Clive Cox and Adam Kirby both had an afternoon to remember at Haydock on Saturday although the won’t want to remember the awful weather that hit the course before racing as the combination collected the two big Group sprint races on a card full of quality.
First up Priceless struck Gold in the days feature race the Group 2 Temple Stakes over 5f as the 4yo filly learnt from her previous run in the Palace House to rout a top quality field of speedsters as she edged out veteran Goldream and Alpha Delphini in a real dash for the cash, All being well connections will head down the Kings Stand,Nunthorpe and Abbaye road from here as 5f is clearly her best.
Many eyes were on Quiet Reflection too but while last seasons Haydock Sprint Cup winner didn’t show much she will clearly benefit from the race and a step back up to 6f at Royal Ascot will be far more beneficial.
The second of the Cox winners was the visually impressive Harry Angel in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes over 6f as he strode clear from All Weather Champion Second Thought who acquitted himself very well on his first run on the green stuff since his Salisbury debut last season,expect both to line up in the Commonwealth Cup next month. Harry Angel was landed his second win in pattern company having won last years Mill Reef at Newbury, clearly a very progressive sprinter it would be no shock should he turn up back here in September.
Mark Johnston also had an afternoon of winners galore at Haydock as he picked up three on the day all in the handicaps which as usual for a Haydock Saturday were very competitive.
To begin with Yorkidding picked up her first win over a staying trip when just getting the verdict in the opening 2m Handicap in which six were all in line with a furlong to go but Yorkidding edged out Suegioo under Richard Kingscote and the result got confirmed after a quick chic of the photo from the judge, the winner is as game as they come and this 5yo mare will no doubt head up to Newcastle for the Northumberland Plate.
The same trainer and jockey teamed up half an hour later when Rusumaat appreciated the step back up to a mile when landing a very competitive renewal of the Silver Bowl for 3yo as he bounced out from stall five to bag the inside position and ran the field into submission many of who couldn’t land a blow as Rusumaat simply grinded out the result in typical Mark Johnston fashion, He looks likely to head for the Brittania and he looks like he will also stay further in time
Finally the hat trick came up in the 1m4f Handicap and with a week to go until the Derby, the Lingfield trial two weeks ago received a nice form boost as Sofia’s Rock under last seasons champion flat jockey Jim Crowley put in another bold front running display to thrash a quality looking field, Down the field in 7th at Lingfield the winner did score previously at Leicester over this trip so the return to handicaps did suit and he can continue to improve.
David Evans got something of a welcome victory with Buying Trouble who rewarded her owners and trainers loyalty many times over as she collected the Cecil Frail Stakes over 6f and picked up some very useful black type for connections, The field were spread right across the track here and this filly had to be at her best this afternoon.
In the nightcap which was a tough 7f Handicap for 3yo, Roger Charlton got the better over John Gosden here as Silent Echo followed up his maiden win at Lingfield on the sandy stuff to get the judges’ verdict over Chessman who got stuck behind horses and had to come wide and around the field but ultimately was checkmated on the line, Both are quality 3yo in the making and can find more in the summer.
Aside from the weather we had an enjoyable afternoon on the flat here at Haydock, we shall be back in two weeks time for the Pinnacle and John O’Gaunt Stakes which are always top quality races to watch and note down.
Till then goodbye.
Stone The Crows,3yo gelding trained by Roger Charlton is a very leggy sort and if he gets sent to the sales then plenty of jump trainers will be fighting over him, runner up in the 1m4f Handicap.