Haydock Temple Stakes Day Preview
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Haydock Temple Stakes Day Preview

It's one of the first of Haydock's marquee summer Flat meetings on Saturday as they host the Temple Stakes and the Sandy Lane Stakes, a brace of Group 2 races at the famous Merseyside layout. Some of Britain's leading sprinters have appeared on this card down through the years and Saturday should be no different, with up and comers and established names alike in the mix. The Racing Post previews Saturday's Haydock card, which runs from 1.25pm-4.55pm.


1.25pm - Cazoo Florida Handicap (1m4f)

A wide open start to proceedings, and one in which Carlos Felix will hope to transfer over some good recent form on the all-weather as he now reverts back to the grass for trainer Phil Kirby. He's been second in all three starts on synthetics this year and is potentially well-handicapped back in this code sporting a first-time pair of cheekpieces, so no shocks if he goes well.

Songo won a weak race at Bath last time for Milton Harris and will bid to back that up in stronger company now, while top-weight Colinton is another with claims.

A chance in the opener goes to SCREAMING PETRUS for the David Loughnane and Rossa Ryan combo.

The Kingman gelding showed promise in there all-weather runs, scoring latterly at Wolverhampton in December when upped to this distance and this month's Ascot handicap debut may well have been a run he would have needed after a break. He raced a bit keenly there and faded late. He's 2lb lower this afternoon and takes a drop in class to boot and looks open to doing better before long.

Selection: Screaming Petrus

Next Best: Carlos Felix


2.00pm - Cazoo Hell Nook Handicap (2m)

Donald McCain's Goobinator won at York and over this C&D last summer and returns from a stint hurdling now with scope still to do better. He's not got any worries over match sharpness and is one to consider with Graham Lee on board.

Chances can also be handed to Andrew Balding's Valley Forge, untested over this far but a 1m6f York winner last summer and sure to be sharper for his comeback at Newmarket on Guineas weekend, as well as the returning Miranda for champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls with daughter Megan doing the steering.

The ex-French mare has only had a couple of starts on the level for this trainer and is tongue-tied for the first time on this seasonal comeback, with her stamina proven over timber.

The obvious choice though is BANDINELLI for Charlie Appleby and James Doyle. He has won four of his last five starts on turf/AW, including over 1m6f here last season. He is 2-2 over this trip at Kempton either side of a layoff and scored with a bit in hand in March on his only start of the year to date. He's only 3lb higher and looks a stayer with potential for better.

Selection: Bandinelli

Next Best: Valley Forge


2.35pm - Cazoo Silver Bowl Handicap (1m)

Beaten only once in three starts thus far, MIGHTY ULYSSES could be very hard to topple on this first foray into a handicap for John & Thady Gosden.

An easy winner at Yarmouth in one run last term, he ran a solid race at Epson in a Listed Derby Trial on his comeback in April before romping to victory at Newmarket over a mile last weekend under Benoit De La Sayette.

On that evidence he may well have decent pattern-race claims before too long and he could be up to this challenge, especially with his rider levelling up the playing field to a degree with his 5lb claim.

Whoputfiftyinyou has won all three starts so far, including a Newbury handicap (7f, good) in April off an opening mark of 83, and is open to more progress upped in trip, though the market leader makes this a more daunting assignment.

Each-way claims are afforded to Tollard Royal, an easy reappearing winner at Beverley last month for trainer George Boughey, who has his string in supreme form right now with a strike-rate of 30 per-cent in recent weeks.

Selection: Mighty Ulysses

Next Best: Tollard Royal


3.10pm - Cazoo Sandy Lane Stakes (Group 2, 6f)

A race won in recent times by the likes of Slade Power and Harry Angel - proper top-level sprinters - the Sandy Lane has drawn a field of 11 to Haydock in pursuit of a first prize in excess of £65k.

The market is likely to be headed by El Caballo for Karl Burke. He's won all five starts since finishing second at Doncaster last spring on his debut. They include a Listed 7f Lingfield success in March and an All-Weather Finals Day score at Newcastle most recently over this trip. This trip looks perfect on his turf return and he's got fine claims.

He is, though, rising into Group 2 company and it won't be easy with some strong opposition lingering.

Beauty Inspire only ran twice last season at two, but won both and showed excellent form in doing so. The Mehmas colt is an intriguing runner here for Irish trainer Ger Lyons on seasonal reappearance and needs to be monitored closely.

Caturra, also by Mehmas, was second in a French Group 3 last month on comeback and has to be shortlisted for Clive Cox in a race he has won before, while Hugo Palmer's Flaming Rib is another to note having returned to winning ways at Chester this month over 5f.

GO BEARS GO has the best form, going close in the Middle Park at Newmarket last season having won a Group 2 previously in Ireland. He was a convincing winner of a Commonwealth Cup Trial at Ascot (6f, good to firm) on his comeback - with Wings Of War behind in fourth - and seems sure to make further progress this summer on that evidence.

Selection: Go Bears Go

Next Best: Beauty Inspire


3.45pm - Cazoo Temple Stakes (Group 2, 5f)

A dozen-strong line-up for what looks a solid renewal of Temple Stakes, this 5f Group 2 won in 2018 and 2019 by the blistering Battaash.

The excellent Winter Power took her form to a new level last summer, landing York's Nunthorpe Stakes in August amongst a tally of three wins in six starts.

She was a Listed winner on reappearance last season and should be ready to go first time up. All three wins came at York last season, and perhaps there's some minor question to answer therefore on first appearance at this track. She's the one to beat on best form, but the market certainly reflects her chance.

KING'S LYNN perhaps didn't get the run of the race on comeback at Chester this month over 5f when chasing home Flaming Rib. That was still a decent effort and Andrew Balding's charge should be sharper for it, while this return to 6f is a plus too. Victorious on his only previous visit to Haydock Park, the Royal runner looks to hold solid each-way claims.

Karl Burke fires three at this, with recent York Listed winner Last Crusader favoured over stablemates Attagirl and White Lavender. Front-running Moss Gill may prove vulnerable late on at this trip, though an each-way squeak could be given to Henry Candy's Twilight Calls on the back of his improved form this term at Newmarket.

Selection: King's Lynn

Next Best: Winter Power


4.20pm - Cazoo Edge Green Handicap (6f)

Having shown some decent form at 5f in the early part of last season, the filly ROCKPRINCESS was a convincing 6f soft-ground scorer at Redcar in October for trainer Kevin Ryan. Both starts this season have come at the minimum trip and she looks certain to be suited now going back up in distance.

Megan Nicholls takes the ride here and this Belardo filly is on a workable mark making just this second start at the trip.

In an exposed field, both Bicep and Gidwa are considered having finished second in their most recent starts, with preference from that pair for the second-named, as Kevin Philippart De Foy's gelding has been putting together a consistent run of form with all-weather wins at Kempton and Southwell preceding that Windsor second this month.

He is now rated 3lb higher and must prove his credentials on the forecast softer ground.

Selection: Rockprincess

Next Bes: Gidwa


4.55pm - Cazoo New Boston Handicap (7f)

Paws For Thought was nailed on the line at Chester this month on stable bow for new trainer Donald McCain having raced in the vanguard throughout. He's entitled to go well again here, but is a touch unfortunate to be rated 5lb higher for his troubles.

Stablemate Russco saw his five-race winning spree come to an abrupt halt over C&D in October. He is a course winner but looks high enough in the ratings on this seasonal comeback.

Perhaps the presence of claiming riders makes Asad and EARLS the pair to focus on. The former made a winning seasonal bow at Chelmsford four weeks ago for Mick Appleby and has Benoit De La Sayette on board here, though they have something to prove with give underfoot.

That's not the case for Gavin Cromwell's Irish raider Earls, with Aidan Keeley easing his burden to the tune of 7lb. He was second-best in a 22-runner Naas handicap this month on first start after joining this trainer and should be sharper for that outing. He is proven at this distance and, factoring in the claim, doesn't appear badly treated for this first visit to Britain.

Selection: Earls

Next Best: Asad






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