Haydock Sprint Cup Tips: Chil Chil a value play in wide open Group 1

Check out our Sprint Cup preview here.
Check out our Sprint Cup preview here.

A huge field will line up for the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on Saturday afternoon and last year's winner Emaraaty Ana will attempt to become the first horse in over 50 years to win back-to-back renewals of the 6f event, and Kevin Ryan's charge will be a leading player. Our man Steve Chambers previews the big-race here and picks out his best bet for what should be an enthralling contest...

Victory by a short head in last year's contest, Emaraaty Ana produced a career best performance en route to victory and Kevin Ryan's six-year-old will attempt to retain his crown in 2022 and is currently a 6/1 chance to land the spoils. Last seen finishing a creditable third in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, the experienced sprinter will relish the step back up to six furlongs here and if he can replicate last year's display then has to be considered a player, but this year's renewal looks to have a lot more strength in depth.

The Owen Burrows-trained Minzaal is currently heading the betting at around the 3/1 mark and having beaten Go Bears Go impressively in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, that charge then went on to chase home the subsequent Nunthorpe winner Highfield Princess in the Prix Maurice De Gheest in France. Beaten three-quarters-of-a-length that day, Minzaal will hope to kick on again following that performance, but he will face some notable rivals here and could just find a couple too good for him on Saturday.

Charlie Appleby's Naval Crown sent shockwaves through the sprint division when storming to victory in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June, but the 6/1 chance has failed to build on that effort as he was next seen chasing home Alcohol Free in the July Cup at Newmarket, while he was a disappointing fifth in the aforementioned Prix Maurice De Gheest. With form to find with Minzaal, the Godolphin raider will need to replicate that Ascot performance here, but has to be regarded a solid each-way option.

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Ralph Beckett's Kinross heads to Haydock on the back of a fine win in the Duke Of York Stakes at York last time out, but while that Group 2 form is decent he will need much more to feature here and at 7/1 he is best watched. Well beaten by Navan Crown in the Platinum Jubilee back in June, Beckett's charge may struggle with the drop back from seven to six furlongs here, so he's best watched. As is Rohaan, who is sure to be doing all his best work in the closing stages of this event, but he will lack the class ultimately to figure in what is a race jam-packed with Group sprinters.

A winner of the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes in Ireland last time out, Hugo Palmer's Brad The Brief is the real form horse heading into this contest and at 14/1 he has to be given a second look, as while he will need to improve on that success he is going the right way and against some that have struggled to get their heads in front of late he could well be a potential each-way player.

Andrew Balding's CHIL CHIL is a eye-bulging 40/1 shot to claim this crown and she will need to improve immeasurably to figure here, but she ran a mighty race at huge odds last year when third to Emaraaty Ana, so if she can emulate that performance then she could well play a secondary role here and sneak in the frame. A Group winner over six furlongs earlier in her career, the six-year-old was last seen disappointing at Pontefract when third in a Listed event, but a return to Haydock Park could well revitalise here and at such huge odds and in such a wide open race she could be worth taking a chance with.

Of the others, Flaming Rib and Go Bears Go are arguably the two most exciting three-year-olds lining up here and at their best both could figure in the finish, but it's the older fraternity that can dominate proceedings here with a flyer taken on Chil Chil recapturing her best form here.

Sprint Cup
Chil Chil silk

Chil Chil (EW)

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