NORTH West racing is well served this week – provided you can forgive an unfortunate fixture clash.
Haydock Park’s three-day fixture ends on Saturday, the day of the Chester meeting.
The Roodeye has its own peculiar appeal but in terms of quality Haydock has the edge.
The betfred.com Temple Stakes is undoubtedly the headline event, with classy speedsters in the frame for the Group Two contest, such as Overdose, the much-hyped Belfast Bullet, having his first run in England.
The Betfred Silver Bowl and Betfredcasino Cecil Frail Stakes add further spice to a solid day. The Curragh provides the main action of the week, with two Classics, the Irish 2000 and 1000 Guineas.
The 2000 takes place on Saturday and Richard Hannon is likely to be represented by Dubawi Gold, who finished second to Frankel in the English equivalent last month.
Aidan O’Brien will inevitably have a strong squad, possibly spearheaded by Roderic O’Connor, while also-rans from the Newmarket Classic have also thrown their hats into the ring.
Supplementing the 2000 Guineas is the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes for sprinters, the Group Three TRI Equestrian Stakes and the TP Waters Marble Hill Stakes.
It is the fillies’ turn on Sunday in the 1000 Guineas. The John Oxx-trained Emiyna, winner of the Athasi Stakes, could be a big factor.
One of the most prestigious racedays of the Irish calendar also sees the return of the Tattersalls Gold Cup, which could feature Ballydoyle’s exciting Aussie recruit So You Think, who has set so many tongues wagging over in Ireland.
Rejuvenated stablemate St Nicholas Abbey and last year’s winner Fame And Glory are under consideration. The winner automatically receives an entry into the Arlington Million.
Other races on the card include the Group Three Gallinule Stakes, an established trial for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Goodwood opens its doors on Wednesday, with the Cocked Hat Stakes and Height Of Fashion Stakes providing listed highlights.
Another listed race, the ITWC Festival Stakes, is the pick of Saturday’s card
* TRAINER Bryan Smart is still to decide whether to give Palace House Stakes winner Tangerine Trees another run before Royal Ascot.
The six-year-old continued on the upgrade at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting with an all-the-way win in the Group Three event.
Smart could run the Mind Games gelding in the Temple Stakes at Haydock on Saturday or head straight for the King’s Stand Stakes.
Smart said: “He has won on soft but he’s much better on quick because he’s got blistering speed.”