RACING fans are spoilt at this time of year, with Epsom last weekend and Royal Ascot kicking off a week on Tuesday.
It is understandable that the weekend action sandwiched between those two huge meetings isn’t as high quality, but there is still plenty of competitive action tomorrow.
Haydock takes centre stage where the highlight is the Group Three Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes (4.00pm) over seven furlongs.
The ground looks set to be good-to-firm, which has to be a worry for Roger Varian’s Emmaus who is yet to run on anything quicker than good.
He is seriously progressive and looked good at Leicester last time, but this will also be his first foray into Group company.
Tabarrak won well over course and distance last month in a Listed event and he doesn’t have much to find with his rivals on ratings.
However, he’s another who is stepping up in class and with conditions set to ride quick, I prefer the chances of DUTCH CONNECTION.
Charlie Hills’ inmate ran a hugely eyecatching race when fourth in the Group One Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last month on his reappearance.
The mile trip stretches him slightly, so it was a top class effort to finish so close after being pulled up on his final start of 2017 in the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Newmarket in October.
The drop back to seven furlongs on quick ground is ideal for this son of Dutch Art, who is unbeaten in three career starts in Group Three company.
All five of his wins, including a Group Two victory, have come over this trip, and with Hills’ horses running well, he is a strong fancy to take this at 3/1.
D’Bai is rated just a pound lower than my selection and he put in a good performance to be a close second behind The Tin Man at Windsor a few weeks ago.
He should run well, but I’m not convinced he has as much class as Dutch Connection.
The other Group Three prize on the card is the Betway Pinnacle Stakes (2.50pm), a 1m4f contest for fillies and mares.
Luca Cumani’s God Given looks like going off favourite, which is understandable following an excellent campaign last year which produced three wins.
The worry for supporters of this daughter of Nathaniel is that her best form has come with plenty of cut in the ground.
Roger Charlton’s Cribbs Causeway ran well at York last time and should go well, but I’m interested in the German contender FOSUN at 12/1.
Bateel came over from France to plunder this prize 12 months ago and it could be Markus Klug celebrating tomorrow.
The key to her chance is that her best form in Germany has been when she has raced on a decent surface.
Connections are clearly coming here in search of better ground and they have gone to the trouble of booking champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa.
It is obviously difficult to weigh up the German form, but she won’t be coming here for a day out and looks the best each-way play.
The Listed Betway Achilles Stakes (3.25pm) will be fast and furious with a couple of these potentially lining up in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.
Muthmir will get his conditions, but he hasn’t shown much in his two starts this term and even though this is a drop in class, I’m happy to oppose him.
Alpha Delphini is a horse I like and he should go close having finished third in the Group Three Palace House Stakes at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting.
However, JUDICIAL, who finished half a length in front of him that day when making his seasonal debut, looks the better bet.
Julie Camacho’s horses are in good form and this speedy six-year-old is very good at this level, especially on fast ground.
It was an excellent performance in the Palace House where he was only headed in the dying strides and the 7/2 with Ladbrokes looks very fair.
Fosun e/w 2.50pm Haydock
Judicial 3.25pm Haydock
Dutch Connection 4.00pm Haydock