The Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup is one of the top sprint races in Europe.
It often features an exciting clash between the top three-year-old sprinters and the more established older horses.
Inaugural winner Be Friendly (1966 and 1967) remains the only dual winner of this race.
Other notable winners include Moorestyle (1980), Dayjur (1990) and Sheikh Albadou (1992).
- 1 The Race – The Betfair Sprint Cup
- 2 Famous Haydock Sprint Cup Winners & History
- 3 Key Haydock Sprint Cup Trials
- 4 Betfair Sprint Cup Betting Trends
- 5 Haydock Sprint Cup Stats
- 6 Top Trainers and Jockeys of the Betfair Sprint Cup
- 7 Betting on the Betfair Sprint Cup 2021
- 8 Summary
The Race – The Betfair Sprint Cup
The Haydock Sprint Cup takes place in early September over six furlongs at Haydock Park Racecourse.
The going often rides on the soft side of good at this meeting so this race can suit horses who stay beyond three-quarters of a mile.
The race was elevated to Group 1 status in 1988 and regularly attracts top sprinters with form in the July Cup, Commonwealth Cup and Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Famous Haydock Sprint Cup Winners & History
The race was first run as the Vernons Sprint Cup in 1966 and was won by the two-year-old Be Friendly, owned by BBC commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan. He followed up as a three-year-old and juveniles were eventually excluded from the race in 1994.
Originally run with a sharp-left hand turn, it was switched to the newly-installed straight six furlong track in 1986.
The race has been through various sponsorships in recent times but has retained its status as one of the most prestigious sprint races of the season.
Sheikh Mohammed won the race for the first time with Ajdal in 1987, trained by Sir Michael Stoute. The colt had been beaten in the 2000 Guineas and the Derby before reverting successfully to sprinting. His other victories include the July Cup at Newmarket and the Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
Other top sprinters to win here include Moorestyle (1980), Habibti (1983) and Green Desert (1986). Dayjur defeated subsequent Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Royal Academy in this race in 1990. He was Europe’s champion sprinter and should have won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He spooked at a shadow within yards of the winning post and surrendered the lead to Safely Kept by a neck.
Sheikh Albadou avenged that defeat for the Europeans when winning the Breeders’ Cup a year later. He was a brilliant winner of the Haydock Sprint Cup the following season for trainer Alex Scott.
Key Haydock Sprint Cup Trials
The Commonwealth Cup for three-year-olds and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes for older horses at Royal Ascot are key trials for this race.
The July Cup at Newmarket also features in the profile of many previous winners.
Other key form guides of past winners include the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville and the City Of York Stakes.
Plenty of runners in the in the Sprint Cup at Haydock had their previous start at York or Deauville. The Tin Man finished third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville before winning in 2018.
Horses also come here from the July Cup at Newmarket, usually with a race in between.
Winners and placed horses from the race often target the British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October.
Dream Ahead (2011) went on to win the Prix De La Foret at Longchamp on his next start while Gordon Lord Byron finished second in the same race in 2013.
Betfair Sprint Cup Betting Trends
The market leaders have done well in the most recent renewals of the Haydock Sprint Cup.
Quiet Reflection (2016), Harry Angel (2017) and Dream Of Dreams (2020) were all winning favourites. Hello Youmzain started 9-2 joint-favourite when winning in 2019.
Prior to 2016, there had been a mixed bag of results for punters. Regal Parade (2009) was 14-1, Markab (2010) returned 12-1 while Society Rock (2012), G Force (2014) and Twilight Sun (2015) all returned at double-figure prices.
The biggest shock in recent times was in 2002 when Invincible Spirit won at 25-1.
Haydock Sprint Cup Stats
- Most recent winners had raced three or more times in the current season.
- Previous success in one or more races at Group 1 to 3 level has also been a good guide to finding the winner here.
- Three-year-olds won this race for four successive seasons from 2014 to 2017. Hello Youmzain (2019) was also from this age group.
- The younger generations dominance was punctuated by wins for the six-year-olds The Tin Man (2018) and Dream Of Dreams (2020).
- An official rating of 114 or higher is normally required to win here.
- Most winners had won three or more times at six furlongs and course form has also been a key factor. Over half of recent winners had raced at Haydock before with a third of them winning at the track.
- High numbers are generally thought to have a slight draw advantage at Haydock, particularly in large fields when the going is soft or heavy.
Top Trainers and Jockeys of the Betfair Sprint Cup
John Dunlop is the most successful trainer in the history of the race with four winners. He won with Runnett (1981), Habibti (1983), Lavinia Fontana (1994) and Invincible Spirit (2002).
Newmarket Trainer James Fanshawe has won the race twice in recent years with Society Rock (2012) and The Tin Man (2018).
Goodricke (2005) provided Sheikh Mohammed with a record fourth win in the race. He has also seen his Godolphin operation claim the prize with Diktat (1999) and Harry Angel (2017).
No jockey has won this race more than three times. That total is shared by Lester Piggott, Pat Eddery, Willie Carson and Bruce Raymond. Oisin Murphy has won two of the last three renewals with The Tin Man and Dream Of Dreams.
Betting on the Betfair Sprint Cup 2021
Betting opens on the Betfair Sprint Cup ay Haydock Park as soon as the entries are in.
The outcome of the top sprint races at Royal Ascot often provide the ante-post favourite.
The going can change dramatically at this time of year so you should be wary about backing horses with a preference for fast ground.
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The Haydock Sprint Cup often features established Group 1 sprinters clashing with some of the fastest three-year-olds and progressive handicappers.
The race has been won by some champion sprinters in the past including Moorestyle (1980) and Dayjur (1990) and is the highlight of Haydock’s flat racing season.