WHEN the ground gets quick at Haydock it can get very quick and it will be a case of blink and you’ll miss it in tomorrow’s Group Three Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes (4.00pm).
This race has been won by some top class sprinters over the years and is the last main trial before next month’s King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Battaash just managed to land the prize 12 months ago, which was an excellent effort considering his Group One penalty meant he had to concede at least 5lbs to all of his rivals.
Although he is undoubtedly a brilliant sprinter on his day, his last two performances in the Prix de l’Abbaye and Nunthorpe have been disappointing and there are questions to answer tomorrow.
Charlie Hills reports he is in flying form following a wind operation and it must be said that if the Battaash of old is back he won’t be beaten.
However, given he’s 5/4, the percentage call has to be to take him on and I’m going to do that with KACHY.
Tom Dascombe’s six-year-old is practically unbeatable around a bend at places like Lingfield and Chester, but he was unlucky not to win this last year.
He has always been like lightning from the stalls and that was the case again, although he hung to his left and ended up being reeled in late on by Battaash and Washington DC.
He is a very quick horse and as long as Richard Kingscote can keep him straight, I think he’ll be able to hold on.
His form this season is better than ever with his rivals unable to lay a glove on him in three six furlong allweather contests.
The drop back to five furlongs isn’t a concern and this could finally be his day in the sun at Haydock. Back him at 4/1 with Ladbrokes.
It’s not just Battaash who is a threat, though, as Mabs Cross also has to be feared.
She won the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket a few weeks ago, no mean feat given she was burdened with a Group One penalty following her win in the Prix de l’Abbaye last October.
Michael Dods is dynamite with sprinters and this could be a big season for the daughter of Dutch Art.
The only problem I have is this is a better race than at Newmarket and she has to concede weight to some very fast sprinters.
Alpha Delphini won last year’s Nunthorpe Stakes but is making his seasonal reappearance, as is Caspian Prince, while Pocket Dynamo looks out of his depth.
It could be a good day for Kingscote as he is a very interesting booking on Alan King’s AWEEDRAM in the Amix Silver Bowl Handicap (2.50pm).
His boss Dascombe has two entries but he has been allowed to ride King’s gelding who is on a hat-trick after wins at Ascot and Newmarket this term.
He showed a good attitude in both of those victories and although he has been raised another 8lbs, he is clearly very progressive.
Kingscote has a brilliant record at Haydock, registering 101 winners at the north-west track in his career and showing a profit of an astonishing £103.80 to a £1 stake.
I am hoping Aweedram can land this before having a crack at next month’s Britannia Handicap and he looks a decent each-way bet around the 13/2 mark.
The card gets underway with the Amix Ready Mixed Concrete Handicap (2.15pm) where NAKEETA looks handicapped to win for the first time since the 2017 Ebor.
Ian Jardine’s eight-year-old ran a decent race at Newbury last summer on quick ground and ended up running a respectable 12th in the Melbourne Cup in November.
He was a little disappointing on his reappearance in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan last month, but I don’t think that warranted a 5lb drop in the ratings.
His new mark of 100 is attractive and he looks a good bet at 7/1 in a fairly weak race.
Nakeeta e/w 2.15pm Haydock
Aweedram e/w 2.50pm Haydock
Kachy 4.00pm Haydoc