First Eleven & Al Muffrih head betting as 30 go for Saturday’s £100,000 bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock Park

Monday, July 1, 2019 – Haydock Park stages a lucrative seven-race card worth nearly £400,000 this Saturday, July 6, headlined by the £100,000 bet365 Old Newton Cup (3.15pm), staged over just short of a mile and a half (1m 3f 175y).
There are 30 entries for the exciting 2019 renewal of the bet365 Old Newton Cup, with the weights for the historic handicap set to be headed by the John Gosden-trainedRoyal Line (10/1 with bet365), who could make his seasonal return after landing the November Handicap at Doncaster on the final day of the turf season in 2018.
Newmarket-based Gosden, the reigning UK champion Flat trainer, could also be represented in the bet365 Old Newton Cup by First Eleven (5/1 joint-favourite with bet365), who landed a valuable three-year-old handicap at Ascot in September last year and made a winning return to action at York in May. Gosden has won the bet365 Old Newton Cup once before with Perfect Paradigm in 1998.
The other 5/1 joint-favourite with bet365 is Al Muffrih (William Haggas), last seen when victorious in the Zetland Gold Cup over 10 furlongs at Redcar in May.
Middleham-based Mark Johnston is the most successful current trainer in the bet365 Old Newton Cup with three wins, including in 2018 when Rainbow Rebel triumphed.
Johnston has two entries in 2019 including Aquarium (10/1), who scored at Chester in May and was a close seventh in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot. His second entry is Charles Kingsley (14/1), successful at Brighton and Hamilton this year.
Some of the entries for Saturday’s contest met in the Paisley Handicap over a mile and five furlongs at Ayr on June 22, with Island Brave (Heather Main, 12/1) coming out on top by three-quarters of a length from Kelly’s Dino (Karl Burke, 12/1), with Charles Kingsley in fifth and Grandee (Roger Fell, 20/1) in seventh.
Island Brave is a prolific winner on All-Weather surfaces, with his six victories including a lucrative contest over an extended mile and a half on Tapeta at Newcastle on Good Friday in 2018. Only seven of the five-year-old’s 22 starts have come on turf, with his Ayr victory last time out adding to success in the Colwick Cup at Nottingham in August, 2018.
Main, who is based in Kingston Lisle, Oxfordshire, reported today: “The plan is for Island Brave to go to Haydock on Saturday for the Old Newton Cup.
“I was absolutely delighted with his win at Ayr last time out. It was a really good run and I am hoping he can be as good as he was that day. He still seems fresh and well.
“It will be a furlong less on Saturday, but I don’t think it will make that much of a difference as he ran quite well over 11 furlongs at Kempton earlier in the year and there should be a good pace in a race like the Old Newton Cup.
“He won the Colwick Cup well at Nottingham last year and I think there could be more to come from him on turf. A lot of people have said he is more an All-Weather horse, but I think he is more versatile than he has been given credit for.
“Obviously, it is going to be a competitive race, but we will give it a go and take our chance.”
Island Brave winning last time out at Ayr 
Trainer Hughie Morrison has two entries in Corgi (7/1), fourth last time out in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot, and Buzz (10/1), third in Listed company at York last month.
Others contenders prominent in the betting include the lightly-raced Outbox(Simon Crisford, 8/1), a Listed runner-up in France on June 21.
The maximum field for the bet365 Old Newton Cup is 17 runners, plus two reserves when horses are declared to run on Thursday morning. Reserves can come into the race if there are any non-runners before 1.00pm on Friday, July 5.
bet365 Old Newton Cup – bet365 prices
5/1 First Eleven, Al Muffrih; 7/1 Corgi; 8/1 Outbox, Infrastructure; 10/1 Royal Line, Aquarium, Lucius Tiberius, Epaulement, Buzz, Caliburn; 12/1 Island Brave, Bombyx, Kelly’s Dino, Koeman; 14/1 Byron Flyer, Charles Kingsley, Melting Dew, Eddystone Rock; 16/1 Restorer, Society Red, Thistimenextyear, Fairy Tale, Alright Sunshine; 20/1 Everything For You, Grandee, Jabbaar; 25/1 Indianapolis, Star of Southwold, Desert Point
Each-way ¼ odds, 1-2-3-4
Pat Cooney of bet365 said: “It looks a typically competitive renewal of the bet365 Old Newton Cup and we make Al Muffrih and First Eleven our opening joint favourites. Both won narrowly last time, but look progressive types.
“That said, this race is always a high turnover race for us and we expect to see a vibrant market on it.”
The bet365 Old Newton Cup, which evolved from the Newton Gold Cup first run in 1807, represents one of the last tangible links with the old racecourse on Newton Common where horseracing 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.
Since the turn of the century, the famous handicap has seen top-class winners, including globetrotter Collier Hill (2003), a three-time G1 winner around the world, 2005 G1 Japan Cup victor Alkaased (2004) and more recently Dangerous Midge, successful in the 2010 G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf just four months after an eight-length romp at Haydock Park.
A short film on the Old Newton Cup features Haydock Park’s Chairman Lord Daresbury, Committee Member Nicholas Whittle, ITV Racing’s presenter Ed Chamberlin, ITV Racing’s chief commentator Richard Hoiles. Dickon White, North West Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses, and historian John Pinfold.
The film is available to view here –
The excellent racing at Haydock Park on Saturday, July 6 also features the £93,000 bet365 Lancashire Oaks (2.40pm, seven entries), staged over the same distance as the bet365 Old Newton Cup.
The 2/1 joint-favourites with bet365 are Dramatic Queen (William Haggas) andEnbihaar (John Gosden). Dramatic Queen landed the G3 Bronte Cup over a mile and six furlongs at York in May, when Enbihaar was the half-length runner-up.
Gosden, the joint most successful handler ever in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks with seven victories, could also be represented by G3 Nayef Stakes winner Highgarden(6/1), while Haggas has a second entry with Klassique (4/1), who landed the G3 Pinnacle Stakes over the course and distance on June 8.
Also entered are Nyaleti (Mark Johnston, 5/1), a close second in the G3 Hoppings Stakes on Tapeta at Newcastle on June 28, Listed-placed Chablis (Aidan O’Brien IRE, 10/1) and Shailene (Andrew Balding, 12/1), who scored in Listed company at San Siro, Italy, on June 23.
bet365 Lancashire Oaks – bet365 prices:
2/1 Dramatic Queen, Enbihaar; 4/1 Klassique; 5/1 Nyaleti; 6/1 Highgarden; 10/1 Chablis; 12/1 Shailene
Each-way ¼ odds, 1-2
Pat Cooney added: “There wasn’t much between Dramatic Queen and Enbihaar over further last time and we can see a close finish once again, so we are making them joint favourites.”
The card opens with the £100,000 bet365 Handicap (2.05pm 17 entries), over a mile and three quarters for three-year-olds. Mark Johnston saddled the first two home in 2018 and is well-represented again this year with four entries, including Haydock Park winners Mind The Crack and Sir Ron Priestley.
Ireland’s 21-time champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien has three contenders engaged, headed by South Pacific, who won the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot with stable companion Eminence in third.
Other leading contenders include Durston (David Simcock), successful on his last two starts at Doncaster and Chester, and Arctic Fox (Richard Fahey), who is on a four-timer following a win at Newmarket and two successes at York.
Tickets for bet365 Old Newton Cup day on Saturday, July 6 are available and racegoers should head to
The seven-race programme on Saturday runs from 2.05pm through to 5.35pm.
Haydock Park also races on the afternoon of Thursday, July 4, Glass Times Raceday, with a seven-race programme running from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, and on the evening of Friday, July 5, July Tropicana Race Evening, when the seven-race card takes place from 5.50pm through to 9.00pm.
The going at Haydock Park is currently Good to Firm. There has been no rain since Tuesday, June 25.
With only a light shower forecast, eight millimetres of irrigation is being applied to maintain conditions. A cooler week is predicted, with maximum temperatures of around 21 degrees Celsius.
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