BILL ESDAILE PREVIEWS THE BEST OF THE WEEKEND’S RACING ACTION
MY WEATHER forecasting days are numbered; my dreams of becoming the next John Kettley shattered.
A week ago I guessed at what the ground was going to be like at Haydock two days later and my assumption that it would be soft proved to be well wide of the mark.
At least I get a second bite of the cherry because there is a definite sense of déjà vu seven days on.
The ground was declared good at Haydock ahead of its three-day meeting yesterday, but once again there is plenty of rain forecast and no-one really knows how it will ride tomorrow.
The biggest race of the day is the Group Two Sandy Lane Stakes (3.45pm). This looks like a top class renewal, with the unbeaten Limato taking on Mattmu and Adaay. However, Limato won’t run if the forecast rain arrives so I’m willing to sit it out.
Charlie Hills suffered a miserable few weeks when his yard was struggling for form earlier this month. His horses have definitely turned the corner now, though, and he has a couple of live chances this weekend, none more so than CABLE BAY in the Timeform Jury Stakes (2.35pm).
This son of Invincible Spirit has always been well-regarded by his handler and he ran an excellent race to be fifth in the Group One Lockinge Stakes last time out.
That was undoubtedly a career best effort and, although he’s only won one of his 13 starts, he’s been hugely consistent. The drop back to seven furlongs won’t be a problem and he handles cut in the ground. I think he will go close under Jamie Spencer.
It’s a competitive race and the biggest threat is probably last year’s runner-up Breton Rock. He was only just touched off by a short-head by Penitent 12 months ago. David Simcock’s runner is a real seven-furlong specialist and his chance will be greatly boosted if the heavens open.
In the following Achilles Stakes (3.10pm), Pretend will be well-fancied but he was pulled out of last week’s Temple Stakes when it looked like it was going to be soft and he is likely to be so again if the rain comes.
Music Master should come on for his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket and he is much respected, although I just prefer the claims of David O’Meara’s OUT DO, who is two from two this season.
This is a very uncomplicated sprinter who now deserves to be stepped up in class. His trainer didn’t expect him to win at Pontefract on his seasonal debut and the six-year-old then followed up in a competitive sprint at York’s Dante meeting.
If the two market leaders stand their ground, Out Do should be a fair each-way price.
CABLE BAY e/w 2.35pm Haydock (tomorrow)
OUT DO e/w 3.10pm Haydock (tomorrow)