The ground was described as good – good to firm in places – at Haydock at noon on Sunday ahead of today’s nine race card.
In the 7f Novice event Andrew Balding’s Rival has the best form on offer having finished runner up over today’s C&D on debut on soft ground last month. The winner – William Bligh – was well backed but only finished third in a Goodwood handicap last week and the third and fourth horses have hardly franked the form.
I think this can go to one of the newcomers and, despite a poor draw in stall nine, I am interested to see what the market says about the prospects of Broomy Law (2.45) who cost connections 200,000 gns as a yearling and is out of a Lowther winner. Kevin Ryan has had 10 juvenile winners this term and the ground should be perfect for this son of Gleneagles. The each way selection is 11/2 with William Hill.
The form of Bolly Bullet’s (4.15) second at Yarmouth on his British debut behind Alibaba – who runs at Windsor this evening – was given a boost when the winner followed up at Windsor from a 5lbs higher mark. George Scott’s three-year-old has been raised a couple of pounds for that effort but he is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time this afternoon and Ben Curtis is a positive jockey booking. The selection is 11/2 with Boylesports.
The filly Queen’s Course has her first start for David O’Meara having left the stable of William Haggas since her last start on handicap debut. A market move would be worth noting.
The first four in the betting in the mile-and-a-half handicap all won last time out including Ed Walker’s Dreamweaver (5.15) who is a best priced 2/1 with bet365. The 4-y-old is 6lbs higher than when scoring over today’s C&D on similar ground to today’s back in June and is taken to maintain his climb up the handicap.
William Haggas has a couple of good opportunities at Yarmouth including Pretty Pickle (5.00) who has been a beaten favourite on both her career starts, but shaped with considerable promise when runner up on her seasonal reappearance back in June. Note that was at a time when the Haggas’ string were improving for the run, and I believe she can make it third time lucky in the mile maiden. The selection – Evens with Unibet – was fitted with a hood here last time, but the headgear is dispensed with this afternoon which suggests she has been more amenable to restraint at home of late.
In the finale at Windsor I though Flashing Approach (8.15) looked to be crying out for a step up in trip when staying on into fourth on his handicap debut over 10f at Chepstow last time. Silvestre De Sousa takes over on Mark Johnston’s 3-year-old – 7/4 from 9/4 with bet365 on Sunday – whose breeding does not scream out that he needs a step up in trip even though he is by a Derby winner in New Approach. His run in south Wales last time suggested otherwise.