Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Haydock Park on Saturday.
Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Chepstow, Kempton and Wetherby on Saturday. View selections below.
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QUIET REFLECTION (4.30) could do with a few showers hitting Haydock but with a little ease underfoot likely given the weather forecast, she is a knocking bet to land the 32Red Sprint Cup.
Her highly impressive victory in the Sandy Lane Stakes underlined a liking for this track and she won plenty of new fans after showing a smart turn of foot to scoop the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Quiet Reflection ran really well on much faster ground at Newmarket when finishing third to Limato and Suedois in the July Cup. Limato was breathtaking at HQ and rates a serious danger if the ground remains good. Limato’s participation hangs in the balance, with connections waiting to see how much rain falls at the track.
Dancing Star is a handicapper on the upgrade. Having landed the Stewards’ Cup, Andrew Balding’s sprinter takes her rightful place in Group One company.
Magical Memory is another Stewards’ Cup winner and could step up on his third in this12 months ago.
The Tin Man ran below expectations at Royal Ascot when soft ground was probably against him. James Fanshawe’s horses are back in rude health having been laid low by a Newmarket virus and The Tin Man should go close in a cracking renewal.
SHAKOPEE (3.30) is stepped up in trip by Luca Cumani and this extra stamina test sees him well equipped to plunder the highly competitive 32Red Casino Handicap.
My selection finished runner-up to Barsanti over 1m 4f at York last time, travelling strongly but just failing to reel in the winner. A 3lb rise isn’t harsh and Jamie Spencer had previously given Shakopee a very confident ride when hacking up at Doncaster. His best recent runs have come on good ground but Shakopee won his maiden on heavy so any significant rain wouldn’t necessarily be a negative.
GABRIAL (3.00) doesn’t know how to run a bad race and should again go well at an each-way price in the 32Red Mile.
Richard Fahey’s gelding, a course and distance winner, will appreciate this slight drop in class, having finished third to Scottish in the Strensall Stakes at York. Gabrial has a bit to find with Custom Cut but was given a lot to do on the Knavesmire, while Custom Cup enjoyed a fairly easy lead until Scottish swept past. A fast gallop would suit Gabrial.
Breton Rock shoulders a penalty for landing the Criterion Stakes but this soft-ground specialist is one of the most consistent older horses in training.
Convey often flatters to deceive but will have his supporters again after finishing second at Goodwood on Sunday.
CONTRAST (2.25) was a 12-1 chance when romping home here over seven furlongs and can take another step forward in the one-mile Listed event.
Richard Hannon’s juvenile is bred to handle some cut underfoot but will need to produce his A-game when tackling the 100-rated Montataire, the winner of four of his last five starts.
MARMAJUKE BAY (5.05) will be right at home should the heavens open before the 1m 6f handicap.
Mark Usher’s gelding holds The Graduate on their running at Salisbury when landing the Bibury Cup (soft) from Rex Bell and Master Blueyes. Marmajuke Bay had scored on his previous start at this track and could upset some better fancied rivals from bigger stables.
Alan King’s progressive top weight Cosmeapolitan looks the principal danger.
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