Haydock Sprit Cup

Haydock sprint cup is a racecourse event that is held in Great Britain at the Haydock Park in North West England in early September each year. It allowed thoroughbred horses that are not less than three years old. This race was established in the year 1966 by Sangster Robert, who had inherited the Vernoons pools company. It was initially held in early November and was sponsored by the Vernoons pools business hence the name Vernoons sprint cup in the year 1979. In 1986 it was moved to Haydock, which was a straight track and was promoted to the group one status in the year 1988. The race was initially closed to two-year-old horses but was later reopened in 1989, and it is currently sponsored by 32RED, abetting, and Casino Company in Britain.

The most successful horse

The Haydock sprint cup festival has seen its fair share of the best horses both from England and outside, but the then two-year-old Be Friendly is considered as the most successful horse over the straight 6 furlongs of Haydock Park. Be Friendly owned by Sir Peter O’sullevan, an Irish-British BBC horse racing commentator between 1947 and 1997. Be Friendly won the Haydock sprint cup in 1966 and 1967 consecutively to cement its place in the Haydock sprint cup history. In 1966 Be Friendly was ridden by Colin Williams and trained by Cyril Mitchell to victory, then in 1967, at just three years old, it was ridden by the famous Scobie Breasley and trained by Cyril Mitchell to the cup victory.

The Leading Jockey

When it comes to the best of the best jockeys at the Haydock sprint cup, it comes to four riders, who all won it three times each that is Lester Piggott, who is considered the most successful of the three, Pat Eddery, Willie Carson and Bruce Raymond. Lester Piggott rode Green God to victory in 1971 and also led Abergwaun the following year 1972 to glory. He later in the year 1980 led Moorestyle to success for the third time in the Haydock Sprint Cup. Pat Eddery won it in the year 1976 with Record Token, 1988 with Dowsing and Danehill in 1989. Willie rode Boldboy to the winners’ prize in 1977, Habibti in 1983, and Dayjur in 1990. Bruce Raymond, in the year 1981, rode Runnett to victory. In 1984 he was the leading jockey with Petong, and finally, in 1992, he rode Sheikh Albadou to the topmost price of the Haydock sprint cup.

The Leading Trainer

Dunlop John Leeper was a flat racehorse trainer based in Arundel Sussex. Born in Tetbury in 1939, John trained flat race group one horse. It is documented that he trained 74 winners of Group one races with a total of over 3000 wins. In the year 1995, he was crowned the British flat racing champion. John Dunlop is the only trainer to have ever trained four winner horses in the Haydock sprint cup. In the year 1981 he trained Runnett to the Haydock cup title, in 1983 he trained Habibti to the top honors. He had previously trained Habibti to victory in races like the Kings stand Stakes and the Nunthorpe Stakes in 1983. He also taught Lavinia Fontana in 1994 and most recently Invincible Spirit in 2005 to victory on the Haydock Park racecourse. John Dunlop also trained horses that win significant races in the world, including the classic British race, 1000 Guineas with three wins, Epsom Oaks with two wins, Epsom Derby with two wins and St. Leger Stakes with three wins. He died on the 7th of July 2018, aged 78.

Since its inaugural, it has only been abandoned once in 1968 due to fog and in 2008, whereby it took place at The Doncaster racecourse in South Yorkshire England. In 2016 32Red announced a three-year partnership with Jockey Club Racecourses to sponsor the Sprint Cup at the Haydock Park. Its current winner’s prize stands at a mouthwatering 260,000 euros. It is also worth mentioning that the current leading owner of the most winner horses at the Haydock Sprint cup is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the current Vice-president and Prime Minister of The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. He owned Ajdal, the 1987 winner, Wolfhound the 1993 winner, Cherokee Rose in 1995, and Goodricke the 2005 Haydock Sprint cup champion.

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