Horse Racing

Sprint Cup Haydock day 1 tips – Sapphire Seas to swim best in the fillies’ handicap

It’s time for another high-quality flat racing meeting. This time we’re at Haydock Park Racecourse, where the Sprint Cup Celebration, a three-day meeting, starts on Thursday afternoon. Ahead of the first day, let’s look at those horses that stand out as worthy of support in the betting.

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Photo by Icon Sport.

As is often the case at these big meetings, there’s lots for us to get stuck into on day one, though don’t expect the winners to come easy, as it’s likely to be a bit of a minefield for punters. Let’s see what we can find.

Betting tips for day one of the Sprint Cup Celebration at Haydock Park

There are a few horses who in the early betting warrant support. These are as follows:

16:40 – British EBF Reprocolor Premier Fillies’ Handicap

The best race, at least in terms of grade, on the opening day will take place at 16:40. As mentioned when writing about the best tips for this meeting, Royal Mila is the focus of close market attention early on and it’s easy to see why after she’s won each of her two races without much of a fuss.

However, the William Haggas trained favourite didn’t exactly beat much last time out at Windsor, so for all she did the job well, she’s got plenty to prove. Improvement is likely, but for my money, she’ll need to improve quite a bit to get to the level that Sapphire Seas has already reached by beating a smart performer when last seen.

While Royal Mila beat rivals that have since gone on to turn in largely unimpressive performances in modest contests, Sapphire Seas, who’ll go in the hands of William Buick for the in-form Charlie Appleby stable, beat what looks to be a very useful performer, who is now rated 102 having won a more than respectable Listed contest on French shores. A mere repeat of that form would likely see her go well here, and if the Godolphin runner can take a similar size of step forward as the horse she beat last time out has, then she should lay down a bold bid.

Ultimately, on all available evidence, the early second favourite isn’t quite getting the respect that her effort last time out warrants, and for my money, odds of 10/3 look ever so slightly generous.

Best bet – Sapphire Seas @ 10/3 (4.33)

15:30 – For Weekly Tips Visit EBF Novice Stakes

Just over an hour before the feature race of the afternoon, we have a novice contest, and it’s roles reversed here. While William buick sits on the early second favourite behind Rob Hornby on the favourite in the 16:40, Buick finds himself on the early market leader here, whereas Hornby gets the leg up on what is considered to be the second most likely winner by the early market.

Once again, I have strong preference for the second fav here. To my eyes, the L’Ennemi has proved the most and that could be telling come the line. Naturally, Legend Of Time has an impressive pedigree, while he goes for an in-form yard, but it’s chancing a newcomer at odds of 9/4 is not my sort of game.

Besides, the mount of Rob Horny improved nicely for his second run, the form of which has worked out well. On that occasion, the colt stayed on well to take second over a slightly shorter trip, finishing behind a horse that has since gone on to finish in a decent handicap from a mark of 88. The extra distance here looks set to suit, so further improvement cannot be ruled out. After all, Ralph Beckett is a trainer with a very pleasing 31.03% strike rate at Haydock in the last 12 months. He knows how to ready one here, that’s for sure, and at odds of 4/1, I’m betting that this one is ready to get the job done.

Best bet – L’Ennemi @ 4/1 (5.00)

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