Haydock Preview
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Haydock Preview

Another Saturday afternoon instalment of quality action from Haydock Park takes place this weekend as they stage a card headlined by the Pinnacle Stakes and the John Of Gaunt Stakes, both Group 3 contests. It's a seven-race offering from Haydock, racing from 1.10pm-4.40pm and the Racing Post previews all the action.


1.10pm - betfred.com Sankey Handicap (1m)

Jimi Hendrix has been flagged as the forecast market leader in a very open starter, but Ralph Beckett's colt may need to improve again for this rise in trip if he's to make a winning start in handicaps off 83.

Million Thanks had a wind op over the winter and returned with a determined maiden victory at Musselburgh earlier this month over this distance on quick ground. Kevin Ryan's son of Churchill is entitled to build on that now.

Blueberry Hill, He's A Gentleman and Chef De Partie are other fair sorts that should go well, but PAPA COCKTAIL might be the answer for Tom Clover.

He won his novice here last season over 7f and while his progress wasn't immediate afterwards, he was a close third at Doncaster in last month's comeback, attempting the mile for the first time, and he's got every chance of being involved again from the same mark back on a track he clearly enjoys.

Selection: Papa Cocktail

Next Best: Million Thanks

Liverpool v Real Madrid Preview And Predictions - Champions League Final

Liverpool v Real Madrid Preview And Predictions - Champions League Final

1.45pm - Betfred Nifty Fifty Achilles Stakes (Listed, 5f)

Dragon Symbol has the potential to outclass this field for Roger Varian and David Egan, though his price will likely reflect that. He appeared rusty late on in his comeback in a York Group 2 earlier this month and should be sharper now.

On the strength of multiple near misses at Group 1 and 2 level last season, including the July Cup at 6f and Nunthorpe at this trip, his chance is a clear one.

Tabdeed showed a bit more at Windsor last time and could be a threat for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle, though all of his wins have come over 6f.

Significantly has the form to go close in this grade, though Karl Burke's charge can get worked up in the preliminaries and that's a worry. First-time cheekpieces are deployed now.

RAASEL and Clarendon House were closely matched on their Goodwood meeting last month over this trip, the former just overhauling the front-running second late on. Mick Appleby's charge racked up a sequence of wins last season and could have more to come. He's certainly worth a try in this grade and should run well as an each-way player.

Selection: Raasel

Next Best: Dragon Symbol

Huddersfield v Nottingham Forest Preview And Predictions - Championship Play-Off Final

Huddersfield v Nottingham Forest Preview And Predictions - Championship Play-Off Final

2.20pm - Betfred Double Delight Handicap (1m4f)

Denied in second at Thirsk on his return, Contact put his rivals to the sword since at Newmarket over this trip with a fairly convincing display and has to be on any shortlist for this despite a 5lb higher mark.

Fort Orta is a danger to all in current mood after a win at Hamilton and close second at York this month, though he's gone up another 3lb in the ratings now.

HMS President looks best of Eve Johnston-Houghton's pair, while lightly-raced Mahrajaan won 3-5 last season for William Haggas as a 3YO and is open to further progress this term.

On the face of it, STATE OF BLISS has plenty to find with Contact on their recent Newmarket clash, but they were first and second in the betting that afternoon and Mark Johnston's son of Gleneagles wasn't given a hard time once it was clear his chance had gone.

That was second run at HQ and the second time he failed to perform - it's improbable he'll go back there again. This track may well suit better and, as with many from the Middleham yard, a bounce-back is likely. Now 5lb better off, perhaps the price discrepancy shows too much a reaction to that run four weeks ago.

Selection: State Of Bliss

Next Best: Fort Orta

Champions League Final Preview - David James

Champions League Final Preview - David James

2.55pm - Betfred Pinnacle Stakes (Fillies' And Mares' Group 3, 1m4f)

With the William Haggas team in blistering form, a big run from Sea La Rosa should come as no surprise. The filly was last spotted clearing away to win a Lingfield Listed contest in the autumn by 4½-lengths and there's probably more to come this season. She won first-time-up last summer but has more on her plate now.

Noon Star was one-paced in the Middleton at York this month over shorter and should be more at home back up in trip now, Sir Michael Stoute's charge is one to consider, as is Irish raider Climate for Jessica Harrington.

The latter wasn't beaten far in a Newmarket Group 2 in her comeback at the Guineas Festival this month, finishing fourth, and being by Australia she's got every chance of excelling at this longer distance.

LADY HAYES gets the call for Roger Varian and Ray Dawson, however. The Kodiac filly was second in the Lancashire Oaks over C&D last summer only just failed to land a Goodwood Listed contest on her comeback last month.

The front pair were nicely clear in that contest and Bartzella, the Haggas-trained winner, could be a filly headed to better things this summer. Back here, Lady Hayes looks to hold strong claims.

Selection: Lady Hayes

Next Best: Climate

David James Exclusive: Mane And Salah Should Stay

David James Exclusive: Mane And Salah Should Stay

3.30pm - Betfred John Of Gaunt Stakes (Group 3, 7f)

Eight runners and it's conceivable to make cases for most of them. Happy Power won a Listed event at Leicester on comeback in fairly straightforward fashion, though Andrew Balding's charge only faced two rivals and will surely have his credentials more severely tested now.

Kinross won the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last summer and is a danger, though he lacks a recent run and might prefer if things softened a touch underfoot.

Sunray Major is still low-miles and open to progress, his most recent appearance having come in the Lockinge where Baaeed was the star turn. This looks a much more appealing and he has claims on his Group 2 Sandown comeback run.

LANEQASH twice ran well in Group 2s at Doncaster and Newmarket in September having returned to action only in August, where he was second to Sacred in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury over 7f giving the winner weight.

Roger Varian's son of Cable Bay returns here having been gelded over the winter and, given that ability to go well off a break, he might well be worth chancing for a big run.

Selection: Laneqash

Next Best: Sunray Major

David James Exclusive: Rice Should Join Man City Not United

David James Exclusive: Rice Should Join Man City Not United

4.05pm - Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap (6f)

Nationwide goes in search of a four-timer and may not have hit his ceiling just yet. He's won three on the spin this spring since leaving Sir Michael Stoute, all at 6f, but does now have a 6lb higher mark to contend with on what's going to be his first start on grass.

Zargun was a good second at York last weekend back up over 6f and can go well again despite a quick turnaround, while first-time blinkers may see Able Kane in the mix. He's got a fine turf strike-rate and ran well in a higher grade a fortnight ago.

DANCINGINTHEWOODS likes to be played late and perhaps didn't have much rub of the green at Leicester last month. Cheekpieces go on now and he's run well on his only previous visit here, off this mark last summer. If he gets a fair share of luck in the run, there should be a challenge in him.

Selection: Dancinginthewoods

Next Best: Able Kane

David James Exclusive: Haaland Must Improve

David James Exclusive: Haaland Must Improve

4.40pm - Betfred Passionate About Sport Handicap (7f)

NOTIONS won with more in hand than a neck margin suggested at Goodwood (7f, good to firm) last month. Saffie Osborne's partner was forced to wait for daylight around a furlong out, but quickened smartly once asked to get there and bag the win.

Entitled to come on from that seasonal reappearance, a 2lb rise in the weights is maybe going to underestimate him.

Lightly-raced Windseeker goes into handicaps off a promising mark and rates a danger for the Richard Hannon team after landing a Salisbury novice at the start of the month on first out as a 3YO, taking his record to 2-3 overall.

Vintage Choice is another handicap debutant with promise, albeit off top-weight here, while The Cookstown Cafu offered plenty promise as a novice last season and should build on a comeback third at York this month on handicap bow, a race that didn't pan out to best effect for him.

Selection: Notions

Next Best: The Cookstown Cafu






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