Major favourites and top runners in the field for the 2021 Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes
Haydock will open its doors for a weekend of flat race festivities in early September, culminating in what’s sure to be a dramatic dash for first place in the 2021 Betfair Sprint Cup.
Horses aged three and up will be eligible to compete for the £162,000 prize over six furlongs come September 4, with a David Bowie-inspired frontrunner already nosing in front of the crowd.
The Merseyside meet takes a little more than one minute from start to finish, which is why the Haydock Sprint Cup is so highly favoured as a big betting event in the calendar.
SportQuestion.com considers the lineup as things stand and breaks down the top odds available with a little more than a week until the race.
Take your protein pills and put on your helmet, because Starman is considered the favorite to win the Sprint Cup this year by horse betting profis and the odds only increase over time.
Ed Walker’s entry has now moved to less than 3/1 odds despite placing third in the Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest in August, when an extra half-furlong ultimately made all the difference.
Still, the potential is clear for a four-year-old who stormed to his maiden Group 1 victory in the July Cup Stakes at Newmarket one month prior:
He certainly is a Starman 🌟
The Ed Walker trained colt stormed to victory in the July Cup yesterday with a simply world class performance 👏🏼
👀 Did anyone back him?!
— The Winners Enclosure (@TWEnclosure) July 11, 2021
The BBC provided quotes from jockey Tom Marquand after that race, who gushed: “He’s very inexperienced compared to a lot of these, but this horse is an absolute star.”
Marquand has been in the saddle for four of Starman’s five career wins and looks likely to be back aboard at Haydock.
Dragon Symbol (4/1)
Beaten by a little more than a length in those July Cup Stakes, Archie Watson-trained Dragon Symbol comes next in the odds despite failing to win any of his last five races.
The most recent of those close calls came in the form of a third-place finish at the Nunthorpe Stakes in August, when a certain Winter Power had the legs to finish first:
Winter Power wins the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes 🏆
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) August 20, 2021
Dragon Symbol has divided his time between five and six furlongs to date, but the latter is where he looks more at home, and there’s no doubt he belongs among the elite despite the win drought.
Creative Force (8/1)
The price then doubles for the Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes as Creative Force approaches September 4 as an 8/1 contender.
Charlie Appleby’s charge was another who was among the field when Starman won the July Cup Stakes several months ago, which ended a post-gelding streak of four straight wins.
Creative Force came close to ending that sour patch in the Unibet Lennox Stakes at Goodwood later in July, only for Kinross to edge ahead and steal the win by a neck:
Another Group 2 success for Ralph Beckett and owner Marc Chan…
👏🏼 Nice performance!
— The Winners Enclosure (@TWEnclosure) July 27, 2021
The upper group challenges have thrown the three-year-old in the deep end to date, but over six furlongs, this 8/1 sleeper could be worthy of a punt, with William Buick among his potential riders.
2021 Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes – Odds Leaders
Team Odds Starman 11/4 Dragon Symbol 4/1 Creative Force 8/1 Kinross 8/1 Gustavus Weston 10/1 Glen Shiel 10/1 Art Power 12/1 Happy Romance 20/1 Chil Chil 20/1 Supremacy 20/1