IF THE weather forecasters are to be believed, the north west of England is going to have some pretty heavy showers over the next couple of days which could leave conditions at Haydock Park fairly testing.
Tomorrow sees the Scoop 6 pool move onto around £15m and it’s the track near St Helens which is likely to feature the core races.
The highlight is the Group Two Temple Stakes (2.40pm), the next leg of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and the rain is sure to have a big effect on the race.
If it is soft, Sole Power surely won’t run, while if the rain doesn’t come the chances of Pearl Secret and Jack Dexter will be jeopardised.
I’m hoping it doesn’t get too testing because I think the bet at this stage simply has to be KINGSGATE NATIVE each-way at 7/1 with Paddy Power.
Robert Cowell’s nine-year-old has run in this race three times, winning it twice, including last year, and finishing runner-up the other time. He clearly loves the track and while deep ground would be a disadvantage, he was at least third behind Maarek on soft at Newbury last season.
Hot Streak is a progressive sprinter, but he’s only a three-year-old and this might just be a bridge too far at this early stage of his career.
The Silver Bowl (3.45pm) could be the final leg of the Scoop 6 and, as ever, is a hugely competitive handicap. Some decent horses have won this over the years and Sagramor went on to take the Britannia at Royal Ascot after landing this prize in 2011.
There are plenty of unexposed types in the field, but the one I’m sweet on is William Haggas’ BILIMBI. The son of Duke Of Marmalade broke his maiden at Yarmouth on soft last October and then dotted up on his reappearance at Musselburgh when the ground was deemed to be too quick.
The going doesn’t seem to matter to him and Extra Noble, whom he beat comfortably last time, finished a promising third behind the exciting Cannock Chase at Newbury last weekend.
Ryan Moore is booked and stall one is a good draw on the mile track at Haydock as long as he can break quickly. Take the 5/1 with Paddy Power.
The opener at Haydock (1.35pm) can go to Tom Dascombe’s BROCKWELL. He has won on three of his five visits to this course, ran well in the Chester Cup last time and the drop back to two miles should suit. He ran some solid races in big handicaps last campaign.
PETHER’S MOON was a little unlucky not to beat Gatewood at Ascot last time but compensation awaits at Goodwood tomorrow (2.20pm). He’s another who would prefer a sounder surface, so if the rain relents take him to reverse the form with John Gosden’s runner.
Gosden will be at the Curragh in any case and he should be celebrating a first Irish 2000 Guineas winner with
KINGMAN (3.20pm). The ground looks to be coming right for the English Guineas runner-up and there doesn’t look to be anything particularly scary in the line-up.
It’s Breakfast with the Stars at Epsom next Thursday, the traditional preview to the Investec Derby Festival, and City A.M. will be reporting live from the track. Read all about the trainers’ plans in next Friday’s paper.
BROCKWELL e/w 1.35pm Haydock (tomorrow)
PETHER’S MOON 2.20pm Goodwood (tomorrow)
KINGSGATE NATIVE e/w 2.40pm Haydock (tomorrow)
KINGMAN 3.20pm Curragh (tomorrow)
BILIMBI 3.45pm Haydock (tomorrow)