BILL ESDAILE PREVIEWS THE BEST OF THE WEEKEND’S RACING ACTION
YOU PROBABLY need a Masters in meteorology to know what the ground is going to be like at Haydock Park tomorrow. But, if like me, your name isn’t Michael Fish, it is probably safe to assume that it’s going to be fairly testing.
The course has come in for criticism of its going descriptions over the years. By all accounts it’s currently good-to-soft, despite receiving 40mm of rain since Sunday. My guess is that with more rain on the way it will ride soft tomorrow.
That is backed up by Eddie Lynam not declaring his stable star Sole Power for the highlight, the Temple Stakes (3.45pm), a race he won in 2011.
Sole Power’s absence makes it a particularly open-looking renewal and I’m not particularly keen on anything at the head of the market.
Goldream and Pretend both want quicker ground, G Force has a Group One penalty to carry, and Danzeno is making his seasonal reappearance.
Of the shorter-priced runners, I respect last year’s winner Hot Streak the most as he loves a soft surface and may just be a little stronger now that he’s four. However, 6/1 isn’t big enough to tempt me.
I’m going to go with a couple of outsiders who I think have decent chances of making the frame. JACK DEXTER seems like he’s been around forever, but he’s only a six-year-old.
It’s obviously a worry that he hasn’t won a race since 2013, but he’s run plenty of fine races in defeat. And he finished with a real rattle at York last time.
He’s worth a few quid each-way at 16/1. Conditions will be perfect and, even though he’s better suited to six furlongs, a fast run five will be fine.
The other one to back is Irish raider GREAT MINDS. He has won his last two and is a progressive sprinter. The key to him is soft ground and he can also outrun his 16/1 odds.
Richard Fahey won the Silver Bowl (2.35pm) with this year’s Betway Lincoln winner Gabrial back in 2012 and my eye is drawn to his BILLY SLATER at the bottom of the weights.
The son of Pastoral Pursuits is still a maiden, but he almost landed a handicap at Chester a couple of weeks ago over 7 ½ furlongs. This step up to a mile will suit perfectly and he should have come on plenty for that run.
Soft ground holds no fears and he looks a decent each-way bet at around 10/1 with Betway.
Over at Goodwood, I fancy Ed Dunlop’s OASIS FANTASY to prevail in the 1m6f handicap (4.05pm). He won at this track last June and this is the first time he’s running over this trip. On breeding it should be right up his street.
BILLY SLATER e/w 2.35pm Haydock (tomorrow)
JACK DEXTER e/w 3.45pm Haydock (tomorrow)
GREAT MINDS e/w 3.45pm Haydock (tomorrow)
OASIS FANTASY e/w 4.05pm Goodwood (tomorrow)