IT’S very much the calm before the storm this weekend with the Investec Derby Festival only seven days away. However, Haydock hosts a decent card tomorrow and let’s hope we can follow up after last week’s headline tip Sole Power (12/1) won the Temple Stakes well.
Roger Varian has made an excellent start to his training career since taking over from Michael Jarvis. He has already registered big race wins with Eton Forever and Pekan Star and I expect him to be in the winner’s enclosure again tomorrow with FERDOOS in the 3.05pm. She won her first two career starts easily last season before going down by a nose to tomorrow’s rival Polly’s Mark at Ascot in September. She has the potential to be a top class four-year-old and clearly goes well fresh.
The Group 3 Timeform Jury Stakes (3.35pm) is surely at the mercy of REGAL PARADE, especially if the rain comes. He’s a genuine Group 1 performer and ran really well against Delegator at York last time. He doesn’t have to concede any weight to his rivals and the only worry would be quick ground. The main danger appears to be Godolphin’s Shakespearean who has won first time up for the last two seasons, while High Standing shouldn’t be discounted in first-time blinkers.
John Gosden continues in flying form and his ZUIDER ZEE can land the opener at Haydock (2.05pm). He will have come on for his decent seasonal reappearance at Ascot and has always looked as though he’d relish the step up to two miles.
Stable jockey William Buick is riding at Newmarket tomorrow and you can be pretty sure that’s because of BUTHELEZI. I was a big fan of Gosden’s inmate last season and he was hugely impressive over course and distance last time. He should see off this lot.