*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Shaquille will aim to dunk on his rivals for the third Group 1 in a row in Saturday’s Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Julie Camacho’s stable star has won six races on the spin – including the Commonwealth Cup when completely fluffing the start and the July Cup last time out – although this looks like his toughest test to date with Prix Maurice de Gheest second Spycatcher, hat-trick seeking Mill Stream and Sacred.
The ever popular Rohaan is back for more after placing third in last year’s renewal, while shock Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes scorer Khaadem attempts to land another big pot.
The latest Betfair Sprint Cup odds are on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app, otherwise Timeform’s guide to the runners as well as betting tips from the racing boffins can be found below.
Betfair Sprint Cup tips
Timeform: A Group 1 hat-trick beckons for SHAQUILLE, who has come a long way in a relatively short space of time and his big-race victories at Royal Ascot and Newmarket were all the more meritorious given his antics at the start. He appears to be versatile both ground and tactics-wise and there could easily be more to come from this colt. The progressive Mill Stream gets the nod ahead of Spycatcher, Saint Lawrence and Sacred for forecast purposes.
Betfair Sprint Cup runners and riders
The following horses have been declared for the Betfair Sprint Cup 2023.
Trainer: Michael Appleby Jockey: Alistair Rawlinson Age: 4 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 6
Smart performer on the AW, completing 6f hat-trick in listed company at Lingfield in February. Ran his best race on turf when third in King’s Stand at Royal Ascot but he had no excuses behind Lezoo at Newmarket last time and has a mountain to climb here.
Trainer: Charles Hills Jockey: Ben Curtis Age: 7 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 12
Smart gelding who took the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket (6f, good to soft) on second start this year. Runner-up in French Group 3s the last twice, latterly chasing home Mill Stream at Deauville, but he’s 0-6 at the highest level and likely to come up short once more.
Trainer: Charles Hills Jockey: Jamie Spencer Age: 7 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 8
Improved when scoring twice in Group company last year and produced a clear career-best when edging out Sacred in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. However, put in his place both subsequent starts and similar scenario likely here.
Trainer: Edward Bethell Jockey: Callum Rodriguez Age: 5 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 13
Lightly raced 5-y-o who has raised his game this season, landing a York handicap and listed race here (both at 5f) prior to finishing a creditable fifth in the Nunthorpe. Return to this trip is unlikely to pose a problem and he’s in with an each-way squeak.
Trainer: David Evans Jockey: Neil Callan Age: 5 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 2
Smart on his day and was a fine third in this race last year prior to landing a Group 3 at Ascot. Hasn’t hit the same heights this time round, though, and it would be something of a surprise were he to resume winning ways in this contest.
Run To Freedom
Trainer: Henry Candy Jockey: Trevor Whelan Age: 5 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 15
Took a sizeable step forward when runner-up in the British Champions Sprint at Ascot on final start of 2022. Performed to a similar level when second to Shaquille at Newmarket (6f, good to soft) last time, despite looking less than straightforward, and he’s a live each-way candidate.
Trainer: Archie Watson Jockey: Luke Morris Age: 5 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 14
Snapped a long losing run with blinkers refitted when accounting for 26 rivals in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. Close third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville (6.5f, soft) since, just behind Spycatcher, and a reproduction of that would put him in the picture.
Trainer: K. R. Burke Jockey: Joe Fanning Age: 5 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 4
Improved performer this season, winner of a Thirsk minor event on return and a Group 3 at Deauville in July. Went down all guns blazing when just touched off in the Prix Maurice de Gheest back at the latter course (6.5f, soft) last time and should make his presence felt.
Trainer: Jane Chapple-Hyam Jockey: Marco Ghiani Age: 3 Weight: 9st 3lbs Draw: 9
Well held in the C&D Sandy Lane Stakes on return in May but hasn’t looked back since, successful in listed and Group 3 company (both over 6f on slow ground at Deauville) the last twice. This is more demanding but he’s clearly on the up and is well worth his place in this line-up.
Trainer: Jonathan Portman Jockey: Rob Hornby Age: 3 Weight: 9st 3lbs Draw: 3
Progressive 2-y-o last term, culminating in a Group 3 success over 5f at Newmarket. Best effort so far this season when fifth of 13 to Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot but it’s hard to envisage him turning the tables on that rival here.
Trainer: Julie Camacho Jockey: James Doyle Age: 3 Weight: 9st 3lbs Draw: 5
Has quickly developed into a very classy sprinter, producing a remarkable performance in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot before following up in the July Cup at Newmarket, despite again forfeiting ground at the start. 6-6 at this trip and he’s hard to oppose.
Trainer: Richard Hannon Jockey: Sean Levey Age: 3 Weight: 9st 3lbs Draw: 10
Talented colt who was a good second in the C&D Sandy Lane Stakes in May. Has failed to match that level of form in 4 subsequent starts, though, and he was almost 7 lengths adrift of Shaquille at Royal Ascot.
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Cieren Fallon Age: 3 Weight: 9st 3lbs Draw: 16
Didn’t do much wrong at 2 yrs and built on reappearance effort when making all in a big-field Naas Group 3 (6f, good to firm) in May. However, he was out with the washing in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month and has been absent since.
Trainer: William Haggas Jockey: Tom Marquand Age: 5 Weight: 9st 2lbs Draw: 7
Smart mare who made winning return in a Group 3 at Lingfield in May before going down narrowly to Khaadem in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee at Royal Ascot. Not in the same form back from a short break over 7f at York recently but capable of a bold show if responding well to first-time cheekpieces.
Trainer: George Boughey Jockey: Jason Hart Age: 3 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 17
Useful filly who got back on track following a blip in France when arriving late on the scene to land a listed race at Pontefract (6f, good) last month. Won with a bit more in hand than the margin of victory would imply that day but this is a much tougher assignment.
Trainer: Ralph Beckett Jockey: Rossa Ryan Age: 3 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 1
Won 4 of her 5 starts at 2 yrs, signing off with victory in the Cheveley Park at Newmarket. Viable excuses for defeats on first 2 starts of present campaign and back on track with a listed success returned to Newmarket (6f, good) a fortnight ago. Place possibilities.
Trainer: K. R. Burke Jockey: Clifford Lee Age: 3 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 18
Group 2 winner as a juvenile and put in a fine shift when third to Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot (6f, good to firm) in June. Back on the scoresheet at a lower level at York last time but likely to find a few too good here.
Trainer: Richard Hannon Jockey: Reserve Age: 5 Weight: 9st 2lbs Draw: 11
Resumed winning ways in 5f Bath listed contest (good to soft) in April but limitations subsequently exposed in the Temple Stakes here and, most recently, the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.
Saturday’s Racing Tips
- Irish Champion Stakes tips and runner-by-runner guide to Leopardstown 3.20 on Saturday
- Ruby Walsh’s horse racing tips for Irish Champion Stakes day at Leopardstown
- Gallop over to Paddy Power News for all the latest horse racing tips
- When is the Irish St Leger? Curragh date, start time, runners and betting
- Irish Champions Festival 2023 race times and schedule for Leopardstown & the Curragh