Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 21 April 2018

Banner stars in Sprint field

Johnny Murtagh and Starspangledbanner return after landing The Golden Jubilee Stakes run. Photo: Getty Images
Johnny Murtagh and Starspangledbanner return after landing The Golden Jubilee Stakes run. Photo: Getty Images

Aidan O'Brien's Starspangledbanner features among a final field of 16 runners in Saturday's Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.

The ex-Australian speedball has already won twice in Group One company on British soil, winning the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot as well as Newmarket's July Cup.

The chestnut will be bidding to bounce back to winning form on Merseyside having had to make do with the runner-up spot behind 100-1 shot Sole Power in last month's Nunthorpe Stakes at York.

Colm O'Donoghue takes the mount as stable jockey Johnny Murtagh is riding at Leopardstown.

A number of other horses beaten on the Knavesmire are in opposition again, with Nunthorpe fourth Prime Defender, the sixth home Borderlescott and the ninth-placed Kingsgate Native all in attendance.

The David Nicholls-trained Regal Parade won this contest 12 months ago and could hardly be in better form as he bids to defend his crown following Group One success in France.

Other interesting contenders include Markab, Doncaster Rover and Mark Johnston's filly Rainfall.

The Barry Hills-trained Equiano is a notable absentee.



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