By Samantha (25/5/18)
For flat racing fans, this Saturday will be a good one. Whether you’re a fan of long distance races or fast, five furlong sprints, it’s safe to say there is something for everyone at Haydock this Saturday. Battaash, one of the best sprinters from last season, will grace the Haydock turf in the Group Two Temple Stakes.
First up, is a race for the horses with lots of stamina. The Amix Ready Mixed Concrete Handicap will be ran over two miles and all bar one of the runners, The Grand Visir, have won over this trip. The Frankel colt is yet to run over the trip and connections must be hoping that the increase in distance will ebb out some improvement in the four year old. Mancini looks the pick of the horses and won over two miles after making all on the turf course at Lingfield, two weeks ago. This is a tougher race but he seems like he will improve for the step up in class.
The Amix Silver Bowl Handicap has attracted a big field with some progressive young horses in it. Strange Society and Ajundant are making their handicap debuts. The latter has won two of his three starts and both of those have come since he moved to Brian Meehan’s yard. He has to deal with a huge step up in class. Ventura Knight is a very experienced three year old like many of Mark Johnston’s tend to be and he won a Class Three handicap last time out well so should handle the move to a higher grade. Completion is an interesting runner. He was second in his only start over a mile but is yet to be out of the top three. His jockey-trainer combination is very successful. Qaysar looks an improving sort and has won over seven furlongs in this grade so he is shouldn’t have a problem with the extra furlong. Finniston Farm ran on to finish second to Anna Nerium in a Listed race over seven furlongs. He ran in the Dee Stakes over a mile two and finished fifth so he will likely be able to stay this trip.
The Sandy Lane Stakes has been won by some very good horses including Quiet Reflection and Harry Angel last year. This year, it has attracted some very classy horses. Sands Of Mali is the highest-rated and that is understandable as he won the Group Two Gimcrack over this trip and brings some very good form into this. Invincible Army was second in that and has since won two Group Threes and was second behind James Garfield in the Mill Reef. Since then, James Garfield has been running over further and was successful in the Greenham. Last time out, he was seventh in the 2000 Guineas and drops back to his most successful trip in this. There are two fillies running in the shape of Aidan O’Brien’s Actress and last year’s winning trainer Clive Cox’s Heartache. The former is a Group Three winner over this trip and she was last seen found one paced behind Mrs Gallagher in the Polonia Stakes. Heartache has a one hundred percent strike in the UK. She is a dual Group Two winner over five furlongs and makes a step up to this trip. Her weight allowance gives her a chance in this.
The Temple Stakes is the other Group Two. Battaash, who was a brilliant three year old, makes his seasonal debut in this. He became a different horse it seemed after being gelded before he ran as a three year old. Last season he was only beaten once in his five starts and he won the Group One Abbaye at Chantilly in October so realistically, he should be able to win this. Mabs Cross seems the value in this race. She has been in great form recently and ran a great race in winning the Palace House at Newmarket, beating Grey Britain, at the start of May. She was beaten a neck in a Listed race by Mrs Gallagher, who has been a great servant for William Jarvis. That filly went over to the Curragh and bolted up in a Fillies’ Listed race so she deserves the opportunity to step up into this grade. Some old favourites, Doctor Sardonicus, Muthmir and Take Cover are set to run but it looks as though it will go the way of a younger horse.
It is then the turn of the fillies to scorch the turf in the British Stallion Studs Cecil Frail Fillies’ Listed Race, where some ever important Black Type is on offer. Classic Times and All Out both were second in listed company last time out. Worship is held in high regard by connections and won on debut but disliked the step up in trip to a mile in the 1000 Guineas last time out and is now back at a more preferable trip. Aidan O’Brien sends over different League. She won over six furlongs on debut in the Group Three Albany Stakes and is back at that trip. Rock On Baileys was successful on the All Weather over the winter but is only rated 52 so looks out of it.
The sixth race on the card is the Armstrongs Brinscall Quarry Supplying Sagrada Familia Handicap. It is a Class Four sprint and doesn’t seem an extremely special race. There are two last time out winners in the line up, Maid In India and Athollblair Boy. Maid In India is quite a consistent filly. She has won three of her five starts. One of her defeats came in this class by one and a quarter lengths. She came fifth in class three company on her penultimate start and won well last time out over the minimum trip. She has a big weight but looks progressive. Athollblair Boy is just one from twenty on turf so that is a negative. Lexington Times returned to form by coming second last time out and Short Work and Muscika are back to feasible winning margins.
The penultimate race on the card is the Amix Handicap ran over one mile three furlongs. Deyaarna is likely favourite for this race. The colt, who is owned by Godolphin, won his maiden at this third attempt and then followed it up with a nice win on the artificial surface at Wolverhampton in October. He hasn’t been seen since then so doesnt have the race fitness of Aiya. He disappointed last time out but the heavy ground at Leicester was a valid excuse. Lucky Deal is an improving sort who should like the trip. This looks on the long side for Baileys Excelebration and Rocky Shore is still a maiden.
Sofia’s Rock won at this meeting last year and hasn’t won since. He runs in the last race of the card, the Armstrong Family Support The ABF Handicap. It is over one mile two furlongs. Teodoro is a course and distance winner and notched up a treble before struggling in a tough handicap and has a chance if he can replicate his level of form from last season. Nayel won on seasonal debut and has the services of Silvestre De Sousa, who has been flying at the minute, in the saddle. Both of Master Singer’s wins to date have come on an artificial surface so that’s a worry. Kaarwaan was a close up third last time out and will be sharper from that.
Race 1- Mancini
Race 2- Ventura Knight
Race 3- Sands Of Mali
Race 4- Battaash
Race 5- All Out
Race 6- Maid In India
Race 7- Deyaarna
Race 8- Teodoro