2023 Centenary Sprint Cup preview & betting strategy

What 2023 Centenary Sprint Cup
Where Sha Tin Racecourse
When Sunday, February 5, 2023 | 4:10pm HKT (7:40pm AEDT) | Race 8
Prizemoney HK$12,000,000
Distance 1200m
Status Group 1
Conditions WFA
2022 Winner Stronger (5) | T: Douglas Whyte | J: Vincent Ho (57kg)

The 2023 edition of the Centenary Sprint Cup sees a quality eight horse field set to take on the Group 1 feature over the 1200m. As Wellington and Lucky Sweynesse look to go head to head one more time after the former got the better in the Hong Kong Sprint back on December 11.

That’s where most of the form comes from for this event – the Hong Kong Sprint – as seven of the eight runners were in behind Wellington on Hong Kong International Races. The only galloper not to race on that occasion is Master Eight; although he does have form behind Lucky Sweynesse from the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint back in November.

Centenary Sprint Cup odds

Online bookmakers have landed in favour of Lucky Sweynesse and Zac Purton at around an even money favourite on the back of his win in the Group 3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup. Wellington isn’t far behind though, with the Hong Kong Sprint winner opening on the second line of betting at $3.50. Outside of that, the market is wide-open with Sight Success just under double figure odds at $9 and Sky Field rounding out the market contenders at $13.

Centenary Sprint Cup Speedmap analysis

The speed map in this race looks very tricky on paper with no natural leader in sight. Lucky Sweynesse has led in the past; however, we aren’t sure if that’s the best way of riding the four-year-old gelding. He does have Master Eight drawn on the inside from barrier seven, who based on his recent barrier trial, suggests Karis Teetan will be very positive, so we think Lucky Sweynesse might cart across with him to find his back throughout. If he does, Lucky Sweynesse could find leaders back on the rail or sit outside the leader. Wellington looks to get the box seat if he wants it and can sit closer in the run than he did on International Day; although, in the smaller field that might be what Alexis Badel may need to do if they crawl up front. Sky Field will be tracking back as usual, while Duke Wai and Sight Success will get perfect runs in behind the speed if they want it. Sight Success did find himself in an unlikely leading position in the Hong Kong Sprint and if he does that again, it could mean Master Eight sits outside the leader leaving Lucky Sweynesse chasing three-wide.

Continue reading for HorseBetting’s top selections and $100 betting strategy for the 2023 Centenary Sprint Cup

Centenary Sprint Cup form & preview

It’s a coin flip on which way you go here, with both Lucky Sweynesse and Wellington having clear claims to go on top; however, we were with the former in the Hong Kong Sprint and we’re sticking with him on Sunday afternoon. He didn’t get a chance to show his best in that race with Zac Purton getting stuck on the inside running rail and at no point found clear air. The jury is out as to whether he would’ve won, but he clearly had a horse full of running passing the post that was untested and you can chalk it up more like a glorified barrier trial than anything else. Since that performance he went on to smash his rivals in the Group 3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup in stylish fashion, sitting behind the leader and going on to win by a comfortable 1.3 lengths. He’s been back to the all-weather circuit for a tick-over trial and still looks to be flying for trainer Manfred Man. If Zac Purton can overcome a tricky gate on Sunday afternoon, he’s the galloper on the up that is looking to dethrone a superstar.

We simply couldn’t talk you out of Wellington if you’re leaning that way, he’s the Hong Kong Sprinting champion for a reason. His win in the Hong Kong Sprint was breathtaking from the back of the field and while, as we suggested, Lucky Sweynesse had excuses, his win was still dominant. He won by just less than a length on the line chasing home the leaders and never looked in doubt with Ryan Moore producing a classy ride to keep Wellington out of trouble. He’s had a tick-over trial on the all-weather as well, chasing home Master Eight and looked to be it very easily finding second under a minimal ride. Richard Gibson has reassigned Alexis Badel to take back the reins and from a soft draw should get every opportunity to jag Group 1 win number five for Wellington.

Sky Field warrants plenty of respect here as a Group 1 winner at the course and distance and his great benefit here comes on the speed map. If Hugh Bowman can track Wellington everywhere he goes drawn his outside, he can challenge the leaders in similar fashion. He may not possess the same turn-of-foot, but if there’s a mid-race move to spice things up, it could well come from this guy at a nice each-way price to boot.

If he does elect to lead; Sight Success could steal some easy sectionals as he did in the Hong Kong Sprint. He’ll have some late challengers, but if he does get it easy enough up on speed, he can give a bold sight and leave some chasing if Vagner Borges is willing to take a risk or two here.

2023 Centenary Sprint Cup tip & best bets


$100 betting strategy
$100 Win #2 Lucky Sweynesse @ $2.00 with Neds

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