Force Denies Lord’s Double

Gordon Lord Byron misses out on historic double

G Force and Daniel Tudhope win the Betfred Sprint Cup with beaten favourite Sole Power and Richard Hughes behind right

G Force and Daniel Tudhope win the Betfred Sprint Cup with beaten favourite Sole Power and Richard Hughes behind right

G Force came late and fast to deny Gordon Lord Byron an historic double in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on  Saturday.

David O’Meara’s three-year-old was delivered by Danny Tudhope down the centre of the track to collar last year’s winner and score by three-quarters of the length in the Group One sprint on Merseyside.

Gordon Lord Byron (6-1), under Wayne Lordan, was bidding to become only the second horse in history to land the Sprint Cup since Be Friendly won the first two runnings in 1966 and 1967.

And it looked like Tom Hogan’s globetrotting six-year-old would do it when he took over from the pace-setting Hot Streak late on. But the improving G Force (11-1) denied him with Henry Candy’s Music Master (15-2) a length and quarter back in third, with 5-2 favourite Sole Power fourth after being unable to find the breaks under Richard Hughes.

It was G Force’s first success at the top level, having finished sixth over the minimum distance in last month’s Nunthorpe.

The Middleham Park Racing-owned Tamayuz colt may step back down in distance for the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp next month, for which he is as low as 6-1 and a best-priced 12-1 with 888sport.

O’Meara said: “I’m a little bit overwhelmed. I’m delighted for everyone who has put so much time into this. It’s just great.

“We thought he was good from day one. He hasn’t had the rub of the green a couple of times this year. He didn’t have much luck in running in the Nunthorpe, but we had every faith he’d be able to go and do it one day. We’re delighted he’s managed to do it today.

“I’ll have to speak to the guys and see what they want to do. There’s the Abbaye, but it looks like he’s better over six than five.”

Winning jockey Tudhope said: “I can’t believe it. I had every faith in this horse and he’s shown some class to do that as a three-year-old. He’s only small, but he has a massive heart and a great turn of foot.

“We were a bit unlucky (in the Nunthorpe), I think we would have been placed that day. He’s a class horse and thankfully he got the breaks today.”

Irish trainer Hogan was pleased with Gordon Lord Byron in ground he felt he didn’t really like.

Hogan said: “The ground rode a bit dead – that’s the ground he really doesn’t relish. I told Wayne to come two furlongs out, but, with hindsight, they possibly weren’t the best tactics.

The horse ran a great race and he will go to the Prix de la Foret now and we will be back here next year.”

Trainer Eddie Lynam also felt the ground went against favourite Sole Power, who is likely to run in the Abbaye – for which is 6-1 second favourite with most firms behind Tiggy Wiggy.

Lynam said: “Richard just came in and blamed the ground. He’s run a good race and given 110 per cent and we are very pleased with him.

“I just said to Sabena (Power, owner) that his next run will be in France and then on to Hong Kong and Dubai. I think they will go faster (abroad) and the ground is quicker. I think there’s a good one in him over six furlongs.”

Havana Cooler, the favourite in the Betfred TV Old Borough Cup was also out of luck under Richard Hughes as the jockey was unshipped as the stalls opened.

The race was won by the John Gosden-trained Nautilus (10-1), who came late on to score by a length under Nicky Mackay from Epsom Hill (13-2) with Communicator (20-1) a further length and three-quarters back in third and Novirak (14-1) fourth.

Mackay said: “He picked up nicely and won quite well in the end. It’s always nice to have a winner on a Saturday.”

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