Timeform: A Saturday Lucky 15 across Haydock, Ascot & Kempton

A Super Saturday of racing action and the form book pundits have a fab four to follow ...



The pick of Saturday’s action comes from Haydock, with the Sprint Cup (16:15) taking centre stage. Harry Angel, presumably not named after the ginger prince’s teenage years, hacked up in the race 12 months ago and his latest defeat at Ascot (his fifth there in total; unbeaten elsewhere) can be written off as he – not unlike Big John from Timeform’s IT team at the Christmas party – got upset in the stalls and bruised himself.

Connections report that Harry Angel has recovered well, and, having broken the track record here as a three-year-old, a return to Haydock should see him back in the winner’s enclosure. Brando might not be the Godfather of these top-level sprints, but he is a familiar face and a repeat of his second in the July Cup would see him go close, while The Tin Man showed plenty of heart when rallying for third in France last time.

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Earlier on the card, Beatboxer can extend his 100% record to three in the Ascendant Stakes at 15:00. He defied a penalty with ease at the track last time, looking ready for a higher grade, and he gets a chance to ‘drop da mic’ Channon-trained Certain Lad here. Acomb Stakes third Persian Moon looks the biggest rival, having shaped as if the longer trip would suit last time.

Timeform Towers is in Halifax, West Yorkshire, the town famed for its depressing TV programmes. The 18th century shipping magnate Samuel Cunard lived in the much nicer Canadian Halifax, and clearly fared well given he has a statue on the waterfront there. 

However, he’d have had to put a few sea miles in to get to Cape Byron on the East coast of Australia. The horse of the same name gets the nod in the Cunard Handicap at 14:45, though it looks a typically competitive Ascot contest. He has shaped well in several big handicaps this year, most recently when one and three quarter lengths second to Flaming Spear at Goodwood, making a big move into contention out wide two furlongs out.

Having had a treble on Laytown’s beach on Thursday, Raising Sand would be an apt winner for Jamie Osborne, while Gilgamesh needs a close eye keeping on him for a late-season flourish.

It’s hard to catch recent Ripon winner Dr Richard Kimble right, so preference in the Lavazza Handicap at 15:55 is for the beautifully-bred Midi.

Pedigrees don’t come much better than being by Frankel out of Midday and the Sir Michael Stoute inmate has really got his act together of late, following up his Windsor win with a cosy head victory at Newcastle last time.

As you’d expect, though, there are plenty of dangers, including Rustang, winner of three of his six starts this season, all on the all-weather. First Eleven and Ghostwatch look the best of the rest.

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