Trainer Ed Walker backs Starman to take advantage of favorable terms in the Group One Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup
- Walker says it’s a bonus to run Starman in the Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup
- The trainer hadn’t initially considered a run at the Merseyside venue
- But with the circumstances in his favor, Starman will face 10 rivals on Saturday
Trainer Ed Walker says it’s a bonus to run Starman in the Group 1 Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup on Saturday and he’s confident the favorite can take advantage of this.
Since Tom Marquand’s mount needs decent ground, Walker hadn’t initially considered a run at the Merseyside venue as it was 2014 when the race was last going and it wasn’t soft or heavy.
But with the circumstances in his favour, Starman will face 10 rivals, eight of which were behind him as he gave Walker the first Group 1 win of his training career when he landed the July Cup at Newmarket.
Starman faces 10 rivals, eight of which were behind him in landing Newmarket’s July Cup
Walker said: “It’s a real bonus to go into the race with the conditions in his favour. Starman is going there in excellent shape. He has run against most of the field and beat most of the field this season, so it looks like a great opportunity for him.
“You can never go into a race with confidence because with horses anything can happen, but on a track that suits him better than Newmarket and where we know he will love it, hopefully he will get the job done.
“He’s the best horse in the race and in the same form as for Newmarket, so I think he’ll prove it. He didn’t have a great trip in Newmarket. He had to get a few horses out of the way and it was far from easy. If he can get a free pass, hopefully he can support that.”
Walker took Starman out of a run at Royal Ascot in June when the ground softened, but convinced that the opportunities for the year were running out, he let him take his chance at the Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville last month, even though he went the ground against him. Starman hit the front in the six-and-a-half furlong contest, but disappeared to third behind Marianafoot.
Walker added: “He still had a huge race. When it hit the front I thought it was done but then it got snatched so it was a tough race to watch.”