Battaash Cements Victory
Battaash joined Mind Games and Kingsgate Native in being dual winners of this famous sprint when he obliterated a small but select field of five furlong speedsters as he scorched his way up the Haydock turf to land Saturday’s feature race as he kicked off his 2019 season in style.
In a race which had winners of many of the big specialist races over the minimum trip Battaash travelled supremely well under Jim Crowley and when asked to pick up he readily came to the front from which point it was Game Over for the rest of his rivals, Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross both gave a gallant chase in behind but neither could live with the winner who was simply the best on the day.
The first three should all meet again next month in the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot and that should make for a race to savour.
Before that we had something of a turn up in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes over 6f as odds on favourite Calyx was comprehensively walloped by the Kevin Ryan trained Hello Youmzain who won with plenty of conviction under Kevin Stott to throw his hat in the ring for the Commonwealth Cup.
Calyx came into this off the back of an Ascot win where as Hello Youmzain was fourth in the Greenham at Newbury and was dropping back in trip, both travelled nicely into the race then when given the key to the door Calyx began to hang over to the far rail and was lucky to hang on for second spot where was Hello Youmzain ran on readily and looks set for a crack at Royal Ascot and stay sprinting this season with a return here in September all the more possible.
As for Calyx he now has to rebuild his reputation after a poor showing, he is clearly a far better horse than this but now the jury will be out after him should he do this again.
On a day when British horses were bagging big pots in Ireland the reverse was done here in the Cecil Frail as Forever In Dreams from Aidan Fogarty’s yard bagged an ultra competitive renewal at 16-1, formerly trained in France she was 7th in last years Queen Mary and ran well enough on debut for this stable at Cork just over two weeks ago, this will certainly enhance her paddock value and she is one to keep an eye on.
Haydock’s big handicap came in the second race which was the ultra competitive Silver Bowl over 1m for 3yo and no doubt big race sponsors Amix Concrete would have told the representative of H.R.H. Princess Haya of Jordan that they could offer her and husband Sheikh Mohammed a discount on a new driveway or three after her horse Beatboxer came from the clouds to deny Munhamek as they hit the line in a race full of incident in the early stages.
Beatboxer was dropping back in trip from 1m2f and of all his three wins they have all come on courses with a turn as both his poor showings have been at Newmarket so while a go at the Britannia would seem logical it would be far better to aim him for a race with a turn, Munhamek is an improving type in second and should gain compensation soon, this is always a race to keep an eye on as the season goes on.
Finally the opening race was a two mile handicap which saw Lucky Deal bounce back to form under Franny Norton, after a poor showing in the Chester Cup a couple of weeks ago he seemed far happier on this quicker surface and breezed to the lead in the last couple of furlongs to win very nicely and should improve to get himself into the reckoning for the Northumberland Plate.
Next up on here in what has been a busy schedule we head down to Epsom on Friday for the Investec Oaks and Coronation Cup, that will be well worth the trip down.
Till then, Goodbye