Haydock Park, Saturday 21st May 2022, Cazoo Temple Stakes Day

It’s definitely fair to say that at about 3.47pm yesterday The Queen was far more smiley than last Sunday when she had to put up with Alan Titchmarsh fawning over her in desperation for a knighthood in ITV’S tribute show to her after her star sprinter King’s Lynn just hung on to take the feature Group 2 Temple Stakes under David Probert which formed the third of a big race treble for the jockey.

For trainer Andrew Balding this was the second winner of the afternoon and one who is now almost certainly to be Royal Ascot bound for a crack at the King’s Stand Stakes.

In a strong looking renewal plenty had chances and King’s Lynn looked to have the race in the bag but Twighlight Calls began to hit top stride and was closing the gap but King’s Lynn managed to hang on as they went past the red and white lollipop.

Both the front pair should square off again at Ascot and the undulating nature should suit the runner up a bit more than the winner although no doubt any American raiders will have a say in it too.

Favourite Winter Power ran ok to begin with but flattened out in the last two furlongs but she will strip fitter for the run but it’s highly likely that the Nunthorpe will be her main target this season.

In the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes for 3yo over 6f saw El Caballo continue his massive climb up the ranks as he made it four from four this season to follow up his win in last month’s 3yo AW Championship race.

This race had plenty of potential improvers in it and the winner held off Flaming Rib who beat the Temple Stakes winner last time out at the Roodee so off that El Caballo could be the cock of the 3yo sprinters as the season progresses, he will probably take his chance in the Commonwealth Cup which will be as wide open as ever.

Flaming Rib will definitely get a nice race at some point as it now appears that sprinting is definitely his forte and he has plenty to offer in this division.

The afternoon’s two feature handicaps saw the continuing burgeoning career of the Clive Cox trained Whoputfiftyinyou landing the famous Silver Bowl, in a race full of plenty of unexposed 3yo horses the one they all had to beat was Mighty Ulysees who for many was the group horse in a handicap and it looked for all money that the bookies would be facing a hefty payout but Whoputfiftyinyou dug in down the outside and went by him towards the end to make it four from four.

He was stepping up in trip from having previously been campaigned at 6f and 7f,going off how he won this he should get a bit further, the next step would naturally be the ultra tricky Brittania at Royal Ascot although it would be no shock if he were to bypass it for something a little less difficult.

Mighty Ulysees’ odyssey won’t have been hampered by this result although he isn’t one to write off but he will need to bounce back as he does have a Royal Ascot entry in the St James’s Palace but that could prove to be a more tentative one.

In the Hell Nook Handicap over two miles, Valley Forge had to use every ounce of strength to land the spoils but did so in the style of an improving stayer.

Successful in last years Melrose at York he resumed the new season with a fair fifth over 1m6f at Newmarket and looked as though an extra couple of furlongs with suit and he looked to appreciate the new trip and if anything looked like even further with aid his cause, the staying division will be wide open when Stradivarius retires and Valley Forge would have as good a chance as any in picking the mantle up.

Next weekend we return to Haydock for the John O’Gaunt and the Pinnacle Stakes, Till then goodbye

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