Sprint Cup Tips: Hello Youmzain can prove too strong

Hello Youmzain (white cap) is looking to win this race for the second year running.
Hello Youmzain (white cap) is looking to win this race for the second year running.

Nick Seddon previews Saturday’s Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock Park, in which Hello Youmzain is aiming to become the first back-to-back winner for 53 years…

The Sprint Cup regularly proves to be a tricky puzzle to solve, with some big names falling to deliver at Haydock Park in the past decade or so, though punters have a good recent record in the race. 

Indeed, three of the last four winners have been market leaders, including Hello Youmzain 12 months ago, who was a 9/2 co-favourite of three when defeating The Tin Man by half a length. 

Hello Youmzain was Kevin Ryan’s eighth Group 1 winner, and he took that tally to 10 (Glass Slippers was his ninth in last year’s Prix l’Abbaye at Longchamp) when sealing a game win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. That catapulted the four-year-old to the top of the division, though he’s suffered two defeats since; finishing fifth in the July Cup at Newmarket, before getting within three quarters of a length of Space Blues in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. 

No horse has won back-to-back renewals of this race since the great Be Friendly in 1966 and 1967, but that Deauville run represented a firm step back in the right direction. Hello Youmzain has an excellent record at Haydock, winning twice in his three visits here, and as one of the standard-setters on form, he should prove to be a very tough nut to crack. 

Those two defeats have seen Hello Youmzain displaced at the top of the market, however, and the current favourite is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dream Of Dreams - who was an emphatic winner of last month’s Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. It could be argued that the six-year-old doesn’t win as often as he should for one with so much talent, but he relished the return to seven furlongs last time, producing a high-class performance to win by seven lengths. 

That run is some of the strongest form on offer in this field, and the return to six furlongs should hold no fears bearing in mind that he’s finished second in each of the last two renewals of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. However, he has work to do to overturn the form with Hello Youmzain having disappointed in this 12 months ago, and is passed over here.

The Tin Man is one of two eight-year-olds in the race alongside Brando, and the pair finished first and second respectively in the 2018 renewal of this. The former isn't quite capable of that kind of form these days, though he was an excellent second in this 12 months ago, and returned to form when a solid second in a Group 3 contest at Newbury last time. This is a big ask for win purposes, but Haydock seems to bring out the best in him and it would be no surprise to see him run into a place.

Meanwhile, Brando needs a strong pace to be seen to best effect as a hold-up performer, and although he should have something to take aim at here, he will need more than what he's been showing of late. Like Brando, the improving Queen Jo Jo is a stablemate of Hello Youmzain, and while she's entitled to take her chance after a couple of excellent efforts in pattern company, this is a far tougher assignment than she's faced before. 

Three who are prominent in the market are Golden Horde, Lope Y Fernandez and Art Power. The latter has improved at a rate of knots so far this summer, though he arrives here with something to prove having disappointed in last month's Nunthorpe Stakes. That frenetic test of speed didn't play into his hands at York, but he deserves another chance here now returned to six furlongs. Indeed, he looked a potential top level performer when winning the Group 3 Lacken Stakes over this trip at Naas in July - though this is a warm line-up and he'd likely need a career best to topple Hello Youmzain. 

It’s been over a year since Lope Y Fernandez last got his head in-front, but he has some smart form under his belt this term, placing in Group 1 company on three occasions. He was only just behind Hello Youmzain at Deauville, but he’d likely need at least a couple to underperform if he’s to end his losing run here.

Fellow three-year-old Golden Horde looked a top-class colt in the making when winning the Commonwealth Cup in June, but he’s failed to push on in his last two starts since - finishing fifth behind Hello Youmzain and Lope Y Fernandez at Deauville last time out. He wasn’t beaten far on either occasion, but will have to contend with Hello Youmzain from an early stage as a front-runner, and bearing in mind how game that rival is, he looks booked in for place money on this occasion. 

Two more to consider are Tabdeed and Glen Shiel. The former is pretty lightly-raced for a five-year-old, with just eight starts so far, but he's returned an improved model in two starts since a gelding operation this term, defeating The Tin Man to win a Group 3 contest at Newbury in July. That was a smart effort, and he's one to consider bearing in mind that he could find more yet, though he'd likely need it to trouble the principals. Glen Shiel is another who's shown smart form so far this term, winning a Group 3 event at the Curragh last time, and while he's entitled to take his chance this will demand plenty more.

In conclusion, the horse with the most solid profile is Hello Youmzain, and bearing in mind his excellent record at Haydock, this consistent front-runner is fancied to prove too tough to past under Kevin Stott. 

Selection

Sprint Cup, Saturday 5th September - back Hello Youmzain at 7/2

Sprint Cup
Hello Youmzain silk

Hello Youmzain

lost
St Leger Odds
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