ED WALKER reckons Starman can find the winning tune again in the Haydock Sprint Cup.
The July Cup hero was beaten in France on his last outing but the Lambourn handler hopes a return to better ground over six furlongs will have his sprinter back at number one.
His four-year-old heads 14 entries for Saturday’s Group 1 dash over six furlongs.
Tom Marquand will again be in the saddle, hoping the colt can land his second top-level win in just eight starts.
Walker said: “He did a bit of work on Monday and we were all happy with him so it’s all go for the weekend.
“We were a bit gutted after France, we couldn’t really see him getting beaten beforehand – our only concern was the ground.
“He ran great, he came to win it but just ran out of gas at the end I think. It was just a bit sticky and tacky, that didn’t help him.”
Starman’s only defeats have come on softened ground and Walker is praying the rain clouds steer clear of Merseyside in the build-up to Saturday.
He added: “Given there aren’t many options left for him after this we just wanted to get him here in top shape and I think we have done. I just hope it doesn’t rain now.
“Ascot is probably unlikely given what conditions are normally like and even travelling further afield is hard now with COVID. Hong Kong and the Breeders’ Cup aren’t simple.
Betfair Sprint Cup Betting with sponsors
7/2 Creative Force
6/1 Glen Shiel
8/1 Art Power, Supremacy
10/1 Gustavus Weston
20/1 Chil Chil, Happy Romance
33/1 Brando, Summerghand
40/1 Emaraaty Ana
66/1 Nando Parrado
“So this race is important and he heads there in great shape. We haven’t got any excuses at the moment, even if there’s no such thing as an easy Group 1.”
Sponsors Betfair have Starman as the red-hot favourite at 11-8 with Charlie Appleby’s Creative Force next in at 7-2.
Archie Watson has ruled Dragon Symbol out but still has last year’s runner-up Glen Shiel (6-1) in contention.
Art Power and Clive Cox’s Supremacy are 8-1 with Irish raider Gustavus Weston a 10-1 shot.
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