Haydock Park set for first flat meeting of the season
Haydock Park stages its first Flat meeting of the season on Saturday with an excellent seven-race card.
The action gets under way at 2.15pm and runs through to 5.40pm. The 2.50pm is the feature race of the day and is live on ITV at 2.50pm. We have previewed the pick of the action.
As alluded to, the seven-furlong Handicap at 2.50pm is the highlight of the day with 13 runners going to post for the £30,000 event. The 7/2 market leader is Dreamloper for Ed Walker. The progressive four-year-old was a two-time winner last term and culminated her 2020 season with a narrow success at Ascot in September.
Persuasion (5/1) has always promised to win a big handicap and ran a fine race when second at Leicester on his final start last term. Placed in Group company in 2019, he has the class to win a contest like this and is of interest. Marshal Dan (7/1) was a good second at Musselburgh on his return to action and there looks to be scope for more improvement off a mark of 89.
Gobi Sunset (9/1) has been kept busy on the All-Weather this term and it remains to be seen as to whether he can transfer that back to turf despite being a dual winner on the surface. Firmament (9/1) has run 72 times in his career but has only won on six occasions and he looks book to for a placed finish at best in this event. Fox Champion (9/1) has moved to Ralph Beckett having become disappointing for Richard Hannon, but needs the change of yard to spark a revival given his poor form last term.
Others who warrant a mention include Admirality (12/1) who ran a number of good races in defeat last term, course and distance winner Cold Stare (12/1) and Another Batt (14/1) who goes well fresh.
The £20,475 Handicap at 4.35pm is another competitive event staged over a mile. Ascension represents Roger Varian and looks to hold leading claims for the Newmarket trainer. The four-year-old won twice last term and looked in need of the run when ninth at Doncaster on his return to action in March.
His main rivals include Finest Sound, a narrow second at Nottingham on his seasonal debut, the unexposed Ouzo who bagged a big-field handicap last season and Escobar who has run a string of good races in defeat and takes a marked drop in grade here.
Elsewhere on the card, Dhushan should take plenty of beating in the £8,050 Novice Stakes (2.15pm). A 150,000gns purchase, he has bumped into two smart horses in both of his defeats and can make amends here.
The £5,800 Fillies’ Novice Stakes (3.25pm) sees a Godolphin newcomer take centre-stage as Karouka bids to make a winning debut for Saeed bin Suroor in the mile event. Her rivals include Anghaam who took a step forward when third last time out at Newmarket and Fire In The Rain who shaped well for Marco Botti on the All-Weather at Lingfield on debut. Lady Rockstar, fourth on debut at Newcastle, €85,000 debutant Timeless Soul and 100,000gns newcomer Tallulah are others to note.
4.00pm Menai Bridge
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