Haydock Park, Saturday 7th August 2022, Rose Of Lancaster Stakes Day

Fox Power To Lancaster Glory

Just like the 2015-16 Premier League season which saw Leicester City crowned Champions, trainer Andrew Balding continued his assault on the top of trainers title with Foxes Tales topping up the prize money by adding £36648 to the coffers with a hard fought win in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes.

Run on what became heavy ground as were almost all races due to persistent rain showers Foxes Tales has had a steady season winning a maiden at Newbury and a handicap at Royal Ascot, he was one of first off the bridal under Silvestre De Sousa but kept finding for pressure and the 3yo just held on from the strong finishing Fancy Man by three parts of a length.

Foxes Tales is one of those likeable types and has been brought along nicely by his trainer, still with more to offer he could end up Ascot bound in October and given the likely conditions they’ve had over the years on Champions Day where he would have a good chance as any but should stay in training next year as he looks the sort to make a high quality middle distance 4yo.

Fancy Man back in second ran a far better race than he has all season and travelled well before being asked, he looked to stay 1m2f and might even get furthern in time.

Waliyak In Hern Romp

Waliyak took full advantage of the decimated field for the Listed Dick Hern Stakes to easily land the spoils and justify favouritism for the Roger Varian and Jack Mitchell combination.

Rated 98 she was fully entitled to win this race and unlike at Royal Ascot where she was giving weight away to Lola Showgirl, both faced off on levels and Waliyak relished the soft conditions she gained some valuable black type and no doubt the Varian yard will be perusing the race book to seek some more out to add to her eventual paddock value, the Superior Mile here on Sprint Cup day would be a reasonable target unless the cards at York or Goodwood towards the middle and end of August have something more suitable.

This race was depleted with six of the originally declared runners being taken out on account of the ground but take nothing from the winner, she could only beat what turned up and that did include a Royal Ascot winner too.

McCain Flat Raid

Songstress Rihanna might not be short of a few bob but this afternoon if she’d have opened a stall at the back of the Makerfield Stand selling brollies shouting out “By my Umbrella ella ella” as she did in her 2007 hit single “Umbrella” (Many were certainly needed here!) then she could have easily had a few quid on Russco and cheer home the Donald McCain trained horse under her daughter Ella with chants of “Come On Ella,Ella,Ella” who landed one of the 7f handicaps that book ended the card.

Having landed his two previous races over 7f down the M6 at Wolverhampton it’s clear this step up in trip has brought out the best in Russco who landed this off a recent 7lb rise to 70, the handicapper hasn’t quite got to him yet and he’s a nice fun horse for his owners.

This was also Ella McCain’s third win from fifteen rides at Haydock and with some real high quality northern handicaps coming up in August and September hopefully many trainers will use her current 5lb claim.

Elsewhere on the card the popular Middleham Park Owners were heard in fine voice as Cold Stare bounced back to form in the 3yo+ handicap over 7f, what looked a competitive race on paper turned out to be just that as he managed to hold on from the fast finishing Edgewood back in second.

He was winning here on 85 which was 4lbs off his last winning mark of 89 back at Goodwood last year and has won one race each season since his racing career began back in 2017 so now it is time to avoid him until next year unless he defies his current trend and goes in again before the season is done with.

So not the best weather for summer flat racing although Foxes Tales is certainly one to keep on side, Andrew Balding is having a real go at what looks a wide open champion trainers title and wuth the top six past the £2,000,000 mark it should make for a pulsating run upto Champions Day in October

Next up we go on our travels as Nunthorpe Day at York will be the first post lockdown awayday, till then it’s goodbye.

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