Paul Ferguson has 3 selections today; Bated Breath (3.25, Hayd), Lyric Street (4.00, Hayd) & Battle Of Marengo (4.10, Leop). Compare odds.
With the drying ground and the return to 6f very much in his favour Bated Breath (3:25) is taken to break his Group 1 duck in this afternoon’s Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Roger Charlton’s five-year-old has 3 lengths to make up on Ortensia from their recent meeting in York’s Nunthorpe Stakes, but conditions are ideal for the selection today and he has a fine record at the Merseyside track to boot.
Aside from finishing a nose second in this race 12 months ago, he has won on his other three trips to this venue and, despite an unkind draw in stall 1, he looks sure to go close and deserves to grab a Group 1. He was trading at 7/2 overnight with the sponsors.
Another who will relish the quick ground is Lyric Street (4:00) who has yet to score for Ed Dunlop and, in fact, hasn’t won since beating Group 3 winner Wild Coco in a Newmarket maiden last May when in the care of Luca Cumani.
The Hurricane Run gelding, who promised to make up in to a smart four-year-old, has shown glimpses of promise again this season, however, and is more than capable of winning a valuable handicap off his current mark.
After appearing to need the run at York on reappearance in May, he returned there to run well behind Melbourne Cup bound Mount Athos in the Silver Cup before failing to get the required cover in the Shergar Cup Stayers last time.
Fourth to Address Unknown, he has 5 lengths to make up on that rival, but given a strongly run race on quick ground over this trip he looks set to run a big race under Richard Hughes. At 8/1 overnight (Ladbrokes) he rates a sound each-way play in the Old Borough Cup.
Elsewhere, Leopardstown stages a cracking renewal of the Irish Champion Stakes, but earlier on the card Battle Of Marengo (4:10) is fancied to land the Listed juvenile contest for Aidan and Joseph O’Brien.
An 11-length maiden winner for this column last time, the Galileo colt will relish both the step up to a mile and the better ground, and it is worth noting that the Racing Post Trophy entry won the same maiden as stable-mates Frozen Fire and Treasure Beach, both of whom won the Irish Derby the following season.
At 9/4 with Paddy Power overnight, he is worth backing, especially with Bet365 and Boylesports both pricing him up at 6/4. Orgilgo Bay and Dibayani bring similar and smart form to the table, but Battle Of Marengo is expected to improve past them following his impressive Gowran success.
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Last Year’s Book Results – Leading Prospects:
- SPRINTER SACRE – Unbeaten – winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- SIMONSIG – Winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- CINDERS AND ASHES – 10/1 winner of Supreme Novices Hurdle
- BOBS WORTH – 9/2 winner of the RSA Chase
- MENORAH & SILVINIACO CONTI – Both Aintree Winners
- SIR DES CHAMPS – Unbeaten inc 3/1 Jewson Cheltenham Winner
- FINGAL BAY – Won 4 times inc Challow Hurdle
- RAYA STAR – 10/3 winner at Wetherby, 12/1 Ladbroke Hurdle winner, 15/2 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner
- AMBION WOOD – 14/1 EBF Final Sandown winner
- CHAMPION COURT – 6/1 G2 Dipper Novices Chase winner
- PALACE JESTER – 14/1 winner at FFos Las
- SWINCOMBE FLAME – Hat-trick winner inc Lanzarote Hurdle at 9/2
- TEAFOR THREE – 5/1 NH Cheltenham Chase winner (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)