ROD Millman is targeting bargain buy fillies Bettys Hope and Daddies Diva at the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury on Saturday, the race he credits with keeping him in the training business for the past 22 years.

Millman, based in Cullompton, Devon, was in his eighth season with a licence when Lord Kintyre’s victory in the 1997 Weatherbys Super Sprint delivered his small stable his first big race success.

“If it wasn’t for Lord Kintyre we wouldn’t be here, I’m sure,” said Millman who hopes Bettys Hope, who won a valuable nursery at Chelmsford last Saturday, and Nottingham novice winner Daddies Diva will prove strong candidates in the 5f race.

Bettys Hope, who cost £3,000 and is owned by the trainer’s wife Louise, landed her second win when beating the odds-on Oh Purple Reign at the weekend.

“We’ve always thought a bit of Bettys Hope,” said Millman. “We fancied her first time out and she came up against Lady Kermit who was too strong for her on the day. She has had three seconds and she has won her last two races.

“We gave her a bit of a break to get her fresh for the Super Sprint. Saturday was her prep race. She probably would be better over six furlongs, but she has only got a low weight for the Super Sprint. The only drawback is she will get a small 3lb penalty. As she only cost £3,000 she is still quite well in.

“Daddies Diva won her maiden and then got blown out of water by Monoski at Pontefract. She went to Bath next time where she hung a bit but she is in good form for the Super Sprint. She only cost £2,000. She is just as good as Bettys Hope, probably a bit quicker.”

The Weatherbys Super Sprint is restricted to horses who cost £63,000 or less at public auction. Weights are determined by the sale price. Millman is a regular participant having saddled Cop Hill Lad to finish second in the 2003 and El Bosque fourth in 2006.

“I always make entries in the Super Sprint,” he said. “It’s the race that has kept me in business. Back in 1997 I only had three two-year-olds and was only training 11 or 12 horses. Things were going very bad. “Lord Kintyre came along, won the Super Sprint and kept me in business by giving me a big push. We have trained nearly 700 winners now and we have a good family business. If it wasn’t for Lord Kintyre we wouldn’t be here, I’m sure. It’s a wonderful race.”