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Friday 2 September 2011

Lets live the Dream !

Haydock is my local track and I hope to be paying a visit there tomorrow afternoon on what promises to be a top days racing and four of the races will be shown on tv for those not able to attend.
The main race of the day is of course The Sprint Cup run over 6f at 3.35 and 16 are due to go to post for this Group 1 prize. All the usual suspects take their place and it will be a fascinating renewal with Hoof It trying to bridge the Handicap/Group race divide. He will not however have the benefit of Fallon who is at Ascot tomorrow and the very able Graham Gibbons gets the call.
The going is good and after a dry sunny day in the North West, but the times of the races today wouldnt make you think it was fast going and if any rain does arrive, which as I write looks a distinct possibility before the evening is out then Delegator and Sole Power may well be pulled out.
Lets have a look through the field then and see who we think will be leading them all home.
BATED BREATH - Back to a more comfortable 6f for him and he has winning form at the track with two of his five wins coming here. His trainer says he is the best sprinter he has ever trained and he will have the chance to prove that here having been second to Dream Ahead in the July Cup at Newmarket, but any cut in the ground could scupper his cahnces.
DALGHAR - Hasnt really fired for the Balding stable since moving from France and although he runs well enough he doesnt seem to have that spark that will bag him a Group 1 and a hood is tried here for the first time.
DELEGATOR - The class act gets something like his ground providing the forecast rain doesnt arrive too soon, his trainer had this to say about him today "The ground is crucial for Delegator - he needs fast ground - and I am hoping that he will get his conditions at Haydock Park. He has been working well and I am looking to see him run a better race over a trip that suits him."
DONCASTER ROVER - Is probably not good enough for this although he was only beaten a head by Genki in June, however I would imagine its more of a day out for the team.
GENKI - Third in this last year behind Markab and the likelyhood is he wont do much better this time around although he is an admirable old horse.
HITCHENS - Decent handicapper last season and has gradually creeped up the class ladder to run here in another Group 1 after running an excellent race to finish 3rd to Dream Ahead in the July Cup and Fran Berry renews his association having won on him at The Curragh in the summer. 25/1 is a decent price if you fancy him running another big race.
HOOF IT - This return to 6f could suit as his last 3 wins have been over the trip and last time at York his chance seemed to be scuppered by being on the wrong side of the track and in the end he was only 2 lengths behind the winner at the line. Whether he deserves to be fav after that run is open to question and it reamins to be seen if he can progress into a Group 1 winner.
KINGSGATE NATIVE - Often runs well here (142) and after running a few below par efforts, although his stable blamed poor draws for some of his runs, he ran better last time behind Margot Did in the Nunthorpe when 4th beaten 1 1/2 lengths. Neil Callan takes over the steering and Kingsgate Native could well be in the shake up and 28/1 is good value at this track.
MASAMAH - Has struggled over 6f in the past and against the best sprint company is he likely to do any better ? you would have to say no, but he is fast and the stable will be hoping he lasts home.
SOCIETY ROCK - This will only be his thirteenth start and he comes into the race having won the Golden Jubilee at Ascot and then finishing second to Moonlight Cloud over in France last time out. James Fanshawe had this to say about him "His best performances have been at Ascot and after the Golden Jubilee this year he got a corn, which meant a run in the July Cup would have come quite
quickly. He wasn't really firing before France, so I was really delighted with his run there, he ran really well and he did it away from Ascot. That was the first time he showed he was up to running in Group Ones on a different track. Touch wood he seems in good nick and is really bright in himself."
SOLE POWER - The faster the better with him not only with the ground but also in the race. He has shown he is capable of performing on the big stage and he had a warm up last weekend but it remains to be seen if he can do as well over 6f.
TIDDLIWINKS - Is another who has it all to do and he would probably be better off in a handicap, he is surely just a day out token for connections.
DREAM AHEAD - Had a bit of a blip last time after winning the July Cup and his trainer commented recently on that "He's in the same form he was before he went to Deauville. He's very fresh, very happy and I'm really looking forward to running him. I've got no idea what happened last time, we've got no excuses, it was just a bad day at the office. I think good ground will be fine for him, I can't see him not running because of the ground. It's a very good field and any one of about five could win it, they are all very capable on their day." This will only be his eigth start and he is still open to any amount of improvement as a 3yo.
ELZAAM - Another 3yo who ran well in the Golden Jubilee but not so well in the July Cup albeit only beaten 4 lengths. I think he will like the course and should perform well and his trainer says "Elzaam is in great form. I've drawn a line through the July Cup as he's run three times at Newmarket now and hasn't performed. I don't know if it's the undulations he doesn't like but I think we can forget Newmarket. He's shown good form at tracks like Newbury and Ascot, and Haydock is a flat six so I hope he can show his best."
WOOTEN BASSETT - The winner of 5 races as a 2yo and having not cut the mustard over longer trips this season he tries his hand at sprinting and Fahey had this to say about his chances "We're happy with him, everything's grand and he's drawn in 10 which is acceptable. If it's genuine good ground he'll run and he took a step in the right direction at Deauville last time but didn't get home and I don't know why. Everything's fine and let's hope he bounces back".
BEWITCHED - Right down the bottom but he shouldnt be forgotten as he is a very capable performer on his day and Richard Hughes takes the ride. He was fav for the Golden Jubilee but didnt run very well and the stable could offer no explanation and maybe it was just an off day and 14/1 now could look generous come the end of the race. He has a good win record and the 6f trip should be right up his street and he has won here in the past.
A tricky race indeed and with rain looking like hitting the track at some stage I think it will be between Dream Ahead, Bewitched and Society Rock.
Good Luck !