While Ireland stages the biggest Flat occasion of the season with Champions Weekend there is Group 1 action at Haydock in the form of the Sprint Cup. The Irish Champion Stakes has lost some of the intrigue because Winter will not be running and has been targeted at the Matron Stakes.
Winter would receive an age and gender allowance in the Champion Stakes and was backed for the race this week. However connections will race her against fillies and she is odd-on to win the chosen race. Aidan O’Brien trains Winter and Churchill who now looks a likely winner of the Champion Stakes.
Harry Angel has drifted in the betting for the highlight of Haydock’s Flat season. The winner of the July Cup is very ground dependent. Rain in the area will not suit Harry Angel and the race is competitive. The horse will be racing against some of the best sprinters in Britain and he will need to be at his best to prevail.
Brando won at Group 1 level in France earlier this season and looks a viable alternative to the favourite. Harry Angel was almost two lengths too good for Brando in the July Cup but the ground has come right for Brando who should be backed to win the Sprint Cup.