One week ago racing had the Oaks and a week later Luca Cumani began the charge on the two Northern versions of the Epsom classic this summer when God Given put up a mighty battle hardened display to land the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes giving Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani his second Pinnacle winner since 2004.
In what looked a fair but not high quality renewal the 4yo filly who landed a Group 3 over 12f in Deauville last year showed plenty of guts after her seasonal reappearance at Ascot last month to take this race fending off the attentions of runner up Crimson Rosette in the last furlong, she is reportedly coming back in July for the Lancashire Oaks over the same course and distance and off this run she will be in the shake up and should God Given oblige then a pop over the border to the Yorkshire Oaks will have to come under serious consideration too one would expect.
With Enable being out of action for the summer it does leave the middle distance races for the fillies and mares wide open and God Given might be the saviour for this division of the sport.
Haydock’s other feature Group 3 was the 7f John O’Gaunt Stakes that provided a real grandstand finish with three in line at the end with last weekends Derby winning jockey and trainer duo of William Buick and Charlie Appleby landing the spoils as D’bai showed the benefit of a return back up in trip to 7f as he just landed the race by a head from Larchmont Lad and Tabarrak.
D’bai has been a fairly busy horse this year, winning over 7f at Meydaan in January then being a gallant runner up to top sprinter The Tin Man at Windsor a few weeks ago D’bai showed that he’s a real 7f specialist, with no Group One races over this trip then he would have to stick to Group Two with targets being the Lennox,Hungerford,Park and Challenge Stakes respectively, D’bai may himself on his travels no doubt to either France or America, he does having a couple of wins over a mile too so Godolphin may think about moving him back up in trip too.
The evergreen popular speedster Muthmir duly gave his fans compensation as he picked up the Listed Achilles Stakes by a head from Alpha Delphini just two weeks after a poor showing in the Temple Stake back here over course and distance, the crowd really appreciated seeing him bounce back to winning ways and the William Haggas trained 8yo now looks set to avoid Royal Ascot and possibly find himself going across the channel to France for races as he still shows that he retains all his ability but probably not at the biggest level of all.
Mark Johnston had the first winner of the day with Sea Youmzain in a bizarre race in which the well fancied Podemos went off like a scolded cat down the back straight but was soon collared with three furlongs left resulting in a second win on the bounce for Sea Youmzain who showed lots of heart as she landed the spoils, following up from her recent handicap debut win at Nottingham she looks a little ahead of the handicapper here off 79 but for the moment it is a case of striking while the iron is hot.
Warm weather and the forecast rain failed to materialise at a sunny Haydock Park then and produced some thrilling finishes in what was a fairly low key Saturday as is expected in that gap between the Derby and Royal Ascot.
Racing wise the next meeting planned will be Lancashire Oaks Day back here followed by a couple of days in Yorkshire at Pontefract and Ripon a few weeks later.
Till next time,Goodbye.