A very interesting clash between two colts who could develop into Group-race performers in the coming months. Waldkonig has the better form as things stand and retains major potential but HIGHEST GROUND looks open to any amount of progress and is taken to follow up his 2yo win.
Preference is for Eric Alston’s front-runner ACCLAIM THE NATION, who went down fighting when a close second behind a well-backed improver over C&D on his seasonal return. Second choice is Orvar, who drops back in grade after his eyecatching third from off the pace at Doncaster ten days ago. Benny And The Jets raised his form to a new level at Kempton and he’s respected after that dominant display, while Mountain Peak has each-way claims and another to keep an eye on is the returning Music Society.
Devious Company sets a good standard under a penalty for his debut win at this track and he’s strongly respected but there plenty of striking newcomers in opposition. Jadoomi, Legion Of Honour and Youth Spirit all look the part on paper, while another well-bred type Bagara catches the eye with Ryan Moore booked. However, it might be worth siding with Kevin Ryan’s CAIRN ISLAND, who cost 525,000gns and is a half-brother to several very useful winners.
A tricky race in which it might be worth siding with multiple 6f/7f winner CASTLEREA TESS, who won with something in hand at Chepstow on her seasonal reappearance last year and is a big player if she can return with a bang again after another absence. The main danger could be Abie’s Hollow, who didn’t live up to market expectations on his recent stable debut but he has claims on several pieces of placed form last term and blinkers could give him a lift on this drop back up in trip.
Top of the list is the resurgent LACAN, who looks well treated off only 4lb higher than for his easy win at Kempton on Saturday and should be able to strike again back on turf to make it 3-4 for Mick Appleby. Sharrabang ended his winter campaign with a brave front-running win at Newcastle and he’s feared most, though another to keep an eye on is Kodimoor, who had a golden spell at around this trip last summer and is well handicapped if he can revive back from a break.
A competitive affair which includes several progressive types and some horses with useful form. ANGEL POWER looks the sort to do well in handicaps and she gets the vote over Hexagon, who still appears well treated on his early 2yo form against smart rivals. Brunch and Canagat are similar types who enter the reckoning, while Lucander has possibilities if still effective over 1m (he may need further this year).
The Met and Sovereign Grant are lightly raced and unexposed types who look interesting but this may go to ULSHAW BRIDGE, who drops in class off a handy mark. Data Protection is also shortlisted.
Newbury runner-up CHORAL WORK is taken to go one better. Lingfield scorer Summer House is second choice, ahead of By My Side. Well-bred newcomer Be Easy looks a possible danger to them all and is worthy of respect, especially if the market speaks positively.
Preference is for MY GIRL MAGGIE (nap) who is surely well handicapped off the same mark as at Pontefract, where she pulled miles clear with a Prescott improver who has won again since. Sunday’s Redcar winner King’s Charisma is a likely player if this race doesn’t come too soon, while handicap debutantes Our Girl Sheila and Queen Of Camelot are others to note.
Most of the runners are still unexposed. First choice is the improving MIDNIGHTS LEGACY, who won here 17 days ago and should be well suited by this longer distance. Bucephalus and Pot Of Paint also have respectable last-time-out course form, while Heart Reef and Indigo Lake also enter calculations. Second choice is Bucephalus.
Haydock Park tipping summary:
1.10pm – Highest Ground
1.40pm – Acclaim The Nation
2.10pm – Cairn Island
2.40pm – Castlerea Tess
3.10pm – Lacan
3.40pm – Angel Power
4.10pm – Ulshaw Bridge
4.45pm – Choral Work
5.20pm – My Girl Maggie
5.50pm – Midnights Legacy
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