Action from three tracks on telly this afternoon and, with no particular highlight, we start with the meeting at Haydock and the Listed Achilles Stakes at 1.45.
This 5f sprint has a field of nine, headed in the market by Dragon Symbol. Now trained by Roger Varian, this 4-y-o had vastly superior form last season, narrowly failing to land two Group 1s. His debut for his new yard was, frankly, underwhelming but this is such a big drop in class that we must recommend a win bet at 2-1.
In case DS has gone at the game, we also suggest an each way bet on Clarendon House, which is still improving and available at 11-2.
At 2.20 the Betfred Handicap has the statutory William Haggas trained runner Mahrajaan as favourite at 11-4, but, on its 3-y-o form, it is a deserved jolly and we suggest a win bet at the quoted price.
One opponent which might outrun its odds is HMS President, trained by Eve Johnson Houghton. This 5-y-o twice finished a close second off 10lbs higher last season and showed a lot more on second run this term when a close 5th at Ascot. Have an each way tickle at 10-1.
The Betfred Pinnacle Stakes at 2.55 has another Willie favourite by name of Sea La Rosa, which is available at 11-4.
Last seen in October taking a Listed race at Leafy by approximately half the track, this 4-y-o may be above this class and should be backed to prove it.
Final race at Haddock is the John Of Gaunt Stakes at 3.30, won last year by Kinross who is back for another go. Given that Ralph Beckett‘s 5-y-o followed up in a Group 2 at Goodwood, there are no reasons to suppose that a similar plan is in operation. Have a win bet at 5-2.
Also have an each way bet on Laneqash but don’t try to pronounce it.
With the recent cull of Shadwell horses, it’s interesting that this gelding remains in this ownership and, at 11-2, the hint should be taken.
Three races are being covered from the meeting at Beverley, starting with the Hilary Needler Trophy at 2.05.
With not much form to go on and no way to cross reference what there is, we apply the Spanish Archer to this race and move swiftly on to the bet365 Handicap at 2.40, in which we are sweet on the chances of Wobwobwob from Adrian Keatley‘s yard.
The up-and-coming Ryan Sexton has struck up a good partnership with this 4-y-o and, after two runs to put it straight, today could be the day.
Have a bash at 100-30.
That leaves the bet365 Two Year Old Trophy at 3.15 which we hope will be won by the ultra promising Chateau.
Andrew Balding‘s runner showed plenty on debut at Salisbury to think today might be the day and we get William Buick as well. Have a win bet at 5-2.
Chester is next, for just the one race, the Stellar Sports Handicap at 3.45.
This race was won by Boardman last year and he’s back to try again off a 5lb higher mark. Tim Easterby‘s stalwart will undoubtedly give it its best shot but we can’t get away from the chances of the old boy of the race, Oh This Is Us.
Three wins and two places in five visits to Chester is the score and almost insultingly well handicap off 92, the 9-y-o can give Andrea Atzeni a great chances of landing the spoils. Take the 11-2 each way.
That’s it – now then, where are the red shirts?
Dragon Symbol 1.45 Haydock 3pts win @ 2-1
Clarendon House 1.45 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 11-2
Mahrajaan 2.20 Haydock 2pts win @ 11-4
HMS President 2.20 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (4 places)
Sea La Rosa 2.55 Haydock 3pts win @ 11-4
Kinross 3.30 Haydock 2pts win @ 5-2
Laneqash 3.30 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 11-2
Wobwobwob 2.40 Beverley 2pts win @ 100-30
Chateau 3.15 Beverley 2pts win @ 5-2
Oh This Is Us 3.45 Chester 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (4 places)