Haydock is where the main action is on a busy Saturday, with two Group2s and a Listed race centrepiecing the card. It’s a sprint treble, two over 6f and the other over the flying 5, so if that’s what floats your Titanic, you are in for a treat.
The Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes at 4.05 sees 12 fast horses compete for the £56,710 prize – or does it? Karl Burke’s runner, Quiet Reflection is a doubtful participant unless one of the forecast thunderstorms sits over the track and dumps.
This makes life a little difficult, as the horse is priced up as the second favourite at 5-1, with the dreaded Rule 4 waiting to pounce. However, given that we don’t think the filly can win anyway (penalty to carry, no recent run) let’s carry on regardless.
Favourite in all books is our old friend Washington DC, trained by Aiden You-Know-Who, last seen carrying our each way money into second place in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket. Absolutely nothing wrong with that run and previous Group 1 form makes this again the betting starting point. With Ryan Moore otherwise engaged at the Curragh, Wayne Lordan takes a break from singing Country & Western and comes over for the ride.A win bet at 4-1 is advised.
Also in this race we suggest an each way tickle on the Tom Dascombe trained Kachy at 8-1. Described by the trainer as ‘a bit of a monkey’ and thereby putting headline writers in clover (I’m sure you’ll work it out), this Kyllachy colt finished a close 6th in this race last year as a 3-y-o. Not far behind Washington DC on seasonal reappearance and entitled to come on a bundle for that spin, Richard Kingscote’s mount could well surprise for his in-form stable.
The EBF Stallions Cecil Frail Stakes at 4.35 is a Listed contest over 6f and has attracted a field of 13 fillies & mares, the shortest priced of which is the William Haggas trained Gravity Flow at 3-1. This 4-y-o progressed well through the handicap ranks last season and was last seen being beaten a head in a Listed contest at Newmarket in October. However, the other twelve runners in that race have failed to muster a single win between them since and, without the benefit of a recent run, we will pass, thanks.
More attractive at the odds is an each way bet on Keith Dalgleish’s 3-y-o, Clem Fandango at the available 7-1. Already a winner of a Listed contest and second in a Group 3 as a 2-y-o, young Clem turned up at Maisons-Lafitte 16 days ago and ran a blinder to be 4th in a strong looking Group3. If anything, today represents a drop in class and, with that recent run confirming she has ‘trained on’, she looks a lively player.
The Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes at 3.30 is the other Group 2 on the card and appears to be at the mercy of Clive Cox’s charge Harry Angel. This winner of the Mill Reef last season finished an excellent second, under a penalty, in the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot, behind a Godolphin improver and that form stands out in this field, hence the 4-5 on offer. We always hesitate to recommend an odds-on shot, but if you decide to wade in, you should be OK.
For the forecast, throw in Poet’s Vanity, which could surprise.