Society Rock (black silks) winning his second Group 1 racePICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Society rocks Cup rivals for another Group 1 win
Report: Haydock, Saturday
Betfred Sprint Cup (Group 1), 6f 3yo+
SOCIETY ROCK added a second Group 1 sprint to his cv as last year's Golden Jubilee Stakes winner put his more fancied rivals in their place.
The James Fanshawe-trained five-year-old, who was sent off a 10-1 chance, emerged out of the pack heading into the final furlong to win by three-quarters of a length.
Irish raider Gordon Lord Byron put in his best work at the end to finish second with Bated Breath left still looking for a first success at the top level after finishing a further length and a quarter back in third.
Society Rock had failed to get his head in front in seven runs since his Royal Ascot win but he has been racing almost exclusively at the highest level, including when getting within two lengths of the great Black Caviar at royal meeting this year.
It was another Australian sprinter, Ortensia, who had been expected to shine here, and although she was in a lot better position than when she won the Nunthorpe, William Buick's mount dropped out of contention at the business end of the race.
Fanshawe, who was winning the race for the first time, said: "It's been a real team effort. He's is a very underrated horse this fellow. He was runner-up in the Golden Jubilee before [and] he won it last year but then we had a nightmare with the stalls.
"Yarmy [Steve Dyble] and all the team have done a lot of work with him at the stalls since Newmarket and I'm delighted. I think it's my first winner at Haydock for three years."
This was also a first win in the race for Fallon, who added: "They didn't go that fast and he travelled ever so well. I got all the splits down the rail that I needed.
"He's like a little terrier and tries very hard, which is what you need in a race like this. I followed James [Doyle] through as I thought he was on the horse to beat [Bated Breath]."
Gordon Lord Byron rocketed to the head of the betting for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup in two week's time with the sponsors going a best-priced 10-1.
Connections of Ortensia later tweeted that their mare had suffered a nasty cut during the race. Trainer Paul Meeara said: "Ortensia sustained an inch long cut to her right fetlock today at Haydock.
"The cut was right on the point of the sesamoid and certainly would have been painful enough to restrict her action."