Betfred proudly sponsors all seven races at Haydock on Saturday 12 August – including the G3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at 3.00.
My two selections for the occasion represent the red-hot William Haggas/Jim Crowley/Shadwell Racing team, who could enjoy a fruitful afternoon on Merseyside.
2.25 – Kathab @ 6/1
The Betfred ‘Play Fred’s £5 Million’ Handicap – a 0-95 affair over 1m – that opens the card at Haydock on Saturday looks tricky.
Poet Master is dangerously hard to weigh up and I’m not usually keen on opposing an in-form type like Isle Of Jura, but I can’t get away from how well-handicapped William Haggas’ three-year-old Kathab could be.
The form of his debut second and subsequent third, both over a mile, is strong, and I wouldn’t read much into his effort over 1m2f or that in a trappy four-runner affair at Ripon most recently. He was 1/8 that day and I suspect the reason he’s been dropped from 87 to 85 as a result is because the expectation was for him to win significantly easier than he did, but it can be difficult to look impressive in such races.
Into handicap company for the first time, the son of Kingman ought to be dangerous off that mark. A stiff mile on good ground should suit also – and the form of his trainer, who’s operating at an impressive strike rate of 26%, only aids confidence.
3.00 – Al Aasy @ 15/8
Just over half-an-hour later, I’m hopeful Haggas and co. will be in the winners’ enclosure again courtesy of Al Aasy in the featured Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes – a Group 3 contest over 1m2½f
The six-year-old Sea The Stars is the standard setter in this field of seven and comes here off the back of a solid Listed success at Newbury in late July.
He beat Godolphin’s Highland Avenue by 5L that day, which in theory (if only it was this easy, huh?) gives him the beating of King Of Conquest – while his other five rivals have it all to do on ratings and form.
Track, trip and ground all suit, so I’m confident Al Aasy – who was a narrow second in the G1 Coronation Cup two years ago – can land another Group success.