Alaadel who bounced back to form under Gerald Mosse, himself having two winners on the afternoon.

Soft ground is vital for this horse and he had plenty in hand towards the end, he could more than likely be making the trip up to Ayr in two weeks time for one of the many metallic cups that they have over six furlongs and the trainer is likely to try and strike while the iron is hot with him.

Reef All Heart On Debut

Ralph Beckett’s stable unveiled a very likeable filly in the 1m Novice Stakes for 2yo Fillies in the shape of Heart Reef for Qatar Racing as she duly obliged on her debut performance under Tom Marquand.

Although slightly green she looks a nice type and this filly by Australia could certainly be one to add to the trackers to see where she goes from here.

Brookside Close Winner

Tom Dascombe gets Haydock winners the same way Steven Smith gets centuries and this afternoon was no exception as Brookside Banner went in on her debut run in the 6f Novice Stakes for 2yo Fillies.

Drawn near side in stall ten she did wander over to the far side as the race came to the business end but that was just signs of greenness and she will have learnt plenty for next time with plenty of potential she should make into a useful type next season in handicaps.

Round up

In fairness this wasnt quite as high quality compared to yesterday but tomorrow things go from red to white hot with the Group One Betfair Sprint Cup over 6f, in what looks a tight renewal on paper, hopefully the only Group One flat race in the north west will be a race to remember, can one of the 3yo win it again or will The Tin Man show all his metal to land back to back renewals?

Whatever happens, it’s going to be great, Till next time, Goodbye

Haydock Park, Thursday 5th September 2019, Sprint Cup Festival, Day One

Illumined Lights Up Haydock

Another week, another festival and again more winners on the scoreboard for John Gosden as he landed a double at the Merseyside venue on an afternoon which had a mix of sun,wind and rain in various combinations throughout the racing as day one of three commenced at Haydock.

Thursday’s feature race was the icing on the cake for the double as Robert Havlin executed perfect tactics on the 3yo filly Illumine as she made all to land the feature 1m2f Fillies’ Handicap, always travelling well she found plenty when asked to land her first handicap of 85 and looks capable of further improvement, already successful over 1m4f this summer she will definitely be sent in search of some black type now and looks a more than useful type.

Arabist was the first part of the Gosden double when taking the 1m4f maiden for 3yo under Frankie, still an entire he had to work hard for this but stuck to the task to break his duck for his owners, Denford Stud, he is in the “could be anything” stage at the moment but expect a bit of improvement during the autumn.

Qaysar Lands Byron Stakes

It wasn’t to be for Gordon Lord Byron in the race which carried his name, the 7f Conditions Stakes as Qaysar bounced back to winning ways as he just hung on to the fast finishing Dubai Dominion for the winning pot which was just over £9k and a few quid more.

In what looked a tight little race all six still held chances come the business end of the race but Qaysar took the lead inside the last furlong and the line came up just in time to take the pot.

Going in off a career high mark of 100 Qaysar will have to tackle Listed or Group 3 company now and he could find a bit extra although it won’t be easy.

Gordon Lord Byron didnt get the poetic send off in what could have been his final race at Haydock but he ran respectfully although it does look like old father time is catching up with him.

Dascombe At The Double

Finally local trainer Tom Dascombe also had two winners on the afternoon, first up Panic Room made it third time lucky when he landed the 1m 2yo Novice Stakes, stepping up trip after two placed efforts over 6f he looks to be heading the right way and should offer even more next season in the colours of John Dance.

Leg two came up for the Deva Racing Epaulette Partnership as Epaulement picked up the Class 2 1m4f handicap very nicely, third in July’s Old Newton Cup this was much calmer waters than of late and he went in with some style, a huge gathering of his owners were in the winners enclosure to greet him and no doubt they will be toasting this afternoons victory for quite a bit!