Should be a lively one at Haydock Park tonight (Saturday, July 22nd) – six races, 6.30 – 9pm, and though we’re slightly short on runners we’re blessed with open, competitive heats.
Some important trainers have entries, among them Andrew Balding, Roger Varian, David O’Meara, and William Haggas. We’ve got four handicaps, and two novice stakes’ races.
7.00 – All In The Hips each-way @ 9/2
David Evans’ 3-yr-old filly is vastly experienced and is in very good order at the moment. She arrived from Ireland to her current abode last November and has been busy on both the grass and the all-weather.
I don’t live too far from Haydock, and an anticipated forecast of ‘soft’ could be ambitious given the amount of rain expected to be falling in the area. Experience and toughness then are commodities I very much want on my side.
She’s won on testing ground too, and gets further than this minimum 5f trip. We can hope that she’ll be toughing it out better than most at the business end. Drawn nine, it will be easier also to make for the stands’ rail as it’s often the place to be when the ground is deep. We’ll leave that to the equally vastly experienced Neil Callan on top to sort out!
Presently trading at around 5/1 invites each-way thoughts, and that’s how I’m going to play this one.
8.00 – Snuggle @ 2/1
7f is the trip, and this one ran really well at Newbury last time after a little break. He’s a winner on soft ground too, so hopefully won’t be as inconvenienced as some, when the rain seeps in.
Ran well at 2 here for Hollie Doyle no less over the minimum, and being by 6f specialist Showcasing there is I guess a slight question mark over a testing 7f. Hopefully jockey George Downing can husband the stamina resources to good effect.
He has a fairly prominent run style and I wonder if George could tuck him away a little and pounce a tad later perhaps? I’m sure connections will have a cunning plan up their sleeves ..
Nice race – and he has a likely rival for favouritism in a Hannon conveyance that’s also used to cut in the ground (Royal Dress). Looking forward to this – should be a cracker.
9.00 – Reidh @ 11/4
A good old-fashioned class dropper. Arrives for this Class 5 handicap fresh from a level 2 contest over half a furlong shorter at Chester last time, running respectably after an interrupted passage.
I must confess that while I have high hopes my other selections will cope with the testing ground it’s hard to be sure one way or the the other about Reidh. He’s yet to experience these conditions and his sire Kodiac was a decent-ground performer.
I’m hoping however that he’ll appreciate this drop in grade and put in a competitive showing for us. It’s a tricky old lucky last in what I hope will have been an enjoyable and entertaining evening’s racing.