Trainer Ed Walker backs Starman to take advantage of favourable conditions in the Group One Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup
- Walker says running Starman in the Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup is a bonus
- The trainer had not initially factored in a run at the Merseyside venue
- But with conditions in his favour, Starman faces 10 rivals on Saturday
Trainer Ed Walker says running Starman in Saturday’s Group One Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup is a bonus and he is confident the favourite can take advantage.
Because Tom Marquand’s mount needs decent ground, Walker had not initially factored in a run at the Merseyside venue, as it was 2014 when the race was last run on going which wasn’t soft or heavy.
But with conditions in his favour, Starman faces 10 rivals, eight of which were behind him when he gave Walker the first Group One win of his training career when landing the July Cup at Newmarket.
Starman faces 10 rivals, eight of which were behind him when landing Newmarket’s July Cup
Walker said: ‘It’s a real bonus to be going into the race with conditions in his favour. Starman goes there in great shape. He has run against and beaten most of the field this season so it looks a great opportunity for him.
‘You can never be confident going into any race because anything can happen with horses, but on a track that will suit him better than Newmarket and on ground we know he will love, he will hopefully get the job done.
‘He is the best horse in the race and in the same form he was before Newmarket, so I think he will prove that. He didn’t have a great trip at Newmarket. He had to shoulder charge a few horses out of the way and it was far from straightforward. If he can get a clear passage through, hopefully he can back that up.’
Walker pulled Starman out of a run at Royal Ascot in June when the ground went soft but, believing opportunities for the year were running out, let him take his chance in the Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville last month even though the ground went against him. Starman hit the front in the six-and-a-half furlong contest only to fade into third behind Marianafoot.
Walker added: ‘He still ran a massive race. When he hit the front I thought it was job done, then it got snatched away so it was a tough race to watch.’