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2:20pm – Class 2 Handicap
This appears a deep race, with plenty of horses in with a chance of claiming the win. The current favourite, Tamilla for William Haggas, is by Nathaniel who has produced a number of useful stayers, and this 1m6f trip should suit. The three-year-old filly has good form as a juvenile behind Emily Upjohn and she has been performing well of late, recording back-to-back wins when last seen at Kempton.
Adjuvant and Inverness are both worthy of being towards the head of the market, whilst Zain Nights appears at a huge price and certainly has each-way claims. Thundering, for Kevin Ryan, finished a good second in a competitive handicap at York recently, and is only 2lbs higher this time out. He does carry top-weight in this contest, but should be considered as a horse capable of being victorious.
An interesting contender is Irish Lullaby, also by Nathaniel. Jessica Harrington’s filly is ground versatile, and should be able to handle conditions if the forecast rain does arrive. She has won on good ground as well as on a softer surface and when last seen at Galway she dealt with a 7lbs rise in the weights extremely well to record a second successive win. This time out she is 4lbs higher and has Frankie Dettori onboard.
2:20pm Haydock – Irish Lullaby 1pt E/W @ 9-1 (several firms, 4 places, or Sky Bet 8-1 with 5 places)
2:55pm – Class 2 Handicap
Another tough handicap on the card at 2:55pm and with the withdrawal of Soulcombe the race appears wide open. Evaluation has been coping well with the rise in weights recently and recorded four successive wins earlier this season. He now runs off a career-high mark of 93 but shouldn’t be discounted. The ever-consistent Rajinsky is another worthy of consideration as a horse who always gives his all and is capable of making the frame. Charging Thunder is another who makes the shortlist. He was disappointing at York but could bounce back off the same mark of 98, sporting cheekpieces.
However, the nod goes to Dark Jedi as he impressed in the paddock at York and went on to outrun his odds, as he often does, to finish a decent fourth, a length behind second-placed Thundering. Tim Easterby’s gelding is a likable type, and is currently the outsider of the field, making him an enticing each-way selection. His current mark of 98 may make it tough for him to gain the victory here, but he may represent some value in the field.
2:55pm Haydock – Dark Jedi 0.5pt E/W @ 28-1 (4 places)
3:30pm – Sprint Cup Stakes (Group 1)
The feature race of the day at Haydock comes in the 3:30pm Group One contest, the Sprint Cup Stakes over 6f. Minzaal is the current market leader, narrowly ahead of Naval Crown, with last year’s winner Emaraaty Ana best priced at 7/1. All three will hope to be competitive but there are plenty in the field capable of making an impression. There are horses available at big prices who could well outrun their odds, including Flaming Rib who may be one to consider.
David Evans’ Rohaan is back down in trip and is a versatile performer who will be able to cope with conditions if the ground is softer than expected. There is rain forecast but if the ground remains on the firmer side of good then Naval Crown will be tough to beat if at his best. With some give in the ground, however, Rohaan is a threat and, although he can be inconsistent, if he is on song, he’s more than capable of putting in a strong showing. This could be an opportunity for him to bounce back to form and claim his first Group One success.
3:30pm Haydock – Rohaan 1pt win @ 15/2 (bet365, William Hill, BetUK or 7-1 generally)
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