The likely favourite is Andrew Balding’s Here Comes When, who was an impressive winner at Chester last time. I was quite keen on his chances earlier in the week, but he has a tricky draw to overcome in stall 10 and he was raised 8lb for that win on the Roodee.
Baltic Knight beat Here Comes When at Newbury last month and is better off at the weights this time. However, he’s now rated 103 and it’s going to be tough to win such a competitive race off that mark.
The one to back is CODE OF HONOR for the in-form Henry Candy stable. Cathy Gannon’s mount was disappointing on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton, although he probably needed that, and will have come on for the run.
He has slipped into this race off a very attractive looking mark and is ideally housed in stall one.
As long as Gannon can get her charge out smartly he should be ideally positioned and he looks decent each-way value at 11/1 with Paddy Power.
The highlight on the card is the Temple Stakes at 3.50pm where Sole Power will aim to repeat his win in this race two years ago. He could easily have won it last year as well, going down by just a neck to Bated Breath.
Eddie Lynam’s six-year-old was impressive at Newmarket last time and it looks like he will get the quick ground that he desperately needs. However, he is yet to notch back-to-back wins and at 2/1, and with a new jockey on board, I’m prepared to leave him alone. If there is one horse in this line-up with the potential to be better than Sole Power, then it has to be RECKLESS ABANDON. Clive Cox’s unbeaten stable star had an outstanding juvenile season last year, landing two Group One prizes.
It’s always hard for the younger horses taking on their elders at this time of year, but Fleeting Spirit was three when she won this race in 2008 and Reckless Abandon could end up being quite special. Take the 3/1 with Coral.
I’m going to leave tomorrow’s Irish 2,000 Guineas alone and concentrate on the fillies’ version on Sunday instead (3.55pm) where I think JUST THE JUDGE can compensate connections after her luckless defeat in the English version.
She travelled like the best filly in the race that day and it was only a Richard Hughes masterclass that got her beat. Sunday’s race doesn’t look that great and she can take this before attempting to land the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.
Finally, I’m willing to oppose Camelot in Sunday’s Tattersalls Gold Cup (3.20pm) at the Curragh with the Roger Charlton-trained AL KAZEEM.
The five-year-old son of Dubawi won really well at Sandown last time and I’m not quite convinced Camelot is the superstar that many people thought he was.
CODE OF HONOR e/w 3.15pm Haydock
RECKLESS ABANDON 3.50pm Haydock
AL KAZEEM 3.20pm Curragh
JUST THE JUDGE 3.55pm Curragh