ITV Racing Tips: Starman has all the star quality in the Sprint Cup
We have entered the tail end of the 2021 Flat turf season but with some significant racing to come over the forthcoming September and October weekends.
That starts on Saturday with the running of the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock, the penultimate Group 1 race over six furlongs of the domestic campaign.
July Cup winner Starman is the outstanding candidate as he seeks to take his record to six wins from eight runs. Unless it rains the race is his to lose.
The Sprint Cup is one of three Group prizes to be shown live which begins with the Superior Mile in which seasoned campaigner Lord Glitters heads the field, and also includes the September Stakes, in which Hukum bids for a fourth Group 3 win.
Among the supporting handicaps are the Old Borough Cup at Haydock and the London Mile Final at Kempton.
ITV is showing eight races from Haydock, Kempton and Ascot from 1.25pm and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
We were being spoiled when this race was used as a stepping stone to the Arc for Enable. There is nothing needing match practice for the ParisLongchamp showpiece in this year’s field.
Prince Of Arran is however running yet again as he seeks to prove he is worth sending down under for yet another tilt at the Melbourne Cup. A poor run could hasten his retirement.
Hukum will be the hot favourite and the two-time Geoffrey Freer Stakes winner should win again en route to bigger challenges overseas in the US or Hong Kong, but connections will be wary of Hamish who, despite his long absence, was strongly fancied for the Ebor before his withdrawal after rain.
Only 12 runners but there is a 22lb weight spread from Godolphin’s Global Storm on 9st 10lb at the top to Noble Masquerade who will be ridden off 8st 2lb by Hollie Doyle at the bottom.
Noble Masquerade takes a big step up in class after winning his last start by four lengths. In contrast this grade is very familiar to Rhythmic Intent, who Doyle rode into fifth place at York last time out. She finished fourth in this contest 12 months ago and has performed consistently well all season. It could be her turn.
As long as the rain holds off, which it is forecast to do, this should be a straightforward task for Starman.
The July Cup winner has a record of five wins from seven starts and both those defeats came on soft ground. This could be his last appearance in Britain of the year, unless Champions Day is staged on a sound surface, an unlikely scenario.
On his only run since the July Cup, Starman ran a creditable third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in Deauville and his biggest rivals in the sprinting sphere this year, such as Dragon Symbol and Oxted have not made the line-up.
Art Power, Creative Force, Glen Shiel and Brando, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh at Newmarket, are here. But the each-way value could be with Garrus, the July Cup eighth, who won a Group 3 in Deauville on Sunday quite snugly, and Chil Chil (ninth), who finished a very strong fifth in the Nunthorpe Stakes.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 4th September
13:45 Haydock – Superior Mile
14:20 Haydock – 1m6f handicap
14:40 Kempton – September Stakes
14:55 Haydock – Old Borough Cup
15:10 Ascot – 1m4f handicap
15:15 Kempton – London Mile Series Final
15:30 Haydock – Sprint Cup
15:45 Ascot – 7f handicap
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing