SNOOKERED has developed into something of a winning machine in the National Hunt sphere and, given that useful level of ability, his mark back on the Flat is an appealing one. Brian Ellison has been in decent form since racing resumed and Snookered can prove too strong for Solo Saxophone, who did it nicely at Thirsk last week and has to be feared under a penalty, with Roar another to consider.
Hopefully VEDUTE’s awkwardness on debut was just a matter of inexperience as he shaped well otherwise. That form has been franked, with the third Tactical winning at Royal Ascot, and stepped up in trip, he’s selected to improve and open his account under Cieren Fallon. The three newcomers, Darvel, Line of Departure and Kodiac Brown Bear, all have plenty to recommend them on pedigree.
MOTAGALLY ended last season firmly on the up and still looked well treated when splitting a more prominently ridden pair on a day when patient tactics were hard to overcome at Newmarket on return, so he gets the nod in a competitive sprint handicap. Recent course winners Aljady and Celsius strike as the chief dangers.
PACINO is down to a very appealing mark and looked back in form for much of his reappearance at Yarmouth this month, shaping much better than the distance beaten, so he makes plenty of appeal dropping into a weaker handicap than he’s used to. Mustaqbal fits a similar mould, so he warrants consideration, too, along with hat-trick seeker Fortune And Glory who arrives in terrific form.
NIGHT VOYAGER couldn’t get involved after a slow start at Lingfield recently, but left the impression he has returned in good form, and remains on a good mark on the pick of his maiden form. He’s worth another chance, but there are plenty of potential improvers in opposition, headed by Returnofthemac and Tough Character.
ALTHIQA looked potentially smart when beating her three rivals at Newmarket on her first run for over a year, and provided this doesn’t come too soon, she looks one to keep on the right side of as she goes up in class. Under The Stars and Boomer both raced too freely in the 1000 Guineas and should appreciate the drop in trip/grade.
An open handicap in which marginal preference is for SOOTABILITY, who went down only narrowly at Redcar last week, and gets to race from the same mark now. That was probably a career-best performance and she could have more to offer for a yard starting to hit form. Course and distance winner Garden Oasis looks a big danger after his encouraging recent return over a mile here, while Antico Lady rates a solid place prospect.
Fairly useful hurdler COMPETITION made an encouraging start for Mick Appleby at Wolverhampton, shaping as though he would come on for the run (he was relatively weak in the market too). The drop back to a mile and a quarter shouldn’t be a problem and could be the way to go with that run sure to have blown away the cobwebs. Oceanus, Dark Devil and Nine Elms complete the shortlist.
It may pay to side with MULTELLIE, who looked rusty on reappearance at Newcastle this month, leaving the impression she would come on for the run. She won two novice hurdles prior to that, and plenty from the Tim Easterby yard have upped their game on second start back. Tigerskin is an obvious threat turned out under a 5 lb penalty, with The Dancing Poet also of interest.
A case can be made for plenty but the most persuasive one is for DREAMWEAVER, who progressed well in 2019 and looks primed for a bold showing after resuming with an encouraging fifth at Kempton. He remains on a fair mark and was an impressive winner on his sole start at this track. Stonific is another course winner who commands plenty of respect, while Junderstand can also make his presence felt for the in-form Alan King yard.
Timeform’s tips for Haydock on Thursday
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