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Having fallen down the weights, the five-year-old looks on a really tempting mark and was more than a shade unlucky at Chester two outings back when beaten less than two lengths by Lincoln Park. Of course, in such a big field, he will be a hostage to fortune out the back early on. But, granted a run in the final quarter mile GLORY FIGHTER looks the each-way value against the likes of top weight Muscika and prolific Under Curfew.
Since landing his first Phoenix Stakes in 1998, Aidan O’Brien has won this Group One juvenile event no less than 16 times, but hasn’t tasted glory in it now since 2017. His best chance this time around could come in the form of the filly Prettiest, who was disappointing fourth in the Silver Flash Stakes. However, she was deemed to be in season that day and is worth considering here.
But, there are some smart colts on show here none more so than the Railway Stakes winner, Go Bears Go. He readily beat another of Sunday’s rivals Castle Star and there is no reason to expect a reverse in the placings here.
Of the bigger priced runners, the experienced Richmond Stakes fourth Ebro River is just preferred, but the nod goes to the unexposed DR ZEMPF (who was fourth in the Railway Stakes) after running free through the first half of the race. He is highly rated by trainer Ger Lyons and was hugely impressive on his career debut over this course and distance. If he manages to settle through the first half of the race here, then that this son of Dark Angel is the best bet of the day.
The aforementioned Lincoln Park bids for a hat-trick off an elevated mark of 90, but could just be in the pocket of the assessor and TRUE MASON looks weighted to have a big say in this with the ground coming in his favour.
It was only two years ago that he ran the classy Hello Youmzain to six lengths in the Sandy Lane Stakes here and a repeat of his staying on fourth to Punchbowl Flyer in May off this 2lbs lower mark could see his odds tumble. Despite going up 7lbs for his last two wins, East Street Revue remains well treated on his best form and won’t mind more rain – a remark that also applies to the veteran Flying Pursuit.
Plenty of unknowns and, of course, the betting will tell us plenty. Vintage Choice is beautifully bred, but this trip would be a mere starting point – it’s minimum for him – and I’m not sure William Haggas would want a searching deep ground test on his career debut.
So, the Mark Johnston charge RAINBOW COLOURS is a tentative pick. He is sure to be well schooled and his draw in stall seven will allow Ben Curtis to come from under what could be the favoured stand side.
This could turn into a real test at the trip for these young horses and at least LIAMARTY DREAMS looks a thorough stayer. This son of Oasis Dream was very impressive when pulling three-and-a-quarter lengths clear from his nine rivals at Newcastle last time out, and he has form on his three career starts to date on a soft surface. Of his 11 rivals, Sharp Riposte appeared ready for this trip when battling back last time out over 6 furlongs, and his mark of 79 looks fair.
This fillies’ handicap looks the most competitive race on the card, but I am quite sweet on the claims of the David Simcock runner DEEP SIGH after she handled the really deep ground at Doncaster. The daughter of Muhaarar really stuck her head out that day and is actually lower in the weights with Saffie Osborne taking over from Jamie Spencer in the saddle.
I expect another step forward from the Frankel filly Turandot, while Star Seeking could be miles better than her second in a novice at Nottingham last time out – where she raced with the choke out for a long way and made a big mid-race move, which she paid for deep inside the final furlong.
Rated as high as 98 not too long ago, Baltic Baron is a danger to all here off a rating of 82 – although, I am sure connections wouldn’t want too much rain. On good to soft ground the six-year-old would be a major player here. However, with the weather forecast looking bleak, the nod goes to Derek Shaw’s entrant CEDAR CAGE, a recent recruit from Sir Mark Prescott.
A strong stayer, the son of Golden Horn will have no problem with the ground and a repeat of his staying on effort here over a mile-and-three-quarters on soft ground last year would make our selection a solid each-way play at a price.
Ernesto will relish the underfoot conditions and has been given a real chance by the assessor here, so you can forgive his last run at York where the ground would have been way too fast for him.
The six-year-old gelding is a big danger to all if recapturing his best form, but a more reliable pick has to be EAGLE COURT. Twice a winner on soft ground, albeit over a mile-and-a quarter off marks of 82 and 85. Following a few below par display,s he is back down to 84. His keeping on fourth in that very same York race Ernesto ran in showed that his turn is around the corner.
I also have the highest regard for top weight Noonday Gun, who comes here in fabulous form having won at the Merseyside track over a mile-and-three-quarters. He should have no problem with the extra quarter of a mile or the more testing ground and is well worth a saver.
15:55 Haydock – Glory Fighter
16:10 Curragh – Dr Zempf
16:25 Haydock – True Mason
16:50 Haydock – Rainbow Colours
17:20 Haydock – Liamarty Dreams
17:45 Haydock – Deep Sigh
18:15 Haydock – Cedar Cage
18:40 Haydock – Eagle Court
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