Monday, July 2, 2018 - Haydock Park plays host to a terrific seven-race card this Saturday, July 7, featuring the £100,000 bet365 Old Newton Cup (1.45pm) over a mile and a half.
To celebrate the heritage of the day, a short film has been created with various racing representatives including Haydock Park's Chairman Lord Daresbury, Committee Member Nicholas Whittle, ITV Racing's number one presenter Ed Chamberlin and ITV Racing's chief commentator Richard Hoiles. Haydock Park's General Manager Jason Fildes and historian John Pinfold also feature on the film.
The full length bet365 Old Newton Cup film is available to view here. You can also watch a 30second version of the film - here
There are 27 entries for the 2018 renewal of this historic handicap. The likely top-weight is Muntahaa (John Gosden, 10/1 with bet365), a G3 winner at Newbury in 2017 who was last seen out when third in the Listed Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
Blakeney Point (14/1), from the in-form Roger Charlton stable, finished fourth in the 2017 bet365 Old Newton Cup and could line up again, along with stable companion Atty Persse (10/1), owned by Godolphin and successful in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot in 2017.
Last year's winning trainer Marco Botti has put in Crowned Eagle (14/1), successful in the competitive Roseberry Handicap on Polytrack at Kempton Park in March and not beaten far when sixth to Dash Of Spice in the well-contested Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot last month.
Newmarket-based Botti is seeking his third success in the bet365 Old Newton Cup, following the victories of De Rigueur (2014) and Dylan Mouth (2017).
The trainer said today: "The plan is to run Crowned Eagle in the bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock Park on Saturday.
"The ground is going to be on the quick side, but he is in good form and so we will take our chance.
"I thought he ran OK at Royal Ascot. He would prefer a more galloping track, with a longer straight and Haydock should be ideal for him.
"I would say he is definitely up to the level of my two previous winners of this race. He has run consistently well all year. Daniel Muscutt will ride him once again."
An intriguing possible contender is Elgin (Alan King, 8/1 favourite). The six-year-old is close to top-class over hurdles, winning the G2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton in February before coming home fifth in the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival the following month.
After finishing fifth on his Flat debut on the Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton in February, Elgin has gone on to record comfortable victories at Chelmsford City (Polytrack) and Catterick (turf).
Trainer Alan King revealed today: "Elgin won't be going to Haydock unless the weather changes, which looks unlikely.
"We are desperate for some rain for him and we have kept him entered up in case the weather changes, but I am not realistically expecting it to change ahead of Saturday."
Sir Michael Stoute, successful back in 1984 with Bishop Ring, has put in Melting Dew (12/1). Owned by Robert Ng, the four-year-old was a game winner at Chelmsford City over 10 furlongs on June 20.
Teodoro (Tom Dascombe, 10/1) loves it at Haydock Park, winning twice at the course during 2017 for his Cheshire-based handler. After finishing fourth on his seasonal debut at Haydock Park in May, he bounced right back to his best at Newbury last week with a six-length success.
Yorkshire-based Mark Johnson has won the bet365 twice previously, courtesy of Star Lahib (2013) and Notarised (2015). There are four Johnston-trained entries in 2018, including course and distance winner Sofia's Rock (14/1). Listed scorer Titi Makfi (16/1), the consistent Aclimatise (25/1) and recent Pontefract scorer Rainbow Rebel (20/1) are his other possible starters.
Yorkshire handler Tim Easterby has his team in red-hot form and has entered My Reward (20/1), a Listed winner at Chester in 2017.
Another horse to enjoy a great time in 2017 was Duke Of Bronte (Rod Millman, 20/1), winner of a valuable heritage handicap at Ascot. The four-year-old has contested Listed contests at Goodwood and York on his latest two outings, coming home third at the former and sixth at the latter.
Devon-based Millman said today: "The plan is for Duke Of Bronte to run and we are hoping that Jason Watson (apprentice, claiming 5lb) will be able to take the ride.
"I have been happy with Duke Of Bronte this season. He ran up the backside of another horse at Goodwood and the York race was exceptionally strong for a Listed contest - I've seen Group races that were not as good.
"The horse is only four and is still progressing. He has run some very good races during his career so far. The ground should be OK if there is a decent amount watering."
bet365 Old Newton Cup, bet365 bet:
10/1 Atty Persse, Teodoro, Muntahaa
12/1 Golden Wolf, Melting Dew, Across The Stars
14/1 Crowned Eagle, Sofia's Rock, Blakeney Point, Society Red, Saunter
16/1 Wingingit, Now Children, Atkinson Grimshaw , Reshoun, Titi Makfi
20/1 Eye of The Storm, Rainbow Rebel, My Reward, Duke of Bronte
25/1 Aclimatise, Manjaam, Koeman, Mount Tahan
EW 1/4 - 1, 2, 3, 4
Celebrating the heritage of the bet365 Old Newton Cup
The bet365 Old Newton Cup represents the last tangible link with the old racecourse on Newton Common where horse racing took place from at least 1678 through to the move to the present course at Haydock Park in 1899. The tradition and heritage of the race makes the Old Newton Cup an integral part of Lancashire's racing history and the community.
The race has been won by top class horses including the 2003 winner Collier Hill, trained by the late Alan Swinbank, who went on to win G1 races in Ireland, Canada and Hong Kong. The Luca Cumani-trained Alkaased (2004) subsequently landed the G1 Japan Cup and the G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, while 2010 victor Dangerous Midge, trained by Brian Meehan, went on the glory in the G1 Breeders' Cup Turf in America. Last year's winner Dylan Mouth, trained by Marco Botti, was a dual G1 winner in Italy.
Tickets for the bet365 Old Newton Cup on Saturday, July 7 are still available, please head to the website haydock.thejockeyclub.co.uk for more information and to purchase tickets.
Fascinating bet365 Lancashire Oaks to look forward to....
The seven-race card at Haydock Park on July 7 also opens with the £100,000 bet365 Handicap (12.35pm, 17 entries), staged over a mile and a half for three-year-olds.
Also featuring on the card is the £93,000 bet365 Lancashire Oaks (1.10pm, 14 entries) over a mile and a half for fillies and mares.
The possible field includes the progressive four-year-old Precious Ramotswe (John Gosden, 11/2 with bet365), who is unbeaten in her two starts so far this year, most recently taking a G3 contest at York. Along with the late Sir Henry Cecil, Gosden is the most successful trainer in the Lancashire Oaks with seven wins, most recently The Black Princess in 2017.
Horseplay (Andrew Balding, 3/1 favourite) was fourth to Enable in the 2017 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs and came home second to Coronet in the G2 Middleton Stakes at York in May.
Luca Cumani, twice successful in the Lancashire Oaks, has entered God Given (4/1), successful last time out over the course and distance in the G3 Betway Pinnacle Stakes on June 9.
There is Irish interest, with Aidan O'Brien entering recent G3 Munster Oaks heroine Flattering (9/2) and Jim Bolger putting in the Listed-placed Cimeara (12/1). There is also a possible raider from France in Gaining (Henri Francois Devin, 8/1), owned by Khalid Abdullah, and a close fourth last time out in the G3 Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud in May.
bet365 Lancashire Oaks, bet365 bet:
4/1 God Given
11/2 Precious Ramotswe
13/2 Isabel de Urbina
8/1 Star Rock, Gaining
10/1 What A Home, Mrs Sippy
14/1 Euro Nightmare
16/1 Dramatic Queen
20/1 Lady of Shalott
25/1 Snowy Winter
EW 1/5 - 1, 2, 3
The going at Haydock Park is currently Good to Firm. The course is being watered to maintain conditions, with eight millimetres of irrigation being applied daily.