All eyes will be on Haydock Park on Saturday afternoon, where sixteen top class sprinters will contest this year’s Betfred Sprint, which holds Group 1 status and is to be run over the usual six furlongs.
Bookmakers Stan James and the sponsors both have joint favourites at 5/1, with this year’s July Cup hero Dream Ahead who is trained by David Simcock and the progressive sprinter Hoof It, who is trained in Yorkshire by Mick Easterby, with both vying for favourtism. Others near the top of the market is Golden Jubilee winner Society Rock and Godolphin’s Delegator who is to be ridden by Frankie Dettori. It is worth noting that Dettori is due to fly to Ireland for their Champion Stakes (Saturday evening) as soon as he jumps off Delegator, with the question being will it be a “flying dismount”?
Delegator may well be worth an each way bet at current odds of 11/1 with Victor Chandler, but for the winner we simply can’t look past the above mentioned Hoof It. The four year old has come through the sprinting ranks with enormous progression this year landing the Stewards Cup at Goodwood carrying ten stone and also landing the Skybet Dash at York. His latest run was in Group 1 Nunthorpe at York where he finished a more than respectable sixth (beaten two lengths) over the minimum trip of five furlongs. The extra furlong at Haydock is sure to bring out the best in Hoof It with the more than capable Graham Gibbons taking over from the unavailable Kieren Fallon.
Although Hoof It is currently at the cramped odds of 5/1, he is still one of major interest, and could cap off a fine season for his shrewd trainer Easterby and his owner (and golfer) Lee Westwood.