Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Haydock Park on Saturday. View selections below.
HOT STREAK (3.45) is fancied to repeat last year’s success in the Group 2 Betfred.com Temple Stakes at Haydock. It is something of a ‘Groundhog Day’ event as the next four horses home – Pearl Secret, Kingsgate Native, Justice Day and Jack Dexter – all reoppose. Hot Streak was receiving a three-year-old allowance 12 months ago and now meets those rivals on level terms, but there was much to like about his comeback outing at Longchamp earlier this month when third to the very speedy Mecca’s Angel. David O’Meara’s G Force concedes 4lb all round, courtesy of his G1 success in the Betfred Sprint Cup here last September, and connections will be relieved that the Met office predicts a dry, warm day as G Force wouldn’t want any more rain. Sprint king Robert Cowell saddles recent Palace House Stakes winner Goldream and evergreen 10-year-old Kingsgate Native. The old boy has a tremendous record in this race, winning in 2010 and 2013, with a second place sandwiched in between. However, he is held by Goldream on their Newmarket run and his best form usually comes on a quicker surface. Charlie Appleby’s improver Pretend chases a four-timer and he is another at his best on decent ground. Tommy Stack sends Great Minds over from Ireland and his five-year-old has won four of his last five starts.
Another Emerald Isle raider, GATHERING POWER (3.10), should make a bold bid to go one better than last year in the Betfred-sponsored Cecil Frail Stakes. Edward Lynam’s sprinter chased home favourite Joyeuse (pair well clear) and will strip sharper for her run in the Duke Of York Stakes 10 days ago when finishing a never-nearer eighth to Glass Office in a blanket finish.
The Betfred Mobile Silver Bowl is always an intriguing one-mile handicap, with this year’s renewal no exception. GO DAN GO (2.35) is the each-way shout, having followed up his Beverley success with a five-length romp at Musselburgh. The handicapper raised him 10lb on the back of that effort but Keith Dalgleish swerved a midweek engagement to wait for this bigger pot. It is always fascinating at this time of year to try and evaluate the rate of progress of developing three-year-olds and the pair carrying Hamdan Al Maktoum’s famous silks are a case in point. Mutarakez scooted home at Sandown in April under Frankie Dettori, while Mutasayyid has won his last two races, at Newmarket and Ascot. One, or both, could well progress to better things. John Quinn’s imposing Moonlightnavigator is on a hat-trick, while Storm Rock and Flashy Memories also boast solid claims.
In the opener, NOT NEVER (1.25) is given the platform to prove his wide-margin Chester success wasn’t solely down to the testing ground. There was plenty to like about the way Hugo Palmer’s three-year-old asserted his superiority in the short straight and a hefty 11lb rise may not stop his progress. Subcontinent has run up a sequence for Charlie Appleby and his forcing tactics should ensure an honest gallop. The handicapper may have got a hold of him now and slower ground is probably not ideal, either. The Queen’s home-bred Fabricate responded to pressure to eventually come home a ready winner at Salisbury, having shown promise on his Newbury debut. Brotherly Company, a Redcar maiden winner, was only fourth of seven behind Marma’s Boy at Newmarket but that was a hot little contest.
Some familiar stayers turn up in the two-miler and GABRIAL’S KING (2.00) can build on an excellent fourth in the Betway Chester Cup. The six-year-old couldn’t match the finishing kick of Trip To Paris and he had previously played second fiddle to the same horse on his seasonal reappearance at Ripon. A 3lb rise for his Roodee run seems fair and Gabrial’s King attracted good support at Chester, suggesting he could be an improved performer this season.
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