HAYDOCK SATURDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER
1.50 1M 6F HANDICAP (CLASS 2)
MOON KING has been somewhat of a revelation for the Ralph Beckett team this season winning five times and going from a mark of 60, all the way up to the heights of 90. I still think there is a little more to come off that mark and with soft ground in his favour I would expect a big run here. He is a course and distance winner and that day he was settled nicely out the back and stayed on strongly and was going on close home. He duly backed that up at Chester with a thoroughly dominant performance to win by seven lengths. This race is most definitely a step up in grade but he has plenty going for him and will be hard to keep out of the frame.
2.25 SUPERIOR MILE STAKES (GROUP 3)
HERE COMES WHEN returns to defend his crown after being victorious in this race last year and everything looks to have come right for him again. With the weather forecast suggesting soft ground many of my selections in this preview will like to get their toe in and this horse is no different. He is a former Sussex winner at Goodwood in 2017 and the race conditions here look ideal. On handicap ratings he has 4lb to find with Sharja Bridge who looks like heading the market. Here Comes When is a battle hardened gutsy individual and it will take a decent one to get past him. In last years race he beat Regal Reality who subsequently went and won the Brigadier Gerard at Sandown this season. It looks to me like Andrew Balding has targeted a repeat success and he is one horse to keep on side.
3.00 ASCENDANT STAKES (LISTED RACE)
This race is extremely competitive and if it was run five times you could easily have a different result each time. TAMMANI is a very interesting runner here based on his win last time out at Sandown where he drew well clear alongside Riot and outbattled him to get up close home. The third horse Dubai Souq came out and won nicely next time out at Wolverhampton and the fourth horse Berkshire Savvy also came out and won next time to show the form has plenty of substance. This race has a couple of exposed horses and ones with potential to improve. If Tammani improves from his maiden win then he will be very hard to beat. The ground is a slight question mark but I would be happy to take a chance with it.
3.35 OLD BOROUGH CUP HANDICAP
One of the features on the day and it is a very competitive handicap to say the least. NOT SO SLEEPY is a horse that I have followed for quite a while and I always felt one of these decent handicaps was in his grasp. He finished second to Royal Line trained by John Gosden in the November Handicap and I was very interested to see where Hughie Morrison went this season. To my amazement Not So Sleepy ended up at Kempton in a novice hurdle in January and finished fourth. He then went and bolted up at Wincanton from the front under Jonathan Burke so that will give him options later this season. Coming back to this race I am amazed at where he lies in the market. A double figure price compared to Reshoun who he finished ahead of in the previously mentioned November Handicap. He has been stepped up in trip to 1m 6f and I think this race will really suit him. His last run was very creditable indeed having to give Laafy trained by Sir Michael Stoute over a stone when they met at Nottingham and he was only beaten nearly three lengths. That would have been a lovely pipe opener to get him ready for this and he looks solid each way value here.
4.10 SPRINT CUP STAKES (GROUP 1)
The feature of the day and the ground is going to play a major part in the winning of this race. Kevin Ryan knows what it takes to go close in this race as Brando has shown on a number of times and he also reappears here. His stablemate HELLO YOUMZAIN is the one that I want to pay most attention to as he has slightly gone under the radar for this race. When he won the Grand Criterium De Maisons Lafitte last season it looked as if the stable had another very good sprinter on their hands. He was favourite for the Greenham at Newbury and for me he ran very flat that day to finish fourth. We then moved on to Haydock next time where the talking horse of the season Calyx was unbeaten and the world was his oyster. Hello Youmzain didnt just lower his colours, for me it was a bit of a demolition job and he stretched clear to win well. He then went to Royal Ascot in the Commonwealth Cup where he ran a cracker to finish third to Advertise who re-opposes here. He got a little upset in the stalls and that may have cost him a small bit. Advertise went on to finish second in the July Cup and then win the Prix Maurice De Gheest. I just think back on a course that he likes, Hello Youmzain is a very interesting proposition with James Doyle in the saddle.
4.45 HANDICAP 5F
ARECIBO is a horse to pay very close attention to in this race based on his run at York last time out behind Dakota Gold. Formerly trained in France this horse will love juice in the ground and this looks a slight step down in grade here. He has won on good to firm earlier this season but I think the prospect of soft ground here is exactly what he needs. He has been raised two pound from his run at York so that for me suggests that the handicapper has given him a decent chance to get his head in front. Should go close here for the O Meara, Tudhope combination.
5.20 1M HANDICAP
To end the card we have a very trappy handicap and Richard Fahey looks to hold the key to this race. He is doubly represented and both horses have decent chances. ZIP is the horse that stands out the most for me here with a visor applied for the first time. Sean Davis renews the partnership from his last run at Ripon and the visor could make all the difference. He is versatile regarding ground and likes Haydock where he has been second twice on heavy ground. His mark of 74 hasn’t really moved this season and the question is could he find a few pounds if the visor works the oracle. It might help him settle into the race a little better and come with a finishing kick. He gets outpaced and finishes well. Solid value here and hard to keep out of the frame.