The big race at Haydock Park may well be the Group 1 Sprint Cup, but from a punting point of view I shall be getting out my hard-earned readies for the Group Three Superior Mile Stakes at 14.25.
This extended mile event sees likely favourite Sharja Bridge return to a soft surface for the first time in five outings after being outclassed on his last two starts in Group One company. However, this demotion in grade is fully reflected in the odds on offer and the better each-way play, as long as all eight declared runners stand their ground, has to be GREAT SCOT @ 7/1.
A course and distance winner as a juvenile on a testing surface, an opening second on his three-year-old debut in the Greenham Stakes earned the bay a place in the 2,000 Guineas, in which he was a far from disgraced coming home ninth of 19, some seven lengths off Magna Grecia.
A third in the German 2,000 Guineas was followed by a non-staying effort in the Hampton Court Stakes. Richard Kingscote reluctantly rode him from the front in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury last time out where he simply did too much out in front.
If his partner can get him to settle in behind at the Merseyside track, I fancy that returned to his favoured underfoot conditions that the son of Requinto will prove too strong for the market leader and confirmed soft ground performer Here Comes When.
Last season Enable famously landed the September Stakesat Kempton when she made Crystal Ocean look pretty pedestrian, but there will be nothing of her class in this year’s field at Kempton Park for the opener at 2.05.
Best Solution will start favourite for this year’s renewal, but he hasn’t visited a racetrack for some 305 days so the obvious way to play this Group Three event is with an each-way investment and the one that fits the bill for me has to be Melbourne Cup third PRINCE OF ARRAN @ 16/1.
The six-year-old needed his run in the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood and then ran a cracking race when eighth in a vintage renewal of the Ebor Handicap last month.
A course and distance winner in his formative days at the Sunbury-on-Thames track, I fancy that Stevie Donohoe will have his mate at the sharp end throughout and that the pair will go for the jugular from some way out and merits each-way support at a double-digit price.
Not surprisingly, seven of the 11 entries in the London Mile Handicap Final at 15.15 are course and distance winners, but it’s one of the other three that I shall be supporting to land this big pot, namely ARIGATO @12/1.
His qualifying run came when fourth of 14 behind Kings Highway back in June when he kept on really nicely inside the final quarter mile. The fact of the matter is that they simply didn’t go quick enough for this son of Poet’s Voice, but with plenty of pace up front here I suspect he could well produce a career best effort, which he will undoubtedly need to land this big pot.
*Prices correct at publication