Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes (Group3) 7f Haydock

william haggas john o gaunt

William Haggas must have a great chance with Mankib on Saturday

Around 4.45 last Saturday afternoon, followers of The Oddsguru Blog will have been on pretty good terms with themselves when our selection, Anthony Van Dyck, landed Epsom’s Blue Riband. In what was a pretty rough race, the Ballydoyle understudy,
Seamie Heffernan, gave the son of Galileo a terrific ride, keeping his cool when denied a run on the outside at the furlong marker. He switched left and come home with a wet sail down the camber of the track to win by 1/2L. It was a great win for Seamie but it was perhaps an even greater success for Anthony Van Dykes dad, Galileo. The amazing stallion was not only the sire of the winner, but the great, great grandad of the runner up, Madhmoon, the dam sire of the 3rd home, Japan, and he also sired the 4th, Broome and the 6th, Circus Maximus. Still doing the business at the age of 21, Galileo’s progeny are going to continue to dominate international racing for some time to come. The great stallion has no sons or daughters running in Saturday’s John Of Gaunt Stakes but there are plenty of well bred animals contending, not least the son of Tamayuz, Mankib.

The 5yo is out of that top class mare, Natagora, who won the Group1 Chevely Park Stakes at 2 and landed the 1000 Guineas the following year. Mankib hasn’t yet quite lived up to his exalted pedigree, but has shown a steadily progressive profile. Having his first run of the season 4 weeks ago, he ran an excellent race to finish 2nd to Saturday’s opponent, Safe Voyage, over course and distance. He was beaten 1 1/4L but meets the winner on 3lbs better terms and his top trainer, Willie Haggas, who won with Suggestive 15 years ago will be hoping that his contender, who acts on an easy surface, ( plenty of rain in the forecast) will have come on enough to reverse the placings with the John Quinn trained Safe Voyage.

Mind you that won’t be easy as Quinn’s upwardly mobile Handicapper  has a very progressive profile, (up 20lbs in the last 13 months) and he is 3/3 over Saturday’s course and distance, all on soft ground. This will be the 6yo’s first run in a group race, but this late developer may prove up to the task over a track that clearly suits.

haydock races map
The Mark Johnston trained 4yo, Cardsharp, has scored at Group level, (won Newmarket’s Group2 July Stakes for 2yo’s) but has failed to win in Group Class since. However he did finish a length behind the talented Anna Nerium (7f Soft) in a Goodwood Group3 last August and looked in great form when winning a York Handicap (7f Good-Firm)off a mark of 107 a fortnight ago. He took it up after 2 furlongs and ridden clear, stayed on strongly to beat the 105 rated So Beloved by 2 1/4L. The runner up is no slouch so if Cardsharp is as effective on the likely easier ground, he could easily add a second Group success to his CV.

The Mick Channon trained, Dan’s Dream has won once at Group3 Level, (Newbury’s Fred Darling Stakes for 3yo Fillies 2018) and went extremely close to landing a second when beaten a Shd by the Aidan O’Brien trained Happen in The Athasi Stakes at The Curragh 33 days ago (7f Good/Yielding Fillies and Mares). As that was the 4yo’s first run for 211 days, progress can be expected, and as she likes to get her toe in, could find conditions very much to her liking at the weekend.

Second in last year’s 2000 Guineas, the Roger Teal trained Tip Two Win has been pretty disappointing in his subsequent 3 runs but was a respectable 4th, (beaten 4L) in  the
St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He hasn’t been seen since finishing 6th in the 10f Qatar Derby in December at Doha, but has run well after a break. By Dark Angel out of the sprinter, Freddie’s Girl he may do better returned to 7f.

The David O’Meara trained Suedois with earnings over£1.2million has been a real
money spinner for his talented trainer, and the evergreen 8yo may not be finished yet. He was only beaten a Shd by Saturday’s opponent, Sir Dancealot in Goodwood’s Group2 Lennox Stakes last July (7f Good) and finished a respectable 4th behind Safe Voyage and Mankib at Haydock 4 weeks ago. He needs to improve on that, but if the ground dried out would be a danger to all.

Selection. : Mankib
EW.            : Cardsharp

John Gray

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