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Music can Master rivals in Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Byline: with CHRIS WRIGHT

Music Master can land a first Group One success with victory in this afternoon's Betfred Sprint Cup (3.50pm) at Haydock Park. Henry Candy's four-year-old is progressing into a very smart sprinter and he can take the next step to confirm that in the feature of Haydock's Flat season. This is Music Master biggest test, but he has already shown this season he is up to competing at the top level.

The Piccolo colt won a six-furlong conditions event at Warwick on his seasonal reappearance, but was then only sixth in a Listed event over the same course and distance behind Rocky Ground. Despite than Candy pitched in him to the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes and he was beaten less than three lengths in fourth behind winner Slade Power, Due Diligence and Aljamaheer. Only the last-named will reoppose at Haydock today and Music Master certainly looks to be improving and in the absence of the three principals from the Royal meeting can land a big race himself. Music Master won the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury in July beating Heeraat and another of today's rivals - Es Que Love, who was supplemented for the Haydock feature following his Lennox Stakes success at Glorious Goodwood. Candy's smart sprinter missed the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, but he appears more suited to today's six furlongs than the minimum distance anyway. He looks just the type of improving sprinter who can land the Cup at Haydock. He will have to show that improvement, though, with last year's winner Gordon Lord Byron and another potential improver, Brian Meehan's Intibaah, among the dangers. The chief supporting race at Haydock is the competitive Betfred TV Old Borough Cup Handicap (3.15pm) and Luca Cumani can add to his fine record in the race through Havana Cooler. For such a competitive handicap those at the head of the betting have done well down the years. And Havana Cooler could start favourite for the 1m6f contest.

The four-year-old is still relatively lightly-raced and is open to improvement. He was not beaten far when sixth behind De Rigeur in Haydock's other big summer handicap, the Old Newton Cup in July. And then on his last start he was a narrow runner-up to Van Percy at Glorious Goodwood last month. He has threatened to land a big race and today could be the day with Cumani having saddled a winner (Bauer 2011) and a runner-up with his last two runners in the race. Short Squeeze was given a fine ride by Pat Smullen to land a tough handicap at York and the duo can go in again stepped up to Group Three company in the betfred.com Superior Mile (2.40pm). Hugo Palmer's four-year-old weaved his way through from the back to score a shade cosily in the end and looks worth another crack at Group company at the track where he scored over course and distance around this time last year. Tim Easterby's Confessional - who won this race off 2lb lower last year and in 2010 - looks good to a hat-trick in the Betfred Mobile Be Friendly Handicap (2.05pm), while the Irish jockey Smullen may land a double on the Willie Haggas-trained Roosse in the Betfred Goals Galore Nursery (4.25pm) on a bumper seven-race card at Haydock. HAYDOCK AYDOCK A PARPARP K 2.05pm Confessional 2.40pm Short Squeeze 3.15pm Havana Cooler 3.50pm Music Master (NAP) 4.25pm Roosey 5pm Latharnach5.30pm Classical Duet ASCOT1.55pm Day Of Conquest 2.25pm Mutasayyid 3pm Good Place 3.30pm Gothic 4.05pm King Crimson 4.40pm Alpine Storm 5.15pm New Fforest THI| 2pm Sands Chorus 2.30pm TadqeeqTadqeeqT3.05pm TadpoleTadpoleT3.40pm Rekdhat 4.20pm Hazelrigg 4.55pm Grigolo 5.25pm Lexington Boy KEMPTON1.45pm Power Game 2.20pm Robin Hoods Bay 2.55pm Monsieur Chevalier 3.35pm Red Runaway 4.10pm Maftool 4.45pm Bold Runner 5.20pm Kinglami TOMO RROW'S NAP: Fast Track (York 4.40pm). Wright Ones
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 6, 2014
Words:667
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