It’s another belter of a card at Haydock Park this Saturday afternoon, one which readers would do well to take a good look at with some cracking action in store.
They kick off with a previous Group 3 winner High Standing aiming to launch his 2010 season with a win first time in the sports360.co.uk Achilles Stakes at 2.00pm.
I’m really looking forward to seeing him back on a racecourse, but a bet looks out of the question as they’ve chosen to drop him back in trip to five furlongs, and how his familiar hold up tactics and that trademark finishing burst inside the last furlong will be delivered is open to debate.
Ex Preston North End legend Martin James is the man behind Sports360, a leading sports branding agency (sponsors of the Achilles), but the identity of some of the characters invited to quaff champage in his box at Haydock would leave you reeling. A couple of the freeloaders involved are serial offenders….
Speaking of which the noble Lord Culcheth has also popped up in the past seven days, making a real nuisance of himself after bumping into some unsuspecting American tourists from Kentucky.
The unfortunate Yanks apparently made the mistake of being charmed by his sinister grin, spray tan, pencil thin moustache and ill fitting tracksuit, and requested a tour guide to show them the way to a decent boozer in their chosen town, only to be frog marched commando style into a grotty cougar den where the evil Culcheth proceeded to ignore them wholesale, and promptly copped off with some decrepid, haggard, leathery creature near the dj booth.
Back to the racing though and one horse I will be backing in a hard to solve J.W. Lees Sandy Lane Stakes at 2.30pm is in form Richard Hannon’s Angel’s Pursuit.
He’s very closely matched with the re-opposing Quarrel on his Newbury form in September’s Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Stakes, having finished a length ahead of his rival that day at level weights, whereas here he has to concede 3lbs.
What I like about Angel’s Pursuit though is he’s had a run (Quarrel hasn’t been seen since), and what’s more it was a highly pleasing winning one as he took Newbury’s listed Carnarvon Stakes a couple of weeks ago.
Corporal Maddox ran in the same race but threw in a stinker and was the first beaten, while on his first run of the season he couldn’t get the better of Society Rock at Ascot, the horse Angel’s Pursuit beat in a finish at Newbury.
We could see considerable improvement from Khattaab, while runaway Thirsk maiden winner Rainfall could turn out to be anything, but with trip and ground to suit it’s a win bet on Angel’s Pursuit for me.
Half an hour later the filles and mares take their turn in the EBF Joan Westbrook Pinnacle Stakes (3.00pm).
French import Becqu Adoree fascinates me on her first start for Luca Cumani, but she might appreciate some real cut in the ground and is passed over in favour of tough as nails Barshiba for David Elsworth and Hayley Turner.
A course and distance winner of last year’s Lancashire Oaks this filly is a class act, as displayed when she saw off Duncan in game fashion in a small field at Ascot three weeks ago.
Things will be easier back against her own sex, and although Les Fazzani will have her fans she found one too good at Chester in the shape of Debussy in the Huxley Stakes, and that could prove to be the case once again with Barshiba fancied to do the business.
In the maiden at 4.10pm there looks to be a winner waiting to happen in the shape of the Queen’s Royal Applause colt Royal Exchange.
Of the three of these who’ve had a run he’s the only one to have made the frame, going down by a whisker when chinned by Klammer in the dying strides at Newbury in April.
Klammer gave that form a healthy boost when going in again at Newmarket in May, and Royal Exchange really ought to gain compensation here.
Saturday’s best bets at Haydock Park:
2.30 – J.W. Lees Sandy Lane Stakes – 1 Angel’s Pursuit (win) @ 5/1 with Paddy Power
3.00 – EBF Joan Westbrook Pinnacle Stakes – 1 Barshiba (win) @ 10/3 with Stan James
4.10 – EBF R Draper Ltd Maiden Stakes – 6 Royal Exchange (win)Posted 8 years, 1 month ago