Betfred Sprint Cup
What You Need to Know
- The Sprint Cup, which is now sponsored by Betfred, is a Group 1 flat horse race, held on the 5th of September 2015 at Haydock Park on Merseyside
- Since 1994, the race has been open to horses aged three years or older
- The race is one of the fastest and most exciting on the British racing calendar, making it popular with spectators and sports betting fans
- In fact, the race is usually over in less than 80 seconds, with large winning margins very rare
- If you're serious about making money on the race, consider opening an online sports betting account. Sites such as Bet365 often have great introductory offers for new customers
- When you're making a bet, remember that repeat winners are very rare. In fact, only one horse has ever won the Sprint Cup more than once
- If you want to see the action in person, getting to Haydock Park is very easy. The best way is to take the train and then a free shuttle bus to the Racecourse
A Quick Overview
The Sprint Cup, which is now sponsored by Betfred, is held each September at the Haydock Park Racecourse on Merseyside. A Group 1 flat horse race, it is fast, furious and usually over in less than 80 seconds.
Despite its brevity, however, it's immensely popular with spectators, sports betting fans and, thanks to the size of the prize pot on offer, with trainers and jockeys too.
History of the Betfred Sprint Cup
The Sprint Cup is one of newest of all the Group 1 flat races taking place in the UK each year.
The race was first held back in 1966 and was originally held in November and open to horses aged just two years or older. It was only in 1979 that it was moved to early September, with Group 1 status finally given to the event in 1988.
The most recent change was introduced in 1994 when juveniles were excluded and the race was opened to horses over the age of three.
The Race Today
The modern Betfred Sprint Cup is held at Haydock Park and raced over a distance of six furlongs (1,207 metres). It's always run on turf and the track is almost completely straight, favouring some horses.
These days, the Sprint Cup is a real highlight of the racing calendar and, thanks to the prize pool of £260,000 (including a £150,000 prize for the winner), attracts some of Europe's top thoroughbreds.
The high standard of competition also makes the Sprint Cup very popular with sports betting fans, with punters able to choose from a wide selection of betting markets in the run-up to the race, especially if they bet online.
The Betfred Sprint Cup 2015: All the runners and the latest odds
The Betfred Sprint Cup traditionally features some of the finest sprinters in the world of racing, and the 2015 event looks set to be no exception. An exceptionally strong field is expected, with several horses in with a very good chance of winning outright and taking home the bulk of the £260,000 prize purse.
Do note, however, that the Sprint Cup is one race where trainers like the conditions to be just right. So, depending on the weather and how this affects the ground at Haydock Park, not all those horses entered will end up running. But don't worry if you bet on a horse that ends up being withdrawn, as your bookie will give you a full refund on your stake.
The biggest name going into the 2015 Betfred Sprint Cup is Magical Memory. With Frankie Dettori on board, the three-year-old raced to victory in the recent Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood, cementing his reputation as one of the best young sprinters around. Now, the gelding is being lined up to go for another Group 1 win at Haydock, though trainer Charlie Hills will only run him if the ground doesn't get too challenging. Should he start, expect Magical Memory to be the big favourite this year.
One other big name likely to get a lot of attention on Sprint Cup day is Mustajeeb. After struggling and coming fifth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, trainer Dermot Weld believes it's time the four-year-old got back in action. Like with rival Magical Memory, his trainer will only run Mustajeeb if he feels the ground is favourable, especially given his struggles at Ascot.
One other runner to look out for in 2015 is Waady, another talented three-year-old. Trained by John Gosden, he goes to Haydock Park with five wins in his past seven races, with Gosden saying that the six furlong distance of the Sprint Cup is perfect for his promising gelding.
Representing the older horses, meanwhile, will be Gordon Lord Byron. His recent performance in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at the Deauville racecourse in France showed that he remains strong over short distances and could be one to look out for in this year's Sprint Cup.
Getting to the Race
If you want to see the Sprint Cup action in person, then getting to Haydock Park Racecourse is very easy to do whether you're travelling by car or by public transport.
- If you're driving, you will find Haydock Park just one mile from Junction 23 of the M6 motorway. So, turn off here and you will see plenty of signs for the course, plus you will find lots of parking spaces at Haydock Park itself. If you have a SatNav system, then you should enter the postcode WA12 0HQ and follow the directions to here.
- By train, the easiest way is to travel to Newton-le-Willows, with the station served by regular trains from all of the main Manchester stations as well as from Liverpool Lime Street, Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan North Western. On most racedays, including the day of the Sprint Cup, regular, free shuttle buses run from the station to Haydock Park.
- Alternatively, on the biggest racedays, you can also take the 520 bus from Liverpool city centre to Haydock Park.
- For more information on travelling to Haydock Park to watch the Betfred Sprint Cup in person, visit the office course website.
Betting on the Betfred Sprint Cup
Whether you're a seasoned gambler or a complete sports betting novice, the Sprint Cup is great for having a flutter on. The race is fast, furious and, while it attracts some of the very best thoroughbreds, upsets and shock victories are not uncommon.
For the best selection of betting markets, as well as the best odds, you should look beyond the high street and open an online betting account. Be sure to shop around and compare the best sports betting sites as this way you can not only take advantage of the best odds, you may also benefit from some great introductory offers, including cashback on your first few flutters.
There is, of course, no such thing as a guaranteed profit in sports betting. However, there are some things you can do if you want to improve your chances of beating the bookie. For starters, you should know what you're doing, so read up on how odds work. Then you need to study the form books as well as the history of the race, and finally, check out all the latest news and views from the top tipsters. Use all this information to make an informed bet. Some other things you may want to bear in mind before putting money down betting on the Betfred Sprint Cup include:
- Don't get too obsessed over the big names. Sure, some sprint superstars have won this big Group 1 event, but many have failed. Oasis Dream, Marchand d'Or and Starspangledbanner are just some horses who went into the Sprint Cup tipped as the big favourite only to come up short.
- The Nunthorpe Stakes is the other big short-distance race of the season and can be a good event for assessing the talent. However, Nunthorpes-Sprint Cup doubles are extremely rare. In fact, only Reverence has managed this feat in the past decade.
- While in the past, very young horses tended to dominate, over recent years, older horses have picked up several victories. So, don't dismiss six or even seven-year-old runners!
- Do look out for top jockeys, however. Most past winners have been ridden by big-name jockeys, so trust them to pick a good ride.
Facts and Records
Despite only being established in the 1960s, the Sprint Cup already has a rich history, with a number of horses having made names for themselves on the Haydock Park course. Here are just a few fascinating facts from the race:
- Four jockeys have won the Sprint Cup on three separate occasions, including horse racing legends Lester Piggott and Willie Carson.
- Only one horse, however, has won the race more than once. That horse was Be Friendly, who won the Sprint Cup in 1966 and then again in 1977.
- Iktamal holds the course record, having raced the six furlongs in 1 minute 9 seconds back in 1996.
- The race was initially run on a course with a sharp left-hand bend, but it is now one of the best-loved straight races in the whole of the UK.
- As well as the big races, Haydock Park also hosts a range of events. Visit the website to find out what's on.
- This is just one of the big races on the UK calendar with others including the Grand National, Ascot Gold Cup, Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Epsom Derby.