G Force lived up to his name as he powered home to give Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara and jockey Danny Tudhope their first domestic Group One success in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.
The three-year-old had always been highly thought of by connections but had not been blessed with luck when stepped up in grade, most notably when a close sixth to Sole Power in the Nunthorpe at York last month.
However, everything fell into place in this six-furlong showpiece as G Force (11-1) denied Gordon Lord Byron a place in history.
Tom Hogan’s stable star was trying to become the only other horse after Be Friendly in 1966 and ’67 to win the race for a second time and he looked likely to do just that heading into the final furlong. However, Tudhope produced G Force to lead in the dying strides, eventually prevailing by three-quarters of a length. Music Master was third, with favourite Sole Power fourth after having to weave his way through as he tried to show he stays six furlongs and prove an able substitute for his stablemate Slade Power.
O’Meara said of the Middleham Park Racing-owned winner: “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.
“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.”
Tudhope said: “It all went according to plan. 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 gaps today. It’s great for everyone.”