Haydock Park, Saturday 28th May 2022, Betfred Sparkling Saturday

Pogo Sticks It Out

In a wide open looking renewal of the Group 3 John O’Gaunt Stakes which resulted in four horses being covered by a picnic blanket it was the Charlie Hills trained Pogo who has gained plenty of air miles of late just got his snout on the line to fend off Laneqash to record his first win in over a year.

Bouncing out from stall five under Kieran Shoemark, Pogo rolled on at the front end and faced plenty of challengers in the last furlong including eventual runner up Laneqash and Kinross who won the race last year but could only finish third albeit by only a few centimetres.

Pogo might not be a world beater but at G3 and Listed level he is consistent, a trip to Royal Ascot might be in order but that would probably be more of a social runner than a serious one.

Pogo

Sea Sees Them Off

William Haggas’ runners continue to be in top order at the moment and he had yet another winner here as Sea La Rosa picked up where she left last season by comfortably taking the G3 Pinnacle Stakes over 1m4f.

In fairness this probably wasn’t a strong race for the nine starters with just three of the runners winning their highest grade of race at listed level but Sea La Rosa was one of them who took a listed race on the all weather at Lingfield back in October last year.

She hit the front in the last furlong by which time the closers couldn’t get to her in time and could be making a return visit in July for the Lancashire Oaks over the same course and distance and off this running she could prove to be hard to beat depending on who turns up.

Sea La Rosa

Raasel Slays Dragon

Visually the most impressive winner came in the 5f Listed Achilles Stakes as the Mick Appleby trained Raasel got the better of Dragon Symbol with a scintillating display of speed.

Making his first step into pattern company he certainly looked at home in it and came down the near side under James Doyle to make some fair horses look rather ordinary, he is an out and out 5f horses and has more still to offer.

Dragon Symbol ran far better than his recent York run but hasn’t still fully come to himself this season and while he isn’t one to write off just yet you would have to be cautious when parting with the hard earned on him just at the moment.

Raasel does appear to like Goodwood too with two wins at that course to his name, it’s possible Royal Ascot could be bypassed for a crack at the King George Stakes at Group 2 level.

First Contact Again

Last weekend at Haydock jockey Ben Curtis had to miss his remaining rides after dislocating his shoulder but he gained some much deserved compensation from that by landing the big handicap of the day over 1m4f on Contact for the David and Nicola Barron yard.

Following up from a nice Newmarket win last month this 4yo has began the 2022 season in fine form recording his second win of the season, he was upped 5lb after that to 90 and still could offer a bit more, connections are definitely tempted by a return here in July for the famous Old Newton Cup and being an entire colt no doubt they will be hoping to sneak some black type in before too long.

Market leader Mahrajaan came back in third only beaten a couple of lengths and will definitely come on for the run next time out.

Contact

A busy couple of months at Haydock come to an end, next up on the roadshow will be a visit over the border to Yorkshire and to the Knavesmire for a short review of a fair to middling card.

Today at time of writing the sport woke up to the sad news that Lester Piggott had sadly passed away at the age of 86, Lester rode his first and last career winners here at Haydock and today’s review is in memory of one of the finest jockeys of all time.

RIP Lester Piggott.

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