UNFORTUNATELY, if the weather forecast is to be believed, Haydock is set for another soaking and the ground will be soft for tomorrow’s Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (3.05pm).
That will be music to the ears of the connections of Addeybb who fluffed his lines a little when only runner-up in the York Stakes last time having been so impressive at Royal Ascot previously.
Soft ground is crucial for the son of Pivotal who bolted up in the Wolferton Stakes before being trapped in behind a wall of horses on that most recent start at York.
Conditions are likely to be spot on for him here once more and though it would be a major surprise if he wasn’t in the shake-up, I’m prepared to oppose him.
The major reason for doing so, apart from the fact that he is as short as 11/10 in places, is that he took an age to get going at York last time and was well and truly put in his place by Elarqam.
Admittedly, Richard Kingscote rides Haydock better than anyone so is likely to keep him out of trouble this time, but at such a skinny price I’m prepared to look elsewhere.
All week I’ve been keen to take him on with Andrew Balding’s Raise You who is another that won’t mind the rain.
Three-year-olds have won three of the last four renewals of this Group Three prize and he could easily take advantage with a handy 8lb weight concession.
He looked a really exciting prospect at both Newbury and Newmarket before finding Group One company too much in the French Derby at Chantilly last time.
The son of Lope De Vega was available at fancy prices earlier in the week, but they have long gone sadly.
He remains the most likely to trou ble Addeybb, but I’d be worried if the ground got really bad as that would test his stamina.
Instead, I am going to take a chance on another three-year-old in PONDUS who chased home Raise You’s stablemate Fox Chairman at Newbury last time.
That was a decent performance and followed a below par run at Royal Ascot where he failed to see out the 1m4f trip.
This extended 10 furlongs will play much more to his strengths and he has shown that the rain holds no fears.
I liked the way he stuck to the task all the way to the line at Newbury last time and reckon he can shake up the leading protagonists at 6/1.
The other race of note at Haydock tomorrow is the Listed Dick Hern Stakes (2.30pm) for fillies and mares.
Both MISS O CONNOR and Feliciana De Vega will appreciate the rain and they look the two to concentrate on here.
I was really taken with the former when she bolted up by 11 lengths on soft ground at Nottingham on her first start for William Haggas last week.
That was a performance of a filly who is at least up to this class and she can make race fitness tell at 9/4 with Coral.
Ralph Beckett’s Feliciana De Vega makes her first start of the season having been unbeaten as a juvenile.
Her form is definitely stronger, but she has been absent for some time and is opposable, although the market on the day will tell us whether she is likely to need the run.
Miss O Connor 2.30pm Haydock
Pondus 3.05pm Haydock