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Ten Sovereigns a doubt for Sprint Cup due to soft-ground concerns

Ten Sovereigns: a doubt for the Sprint Cup
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Leading Betfair Sprint Cup fancy Ten Sovereigns may be forced to miss the race due to softening ground at Haydock.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained three-year-old has shown his best form on a sound surface and produced a career-best when winning the Darley July Cup on good to firm ground on his penultimate start.

However, the ground at Haydock is soft, good to soft in places with rain forecast before Saturday's Group 1 event.

O'Brien said on Wednesday: "We'll check the surface but we wouldn't run on soft ground. We'll declare in the morning but there's rain forecast, which is not good.

"He moves on the ground – he's a fast-ground horse, a daisy-cutter – and we wouldn't run on soft ground."

Ten Sovereigns (Ryan Moore) wins the July Cup beating Advertise
With Ten Sovereigns a doubt, O'Brien may instead rely on three-year-old filly and 16-1 shot Fairyland, who struck at the top level in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes last year and finished third behind Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup on her penultimate start.

Ten Sovereigns, who has drifted from 7-2 to 6-1 for the Sprint Cup, has been lined up for a trip to Australia and potential crack at the A$14 million (£7.71m/€8.7m) Everest at Randwick in Sydney.

O'Brien added: "He's going to go into quarantine then go to the Everest. The ground has been soft there, so he wouldn't run if that happened, but he could then go to Melbourne."

Heading the market for the Sprint Cup is the Martyn Meade-trained Advertise, who, unlike Ten Sovereigns, shouldn't have a problem with the softer conditions at Haydock.

Meade said about the three-time Group 1 winner: "He seems to be all right at the moment, we're taking every day as it comes and wrapping him in cotton wool ahead of it.

"The ground will be interesting, we have never really tried him on that but I don't think it will be a problem, the cut in the ground could actually suit him quite well. We're looking forward to it."

Advertise: heads the betting for the Betfair Sprint Cup
Betway spokesman Alan Alger said: "With the forecast rain seemingly ruling Ten Sovereigns out of Saturday’s Sprint Cup, Advertise has shortened further in the betting and is now the clear favourite at 15-8.

"He was over two lengths behind Aidan O’Brien’s sprinter in the July Cup, but, with his main rival looking a likely non-runner and given he won the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest last time, Martyn Meade’s three-year-old is surely the one to beat.

"Ten Sovereigns is right out to 6-1 for a second Group 1 of the season, having reached a low of just 7-4 at the end of August, while there’s been solid support for Dream Of Dreams, who is 11-2 from 10-1."

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He moves on the ground ? he's a fast-ground horse, a daisy-cutter ? and we wouldn't run on soft ground
E.W. Terms