Horse Racing

Old Newton Cup Handicap 2023 Horses and Riders

As we’re now in July, it’s time for Haydock Park Racecourse to host one of its biggest meetings of the season, the Old Newton Cup Festival, which takes place over two days.

Haydock Tips
Photo by Icon Sport

On Saturday, July 8th, the biggest race of the meeting takes place. That race is of course the Old Newton Cup itself, which is a prestigious and highly valuable handicap contest worth no less than £77,310 to winning connections. Needless to say it is a race that plenty of trainers and owners want to win.

Old Newton Cup Horses & Riders

This year, 17 runners are expected to go to post for this top handicap race, which will be run over just short of one mile and four furlongs.

Here are the runners and riders for the 2023 renewal of the Old Newton Cup:

Certain Lad – Ridden by George Bass

A consistent sort, who has won six and placed in six of his 28 turf races, winning most recently in Group 3 company at York. That’s hot form in relation to this, though he has plenty of weight to carry, while he hasn’t won a handicap since 2020.

Tuemessias Fox – Ridden by Harry Davies

Landed a double when winning at Newmarket in fine style back in May, though he found Class 2 level too hot to handle at Royal Ascot last time out from much higher in the weights and probably has too much to do to win this from a mark of 103.

Alright Sunshine – Ridden by Billy Garritty

Very useful handicapper, who boasts an impressive four wins from eight runs over this trip. Was well beaten at Royal Ascot on his comeback run, but should strip fitter for that and is now just 1lb above his last winning mark. Not easy to discount.

Gaasee – Ridden by Adam Farragher

Lightly raced and progressive sort, who has won two out of four at this distance, though he’s recently found both Group 3 and similar handicap company too testing. Needs to bounce back and prove he can cut it from this mark.

Euchen Glen – Ridden by Paul Mulrennan

Hugely experienced ten-year-old, who knows how to run well in big-field handicaps. He’s not getting any younger and may be past his best, but he’s fallen to below his last winning mark and was competitive in a decent race at Ayr last time out. Could come from off the pace to challenge, but is poorly drawn.

Maksud – Ridden by David Egan

This four-year-old remains less than fully exposed, though he’s not exactly run with much promise in two starts this season. Down another 2lbs in the handicap, which could help, but certainly needs to find more.

Dark Jedi – Ridden by Duran Fentiman

Three-times a winner at this level, the seven-year-old has dropped back to his last winning mark, while he hinted that a revival may be forthcoming last time out. Not out of it.

Sheer Rocks – Ridden by Charles Bishop

This gelding arrives at Haydock as one of the most in-form horses in the race having won each of his last two, staying on strongly to go a few lengths clear at Epsomlast time out. Perhaps took advantage of a lenient mark that day and is now 5lbs higher, but he could quite easily have more to offer.

Sir Rumi – Ridden by Kevin Stott

One win from two runs at this venue, this runner enjoyed the soft ground at Epsom back in April, winning a decent Class 3 affair, but couldn’t go with Sheer Rocks at that course after that, while he was found wanting at this level when racing over slightly further at Goodwood last time out. Not easy to fancy on that evidence.

Cumulonimbus – Ridden by Richard Kingscote

Prolific winner, who took enhanced his already impressive strike rate when landing the spoils over course and distance last time out, his second win in quick succession this season. He’s up in the weights now but that form is hard to ignore and as such, the Charlie Fellows runner warrants plenty of respect. Likely to be popular in the betting.

Nolton Cross – Ridden by Neil Callan

All-weather winner, who did it well at Wolverhampton back in March, performing as if he’d have more to give. Couldn’t quite repeat that form at this level on the back of a rise in the weights at either Newcastle or Newmarket, but did perform well at Ayr last time out. His mark is unchanged, so couldn’t be dismissed.

La Yakel – Ridden by Daniel Tudhope

Unexposed runner, who now returns from a 274-day break. Looked progressive towards the end of last season, winning at Southwell, before stepping up to win a Class 2 affair over this trip at Ascot. Solid fourth (of 16) at Newmarket after that. Remains with lots of potential and will probably be popular for in-form yard.

Onesmoothoperator – Ridden by Ben Robinson

Yet to win on the turf, though his last two efforts have been respectable. Stepped back up to Class 2 level last time out and finished fourth over course and distance, though he was beaten by Cumulonimbus that day. Has a bit to find on that evidence.

Graphite – Ridden by Oisin Orr

Nine-year-old, who has been around the block a few times. Four times a winner on the turf, while he may just be well handicapped now sitting 2lbs below his last winning mark. Should also be fitter for reappearing at Kempton last month. Interesting runner.

Toshizou – Ridden by Jonny Peate

This horse has been a steady performer in big-field handicaps since coming to British shores, finishing third and fourth at Newmarket back in May. He’s a few lbs lower in the weights now, while he shaped as though this extra distance would suit when fourth at Epsom last time out.

Scampi – Ridden by David Probert

Cut his way through the pack travelling strongly before quickening up to win nicely at York back in May but has since struggled to match that form from higher in the weights. Handicapper has dropped him 2lbs, but he’s likely still short of what’s required here.

Howth – Ridden by Luke Morris

One win from 14 runs, the four-year-old took a step in the right direction when second on the all-weather at Chelmsford a month ago. Shaped as though this step up in trip would suit and races from the same mark. Is nicely weighted and could have an each-way shout.

Knightswood – RESERVE (will run if one of the first 17 drops out)

Progressive type, who won very well at Ripon over this trip last time out, readily going clear in the final stages. Looked as if he had plenty more to give on that occasion, so connections will be hoping to get in here, though this is much tougher and a 6lb rise doesn’t exactly make his task any easier.

Wootton’Sun – RESERVE (will run if two or more of the first 17 drop out)

Consistent sort , who has run well in a race not totally dissimilar to this, finishing second (0f 12) at Pontefract when reappearing after 194 days off back in April. Followed that up with a decent third at Redcar, before going very close in a Class 3 over this trip last time out. Could be one to run well from right at the bottom of the weights should he get in.

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