St Georges Day kicked off the new flat season in the North West at Haydock with a marathon eight race card, a couple of informative maidens and six tricky handicaps lay in store for punters on what began as a warm afternoon and although the sun opened the day it got a bit cooler with cloud towards the end but thankfully for all the heavens stayed shut and had the day off
1.40 ApolloBet Home Of Cashback Offers Maiden Stakes,Class 5,1m4f,3yo+
A nice looking middle distance maiden with some fair progressive types and a couple of nice looking debutants it.
The first three were covered by a length as Gunnery under Jamie Spencer just got the better of Superyacht by a neck with The Queen’s filly Daphne rallying on into third.
It was a solid run race,Superyacht tried to wind the gallop up with 3f to go but was being driven with two to go,Gunnery got past in the last furlong and had enough in hand,he holds a Dante entry but the Lingfield trial may suit him better,Superyacht looks to be a much better 3yo and can go on as will Oaks entry Daphne who ran on well and looks more a staying type.
2.10 ApolloBet Daily Racing Refunds Handicap,Class 2,7f,4yo+ (0-105)
A top quality race over this intermediate trip and a much better race from Predominace who flopped in last months Lincoln consolation race, he looked to appreciate the drop back to 7f and despite having the plum inside draw he had to be rousted early from the gate and got stuck in a wall of horses just over 1f out but Pat Cosgrave didn’t panic and he found daylight and ran on well to get the better of Withernsea by a length with Gregorian Bay behind
Predominace has plenty of improvement still in him,he could go for the Victoria Cup at Ascot in two weeks or maybe even a crack at the Spring Trophy here on the same day,the runner up is also better over 7f and the same targets may apply too,Lord Of The Land back in fifth also ran a good race over a shorter trip but will hit top form back over further.
2.45 Breeders Backing Racing EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes,Class 5,1m,3yo+
A bit of gloss was taken off this with the taking out of Colonial Classic but we might have seen a useful filly with the William Haggas trained Fadillah who cost 1.2m euros and paid a small amount back here on her debut as she put in a workmanlike performance to get the better of Malhama by 0.75 lengths with Golden Glimmer in third spot.
The front two were clearly the best here,Fadillah holds an Oaks entry and judged off this run she will get further and could pop up to York for Musidora but she should get some black type somewhere, Malhama making her second start has clearly learnt a lot off her Lingfield debut in February.
3.20 ApolloBet Bet Through Your Mobile Handicap,Class 2,1m,4yo+ (0-105)
This was a top notch handicap and half a length covered the first three home here which reversed a bit of the Lincoln form.
One for the fans of The Apprentice here as You’re Fired ridden ironically by an apprentice in Jordan Vaughan (5) got the edge in a thrilling finish from Erik The Red and last years winner Wilde Inspiration.
Despite being third last of the sixteen runners turning for home,Vaughan didn’t panic and weaved his way through sticking to the inside rail and mugging the placed horses bang on the line,this is his second win off 102 so may find it harder but he gives his all, Erik The Red looks to have picked up where he left off last season and Wilde Inspiration was also unlucky in defeat.
3.55 ApolloBet Weekly Golf Refunds Handicap,Class 5,1m,3yo
Some nice improving sorts on display here and trainer Rod Millman got a nice winner here with Sir Roderic making it 2/2 as he followed up his recent Windosr win off 67 by going in here off 74.
Run at a decent pace Sir Roderic took over with 75 yards left and had to shake off the attentions of handicap debutant Shafafya and the running on Midnight Macchiato, he should get rated upto 80 or so after this but he is clearly on the upgrade, Shafafya was game in defeat and should win soon maybe in a fillies race.
4.30 ApolloBet Online Casino And Games Handicap (Div 1) Class 5,1m,4yo+
Two divisions of a typical Haydock Saturday handicap and it proved to be previous course form coming to the fore here as the 8yo Chosen Character regained the winning thread since 2014 and after tumbling down the weights from a last winning mark of 91 to 70, up in the vanguard he tracked leader Baltic Prince from the gate and took the lead with 3f left, in the last furlong he had to fight off Cornborough who made him work but Chosen Character found a bit more to hold on by a neck, Cymraeg Bounty and I’m Dapper Too dead heated for third.
The winner loves it here and will find himself in the usual mix of northern handicaps over a mile,an outside chance could be the Carlisle Bell in June
5.05 ApolloBet Online Casino And Games Handicap (Div 2) Class 5,1m,4yo+
Real head bobbing.stuff as three hit the line together with Farham just getting the nod from the judge under Sammy Jo Bell (3) as he finally lost his maiden tag on his ninth start,despite having traffic problems down the straight he bagged the rail and had to dig deep in the last furlong and just pipped Chepstow specialist Zaria by a short head with The Firm a nose back in third.
The drop back in trip seemed to suit Farham and an extra furlong would be better for him and now this 4yo has broken his duck it will be interesting to see where he goes, Zaria loves Chepstow and should be better on a straight course.
5.40 ApolloBet Bet On Lotteries Handicap,Class 4,1m2f,4yo+
Fifteen went to post in a wide open finale but it was all about one horse, Rock Song from John Mackie’s stable who hit the right note here under Joe Doyle (3) as he romped home following on from his recent win on the tapeta at Wolverhampton last weekend.
Approaching two furlongs out the field was spread across the course but Rock Song was travelling notably well than most of the others and opened a few lengths up to score by 2.25 lengths from favourite Higher Power who missed the break and had to come wide down the straight, Rock Somg is in good heart now so may be out soon before the handicapper fully has a say, Higher Power was only having his fourth start at the age of four but looks to have some nice ability in him.
Withhold,3yo Colt trained by Charlie Hills,ran a fair race in the 1m4f maiden,can learn from this
Angelic Guest,3yo Filly trained by Mick Channon,stayed on at the end in the 1m maiden,she can improve off this run
Mustaaqeem,4yo Gelding from Sir Michael Stoute,ran on towards the end in the fourth race and should be better when moved up to 1m2f
Next weekend it’s the Saturday evening meeting at Doncaster,till next time Goodbye