Haydock betting preview
12.45 – Class 5 Handicap – 2m
We start today’s Haydock betting preview with a tricky-looking staying event, and it is easy to make a case for plenty here, hence why I have picked out four selections for the first leg.
It would take a leap of faith to be confident about FLEETING VISIT’s chance here who hasn’t won on the flat for a long time. However, he’s been keeping much stronger company on the flat previously off much higher marks in warmer contests, and his latest race when finishing fifth in a class 4 event off a mark 74 was decent. He’s 2lb lower here dropping down in class, and with confirmed stamina being one of his assets, he should go well.
The mare METHAG has plenty of stamina in her locker and was in good form towards the end of last year, winning two of her final three starts over hurdles. She returns to the flat off a mark 67 which is quite lenient based on the fact her last run on the flat saw her finish second off a mark of 65 in class 3 company. So with this race being much easier, she makes plenty of appeal.
TONTO’S SPIRIT will thrive under these conditions. He’s a useful hurdler who hardly runs a bad race, and remains on a mark he’s more than capable of exploiting. Meanwhile, SNOOKERED is certainly the best of these over hurdles being rated 140+. He’s very well treated in this sphere off his current mark, and will relish the frantic pace along with having pretensions to improve further.
Selections: FLEETING VISIT, METHAG, TONTO’S SPIRIT, SNOOKERED
13.15 – Novice Stakes – 6f
There are some nicely bred types in here and it would come as no surprise to see this race work out nicely further down the line.
I think the best form so far has definitely came from VEDUTE who ran above expectations when finishing fourth of ten runners at Newmarket on debut. He was beaten under two lengths that day, and that form is quite classy because the second and third (Get it and Tactical) have since finished first and fourth in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, and the winner Eye Of Heaven was strongly fancied for a Group two race at the same meeting last week. Any sign of improvement will make the Michael Bell trained runner hard to beat.
I find it interesting that Andrea Atzeni is here to ride DARVEL. He’s a beautifully bred colt, and is sure to know his job on debut here representing Kevin Ryan whose team are in fine form since racing resumed. Grey Sparkle could go well having made an eye-catching debut when running better than the finishing result suggested on debut. She’s a well-bred filly who should improve with racing for Charlie Hills this season. But, we will stick with the two tips here.
Selections: VEDUTE, DARVEL
13.45 – Class 2 Handicap – 6f
I suspect this race is the most competitive contest on today’s Haydock betting preview with quite a few looking progressive, but I’m hopeful we have the race covered. Those who tend to do well at Haydock previously, normally perform to that standard again returning to the track and ALJADY ticks plenty of boxes. He’s a lightly-raced five-year-old, and won really well on stable debut for this yard last time out over C&D.
Although he’s up 5lb for that dominant success, you would like to think he still has room for further improvement, having placed twice last year in class 2 company off marks 93 and 95 against fair opponents. While his form figures over 6f is impressive yielding 1, 2, 3, 1 overall.
Tom Clover boasts a fine strike-rate with his runners at the track and CELSIUS has a good chance of making 4-4 here. Although his three previous victories were over 5f and all of his wins have come over that trip, he’s clearly a more matured and balanced horse as he attempts 6f again. He has the potential to go beyond a mark of 100 in my opinion.
STAXTON is a great servant for connections, and has done all of his winning and good runs in defeat off much higher marks in the past which have come in better company. He’s a dual course and distance winner along with the fact he’s slipped to a mark that is now 5lb below his last success. The ground, course and distance will be to his liking, and I’m quietly confident he will run a blinder in today’s race.
Selections: ALJADY, CELSIUS, STAXTON
14.15 – Class 4 Handicap – 1m
This is a wide-open handicap with plenty who make appeal. That being said, I’m eager to take a chance on TWO BLONDES. It’s been a long time since Graham Lee rode for the McCain team and the top-weight has a decent each-way chance. He ran well to finish third on his return to action off this mark last time out and a repeat performance should see him thereabouts.
MOXY MARES has yet to finish out of the frame in three races at this track and is a former C&D winner off a 2lb higher mark. He’s a quirky individual, so it makes sense to see the headgear return which might bring about a bit of extra focus as well.
Finally, ALGAFFAAL represents the Brian Ellison team who do extremely well at this venue. The five-year-old makes his seasonal debut meaning he’s entitled to need this run but he’s a consistent horse on the whole, and there is no doubt he has the ability to play a leading role if ready to roll this afternoon.
Selections: TWO BLONDES, MOXY MARES, ALGAFFAAL
14.45 – Class 5 Handicap – 1m
Quite a few of these are expected to improve, including RETURNOFTHEMAC who is sure to be involved despite carrying a lofty weight which of course won’t be easier. Even so, I liked how he made all the running and powered away from his rivals last time out, and he could easily take another step forward now going handicapping.
If you’re an each-way punter and want something at a bigger price, RECLAIM VICTORY could represent some value. On her sole start at this course, she was an impressive winner and even though she was disappointing last time out, she can be forgiven for that run. Before that run she looked a progressive sort and therefore she could outrun her insulting odds here.
Simon Crisford has just the one runner on today’s card and KEY LOOK could go well with James Doyle in the saddle. Despite looking inexperienced last time out, he did show some ability and with this race lacking strength in-depth, he must come under some sort of consideration.
Selections: RETURNOFTHEMAC, RECLAIM VICTORY, KEY LOOK
15.15 – Listed Fillies’ Stakes – 7f
With plenty of promising fillies on display in the feature race of the day and the final leg of our Haydock betting preview, I have picked three horses for the final leg of my preview that have strong credentials of going well from a form perspective.
UNDER THE STARS was a group three winner at two, and her form has continued to be strong, including when going well in Group 1 and Group 2 company afterwards. She ran a brilliant race to finish sixth last time out in the 1,000 Guineas on her first try over 1m. A drop in drop here will be no object, and the fact that she has a run under her belt at the highest level this season among taking into consideration she drops down three grades for today’s assignment, I think she is dangerous to ignore, especially knowing her form is probably the best out of the entire field.
Charlie Appleby runs a couple, but the presence of William Buick riding ATHIQA looks significant. She’s bred to be very smart and duly obliged when making a winning start to her career before returning from a 13 month absence to comfortably win by seven lengths at Newmarket. She has looked completely solid in both her wins to date, so she is more than worthy of a try at this level.
On the other hand, William Buick could easily have made the wrong decision because SPRING OF LOVE could potentially be an above-average filly as well judged on her debut success when slaughtering a pretty useful field. One of her opponents that day was Waliyak back in second and that filly gave the form a huge boost when filling the same position in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot recently. Spring Of Love is open to further progress and by no means is she out of this with James Doyle taking the reins.
Selections: UNDER THE STARS, ALTHIQA, SPRING OF LOVE
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