Defending champion Harry Angel can become only the second competitor to defend the Haydock Sprint Cup when he participates in the event in September. Clive Cox’s charge put forward a dominant run last season to claim the crown ahead of a talented field. He will now aim to become the first horse since Big Friendly in 1967 to successfully win back-to-back victories.
However, the bay colt will face a challenge, facing off against a strong field in the event. Tasleet, Blue Point, The Tin Man and Brando are among the leading contenders to knock Harry Angle off his perch. At least one of the horses are worth a shout in the betting odds for an outright win at Haydock Park. Given the nature of race and the unpredictability of form, it can be a more prudent option to use an each-way bet. An each-way bet allows the punter to cover his bases by picking a horse in the top three or lower pending on the bookmakers' discretion. The odds can be a quarter or a fifth of the starting price, but given the unpredictable nature of sprint it's a savvy way to protect your stake.
Harry Angel enters the contest as the leading contender for the crown, although he has not enjoyed a great deal of success since his triumph last year. He ended the last campaign slightly off the pace in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot. The bay colt put forward a decent outing in the race, but could not find the pace when he needed it the most, finishing fourth behind Librisa Breeze, Tasleet and Caravaggio.
The Irish horse bounced back with a strong run at the start of the current season. He was considered the outright favourite for the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes. Harry Angel overcame a nervy start to the race before pulling away from the rest of the field, finishing ahead of Brando by two lengths. However, Cox’s charge endured the worst outing of his career at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. He struggled from the off and limped into 11th place in the event. As a result, he faces a challenge to get back into form for the defence of his crown at Haydock Park.
Blue Point finished second in the Sprint Cup last season, finishing narrowly off the pace of the leading group. He bounced back immediately at the end of the 2017 campaign with a victory to end his season on a high note at the John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot. Charlie Appleby’s charge finished half-a-length ahead of Projection with a fine performance. He couldn’t make it two wins in a row at Meydan, losing out by a head to Ertijaal in Meydan to start the new term.
Find out more about racing of all kinds in our section about Horse Racing.