The final leg of the flat season gets well underway this Saturday, with the prestigious Sprint Cup headlining the act which also includes the return of the Queen of racing: Enable. Here are Saturday’s picks from the eight meetings that are taking place.
Consistency and defying the handicapper is key in competitive sprints, and REBEL STREAK fit the bill in the Fever-Tree Handicap.
Andrew Balding’s three-year-old has been climbing his way up the handicap ladder all season, and he finally managed to string two wins together with a facile success at Newmarket in August.
Promising apprentice Jason Watson claims a valuable three pounds on board Rebel Streak again, and off a very handy racing weight, Rebel Streak can put another step forward to scoop this valuable prize.
The Southeastern coast of Ireland is the next port of call, and MISS SASSIE can rejuvenate her career in the Audrey McGrath Memorial Novice Chase.
The mare marked her return to chasing with immediate success at this venue earlier this summer, however she’s hit the crossbar in three starts since over longer distances.
The drop back to the minimum distance should not hinder the five-year-old, who should get back on the winning keel in what looks to be a valuable – yet poor – race.
Harry Angel (Win)
The feature race at Haydock on Saturday is the 32Red Sprint Cup Stakes Group 1, over the flying six furlongs, and the selection is defending champion HARRY ANGEL. Clive Cox’s flag-bearer returns to action for the first time since getting upset in the stalls at Royal Ascot and thus losing all chance of winning the Diamond Jubilee. His campaign has somewhat stalled since then as he had to miss the July Cup at Newmarket. However, if he can relocate the form he showed when he put his rivals to the sword in this race last year, he will be hard to beat. Aside from his Ascot runs (5 starts, 5 defeats) he is yet to be headed anywhere else, and that will surely stand him in good stead ahead of Saturday. Sir Dancelot, who has been in terrific form over the summer, would be a good each way selection.
The Tin Man (E/W)
Haydock’s tip of the day comes from the feature race, the group one 32Red Sprint Cup, and if Harry Angel is not on a firing day, THE TIN MAN can add another group one to his tally.
James Fanshawe’s six-year-old has struck at the highest level twice, both times at Ascot, and has been an ever-consistent force in the top sprint races for a couple of years now. Despite not recording a victory at the Merseyside venue, The Tin man ran with great credit in the past two renewals of this, he was second two years ago and third a year ago.
While the potentially dangerous Harry Angel re-opposes, the favourite has to overcome an injury-enforced break on what will be rain-softened ground, so it’s worth taking a gamble on the consistent The Tin Man.
It’s back across the Irish Sea for the next tip, and COMPTON’S FINALE looks set to shed his maiden tag at the third attempt in the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Maiden.
The two-year-old may have been an outsider on his two starts to date, but he has run out of steam both times, the latest being a staying on third at Bellewstown.
In a race with some exposed juveniles and some below-par debutants, Compton’s finale can gain that elusive win.
The British Stallion Studs EBF Handicap is the feature race of the day at Thirsk, and KNIGHTED can crown himself the victor in what looks to be a competitive handicap.
Trained just down the road by Kevin Ryan, Knighted brought up a double of wins when stepping up to class three company at Pontefract last time out with a facile success.
He’s being kept at this company again, and off a lenient weight of 9-2, Knighted can duly bring up the hat-trick.
Enable is back. The queen of British racing returns in her quest for a second arc victory, and she’s a good price to back on her seasonal debut.
The superstar annihilated her opposition in five group-one contests last year, and she was set for a 2018 campaign that would have put her with the immortals.
Injury scuppered that quest, but the daughter of Nathaniel has her prep race for the Arc on the synthetic surface. While it may be a risk backing her on her return, the opposing Crystal Ocean has to give eight pounds to the mare, who at a shade of odds on looks to be great value.
EL TERREMOTO has been hard to place since his impressive handicap hurdle wins, but it should be a case of getting his career back on track in the Grundon Waste Management Novices’ Chase.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ six-year-old has had two contrasting chase starts this season, with a gutsy win on his debut before he was turned over at short odds.
While his victor, Golden Birthday, may re-oppose this time, El Terremoto meets him again on level weights this time, and would be worth giving another chance to reverse the form.
The final tip of the day comes from the Black Country venue, and Mr Reckless can utilise his consistency to land the sportnation.bet UK Racing Specialist Handicap.
The son of Reckless Abandon has shown an aptitude for synthetic surfaces and has a course win from last year to boost.
Mr Reckless has been in consistent form this year, and wasn’t disgraced last time out at Chelmsford. Back at a course he likes and in far easier company, Mr Reckless can register just the third win of his career here.