Old Newton Cup 1m4f Haydock Saturday

Old Newton Cup

The very underrated Keith Dalgleish has done a marvellous job with the ex Sir Michael Stoute trained 5yo, Oasis Dream gelding, Pressure Point.

Luca Cumani has won the Haydock race four times since 1997, (the last time with Mad Rush, 2008) so current joint favourite, Penhill is of interest. He looked an animal to keep on the right side of when winning a Cl3 1m4f Ascot handicap, off a mark of 86 on his reappearance, when a well backed 13/8 fav. He went of at even shorter odds, 6/4, to follow up at Newmarket three weeks later off a 7lbs higher mark in a Cl2 event, but never really got competitive behind Watersmeet. He took a very strong hold, and Cumani reported that Penhill was unsuited by the course. Returned to a left handed turning track, (has won over Nottingham’s similar course) it would be no surprise to see his uber shrewd trainer in the winners enclosure on Saturday.

Andrew Balding’s very progressive 4yo Mount Nelson filly, Elbereth, looks interesting. On only her second start on turf she stepped up considerably on her first, where despite not handling Brighton’s idiosyncratic course, she was only beaten 3/4L in a Cl3 handicap off a mark of 80. Ridden by the very promising 7lb claimer Edward Greatrex, she was stepped up to Cl2 level at the Derby meeting and won cleverly off a mark of 86.(1m2f). Due to race off an 8lb higher mark at the weekend,( 7lbs will again be negated by Greatrex’s claim ) and having won over the distance, albeit on Wolverhampton’s all weather surface, this fast improving filly with just 8st4lbs (including the 7lbs claim) in the plate, has a lot in her favour, and is shortlisted.

The very underrated Keith Dalgleish has done a marvellous job with the ex Sir Michael Stoute trained 5yo, Oasis Dream gelding, Pressure Point. Beautifully bred, this full brother to the Group1 winning Visit, and half brother to the top class filly Promising Lead, who has also succeeded at the top level, was bought out of the Stoute yard, having failed to catch the judges eye as a 3yo. under the Dalgleish tutelage he picked up a Cl5 handicap at Mussellburgh last September off a mark of 67. He won a similar contest at Newcastle in April this year off 70, but it was his last run which emphasised the progress that has been made. Stepped up to Cl3 level at York at the end of May (1m4f) he stayed on well to beat Dance King off a mark of 83. It is quite probable that there is plenty more to come from this very well connected animal, and it will be no surprise to see him staying on strongly up the long Haydock straight at the weekend. Definitely one for the short list.

Roger Varian, whose horses invariably perform well at Haydock, runs his 4yo Galileo colt, Battersea. He won a Cl2 Ascot handicap (1m4f) off a mark of 90 in very taking fashion last September, but disappointed six weeks later in a similar contest, off a 10lbs higher mark at Newmarket. The Newmarket effort was too bad to be true, so considering normal improvement from three to four, he doesn’t look badly treated on 99. Perhaps he is one best caught fresh, so is well worth a second look.

Amanda Perrett’s Sea the Stars 4yo colt, Astronereus, ran a fine race in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot to finish 3rd off a mark of 100. He has been raised 2lbs for Saturday’s contest, giving him an intimidating burden of 9st5lbs to carry. However the Ascot race has been a good guide to this, so provided the two above him in the handicap don’t come out (triggering a further weight rise), his chance has to be respected.

Alan Swinbank, who won with Collier Hill way back in 2003, runs his 4yo Galileo gelding, Kinema. He showed how well suited he is by a truly run race at the trip, when winning over Carlisle’s testing track (1m3 1/2f) last week off a mark of 84. Having run seventeen times he is quite exposed, but he has been mostly campaigned at shorter, so perhaps the step up in trip has elicited improvement. Again partnered by the very talented Ben Curtis, he is worth keeping an eye on.

Selection: Pressure Point.

E.W. Elbereth.

Sandy Lane Stakes Betting Tips (6f) 3.45 Haydock Saturday


The Sandy Lane Stakes has been elevated to Group2 level, and as a result, has attracted some of the best 3yo sprinting talent, not least Henry Candys speedster, Limato.

The Sandy Lane Stakes has been elevated to Group2 level, and as a result, has attracted some of the best 3yo sprinting talent, not least Henry Candy’s speedster, Limato. Unbeaten in his previous four races, the Tagula gelding stepped up to Group class for the first time five weeks ago, and took the challenge in his stride, scoring easily from Tendu and Adaay, in an Ascot Group3. The form was upheld with Adaay collecting a hot Newbury listed race seventeen days later, so Limato’s credentials look convincing.

Charles Hills runs his lightly raced Exceed and Excel colt, Salt Island, and it would be no surprise to see him involved at the business end. A winner of a Windsor maiden as a 2yo, He comfortably won a Newmarket handicap off a mark of 93 on his reappearance in April. Spencer found all sorts of trouble in his next race behind Adaay at Newbury, and at the very least should have finished a lot closer to the winner. Salt Islands trainer holds him in high regard, and expects a very positive performance at the weekend.

Tim Easterby’s Indesatchel colt Mattmu, ran a great race for a 3yo in the Group2 Duke of York stakes on the Knavesmire seventeen days ago, when just nabbed on the line by the 5yo Glass Office, with six year old Jack Dexter a neck behind in third. This shouldn’t have come as any great surprise as the Easterby horse had won a 6f Group2 (soft) at Maisson-Lafitte last November, but the York performance certainly showed that He has trained on and does not need a soft surface to perform to his optimum. One for the short list.

If that master trainer of sprinters Edward Lynam sends his Starspangledbanner filly Anthem Alexander across the Irish Sea for this, She would be worth considering. She beat the wonderful Tiggy Wiggy fair and square at Royal Ascot, over 5f, but had to give best in their two meetings over 6f. However there was no disgrace in that, and if at the top of her game for her reappearance, would be a threat to all.



Temple Stakes Betting Tips 5f Group 2 Haydock Park Saturday

Hot Streak trainer Kevin Ryan.

Hot Streak won this for top handler Kevin Ryan, last year, and a repeat would come as no surprise. He reappeared last year in the Palace House Stakes, finishing third before taking this.

Unfortunately, our 10/1 E.W. Suggestion, Toormore, in last week’s Lockinge Stakes, couldn’t quite get past his stable companion Night of Thunder, but going down by a fast diminishing neck, he covered himself in glory. He seemed to get slightly unbalanced when pressure was applied, but once straightened, ran on with great resolution, so hopefully our selection for Haydock on Saturday will enjoy a more trouble free passage.

Heading the market at 4/1 is Edward Lynam’s evergreen 8yo, Sole Power. He demonstrated his well being when winning a Group1 at Meydan on March 28th, bringing his career winnings to a staggering £1,924,956. Two reservations about his prospects at the weekend would be ground conditions, and the man doing the steering on top. While He handles most surfaces, He has never won with the word soft in the ground description, so with the weather unsettled, a waiting brief is advised. Jamie Spencer takes over riding duties from Richard Hughes, who knows the horse so well, and who has given this “hold up” animal some magnificent rides, not least last time out at Meydan. Certainly the way Hughes produced him to win last years Group1 Nunthorpe, will live long in the memory. However Spencer himself is no mug when riding a hold up horse, so given decent ground at the weekend Sole Power must have strong prospects of bringing up the £2,000,000 in winnings.

That very talented handler of sprinters, Robin Cowell, runs two, the 6yo Oasis Dream gelding, Gold Dream, and the 10yo veteran Kingsgate Native. They both ran in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket, three weeks ago, with Gold Dream winning, and Kingsgate Native finishing third. Gold Dream, if coming on for the Newmarket race, would certainly be on my shortlist but he is another who likes good ground. He may also be better suited by a stiffer track when racing over the minimum trip.

Hot Streak won this for top handler Kevin Ryan, last year, and a repeat would come as no surprise. He reappeared last year in the Palace House Stakes, finishing third before taking this. This year he reappeared in a Longchamp Group3, acquitting himself well, finishing third. Bound to improve for the run, Hot Streak who is not ground dependant, has to be on the shortlist.

Charlie Appleby’s 4yo Invincible Spirit gelding Pretend looks interesting. Campaigned almost exclusively over five and six furlongs on the all weather, He has been eye catchingly successful, .winning six of his nine races. Equally effective at five or six He took a big step forward in his last two races, where showing an impressive turn of foot easily accounted for Alben Star on both occasions. If this rapidly improving animal transfers his ability to turf, they can all look out on Saturday.

David Barron saddles last years runner up, Pearl Secret, and 8lbs better off for the 1/2L He was behind Hot Streak, you would have to fancy his chances in this years renewal. However the 8lbs was the weight for age allowance ( Hot Streak was only three) so the more pertinent piece of form is perhaps that Group3 at Longchamp two weeks ago when the Barron horse was well behind Hot Streak, who indeed will be 2lbs better off on Saturday.

If the ground does come up soft at the weekend, Evanna Mc Cutcheon’s 8yo gelding Maarek would be worth considering. Winner of the Prix de L’Abbe in 2013, He ran well in Hot Streak’s recent Longchamp race, finishing 3/4L behind the Kevin Ryan runner. However He had had the benefit of a run, so on 2lbs worse terms it may be wise to stick with Hot Streak.

Selection: Hot Streak.

E.W. Pretend.

Betfred Grand National Trial 3m4f Chase Haydock Saturday

David Pipe’s Broadway Buffalo

Twice a course winner, David Pipe’s Broadway Buffalo certainly seems to enjoy the Lancashire air. He looked the finished article when trotting up over the course ( 3m hvy ) in December, off a mark of 129, only to disappoint six days later at Wetherby.

As a pointer to the winner of the big one at Aintree, Saturday’s race has been something of an irrelevance as none of the last ten winners of this have been involved at the business end of the National. Indeed with this years renewal being run before the weights for the big race have even been published, one has to assume that Aintree in April will not be uppermost in connections minds.

However it is a very valuable and competitive affair which certainly stands on it’s own merits. As would be expected at Haydock this time of the year, with the surface invariably testing, Saturday’s trial is going to put a huge emphasis on stamina. All previous winners had winning form over at least three miles. Weight is also significant with only two, Silver by Nature, ( 2011 ) and Miko de Beauchene , ( 2008 ) managing to carry more than 11st to victory over the past decade. Both carried 11st12lbs. Lucinda Russell has been the most successful handler, scoring twice with Silver by Nature over the same period. Age has been no bar to success, with two eleven year olds and a ten year old winning in the last ten years, but significantly these older animals had been relatively lightly raced, contesting less than fourteen chases.

Paul Nicholls who won with Shotgun Willy in 2003, is represented by the current favourite, (5/1) and top weight Benvolio (11st 10lbs). He ran a super race in the Wesh National, where having disputed the lead for the entire distance (3m 5 1/2f), in stamina sapping conditions, he was just run out of it in the final stride, going down by a shd to Emperors Choice, with Saturday’s opponent Glenquest 2 1/2l back in third. Now 6lbs higher and 4lbs worse of with Glenquest, he has his work cut out on Saturday. However he has been given a six week break to recover from his Chepstow exertions and coming from this yard is hard to dismiss.

Nigel Twiston-Davies trains the lightly raced 10yo Benbens, who has had only nine races over fences and certainly looks interesting. He ran Saturday’s opponent, Samstown, to a nk over the course four weeks ago, ( 3m1f chase ) and meets that rival on 9lbs ( including Ryan Hatch’s 5lbs claim ) better terms on Saturday. He finished like a train to make up 5l from the last on the winner, and while some would argue that Samstown was idling in front, a 9lb pull looks significant and he is shortlisted. Samstown on the other hand, has no record of carrying big weights in handicaps and with a welter weight of 11st11lbs this out and out stayer is reluctantly passed over.

Having finished fourth in both the Hennessy and the Welsh National Michael Scudamore’s Monbeg Dude deserves consideration . He is 8lbs better off with Benvolio for the 8 3/4L he was behind him at Chepstow, and this sometimes careless jumper, might well be suited by Haydocks less demanding obstacles. A winner of the Welsh National on heavy ground two years ago he certainly should’nt fail on the stamina front, but is another burdened with 11st11lbs.

Twice a course winner, David Pipe’s Broadway Buffalo certainly seems to enjoy the Lancashire air. He looked the finished article when trotting up over the course ( 3m hvy ) in December, off a mark of 129, only to disappoint six days later at Wetherby. He can easily be forgiven this lapse as in all probability the race came too soon. Being by a son of Theatrical, out of a Le Bavard mare, he is bred to stay all day, so returned to his favourite track ( two wins from two outings ) he is another for the shortlist.

Lucinda Russell runs the relatively lightly raced 11yo, Lie for It, who has raced eleven times over fences. He put up a strong staying performance at Kelso last time, ( 3m2f hvy ) beating a rejuvenated Harry the Viking by 2L. Both animals will appreciate the extra two furlongs at the weekend, particularly Sandy Thomson’s 10yo, who boasts a second in the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Certainly if the weather stays dry Harry the Viking on 5lbs better terms must have prospects of reversing the Kelso form.

Only 1lb higher than when finishing a close third in last years Scottish National, Tim Easterby’s Trustan Times looks well treated. A winner of the Cl 1 Gd3 fixed brush hurdle over the course a couple of seasons ago, ( £45,000. To the winner ) he hasn’t shown much in his three outings since his fine third in the Scottish race. However the stable has been badly out of form since October, and only recently has shown signs of a revival. Indeed the horse himself showed some promise last time at Musselburgh, so it would be no great surprise to see a prominent performance at the weekend.

Alpha Victor is an out and out stayer who has a 100 0/0 record over the course. He finished second off a mark of 138 in a 3m1f hurdle and races on Saturday off 133, giving him a nice racing weight of 11st. He thrives on heavy ground, so if conditions deteriorate,he would be well worth considering.

Gas Line Boy looked progressive when winning twice in November. He won off a mark of 128 at the beginning of November, and 18 days later hosed up by 13L from the subsequent Welsh National winner Emperors Choice over the course ( 3m5f ) off a mark of 132. He was pulled up in the Welsh National, possibly because of the attritional conditions, off a mark of 147, so doesn’t appear too badly treated off 142 on Saturday. Given decent ground at the weekend, another worth a second look.

Selection: Broadway Buffalo

E.W. :Benbens

Peter Marsh Chase Haydock Racing Betting Tips


Trained by the leading course trainer, Donald Mc Cain, Corrin Wood has a fine chance. After only six starts over the larger obstacles, and having won 3 of them, he is already rated 16lbs above his hurdle mark.

First held in 1981, the inaugural running was won by Little Owl who went on to victory in that years Cheltenham Gold Cup. The following four renewals saw two more Gold Cup winners in Bregawn and The Thinker winning here. Winner of this in 1993 and 1997 the great Jodami also got his name on the Gold Cup roll of honour yet again highlighting what a top class race the Peter Marsh can be. While nothing of Gold Cup standard has emerged in recent years it continues to be a race that attracts good class fields, and is always competitive. The classier animal has been most successful in the last four renewals, all having shouldered more than 11st. This could be partly down to the revamping of the course in recent years which has undoubtedly left it a considerably less demanding test. So what of this years race?

Sue Smith, who has won this with The Last Fling ( 2000 ) and Arctic Jack ( 2004 ) and who does so well with these staying chasers, runs Vintage Star and No Planning. Vintage Star was quietly fancied at Wetherby on Boxing Day but having made a mistake at the 2nd fence never got competitive. However it’s worth noting that he is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who loves to win at Haydock, is 4lbs lower than Wetherby, and will be well suited by Saturday’s much slower ground,so definitley worth a second look. Sue Smiths other runner No Planning also ran at Wetherby on Boxing Day, winning over hurdles,denying the four times seeking Spanish Fleet by a nk. However that was off a mark of 130 and Saturday’s test off a mark 17lbs higher looks more problematical.

Oliver Sherwood’s Global Power who was a late withdrawal from last Saturday’s Classic Chase at Warwick, ( this columns e.w. Selection ) due to a bruised foot, is of interest. Sherwood was particularly upset to have missed the Warwick race as he had the beating of the 2nd home there, Theatrical Star, on previous Fontwell form. Global Power thrives on ground that is virtually unraceable so Saturday’s likely conditions should be right up his street and perhaps compensation awaits.

Nigel Twiston-Davis’s lightly raced 10yo Benbens didn’t quite get home in the Welsh National where he finished 5th. He had been well in contention until the third last, and a return to the 5f shorter trip on Saturday should be in his favour. The one concern would be very heavy conditions, as he has never performed on anything worse than soft.

There are no such concerns about Lucinda Russell’s Green Flag who thrives in such conditions. Having won his first three chases, he was stepped up in class at Kempton in Dec 2013 and ran a very promising race, finishing 2nd to the very useful Annacotty. He made a very satisfactory reappearance finishing 4th to the subsequent Hennessy winner Many Clouds at Carlisle. He then disappointed in the Becher Chase at Aintree, but is easily forgiven that lapse. Having won on heavy ground at Hexham, Newcastle, and Ayr, Saturday’s conditions will hold no fears and off a mark of 140, with a nice racing weight of 10st10lbs he does look well handicapped. He is one of Saturday’s classier runners, and it isn’t difficult to see him being involved at the business end.

Another who looks to be on a good mark is Venetia Williams’s mud lover Bennys Mist. Out of his seven starts on heavy ground he has won six, so his excellent 3rd behind Poole Master and Cedre Bleu on gd/sft ground over the National fences, last time out, off a mark of 138 was highly commendable. Given a mark of 139 for Saturday seems generous, and with Venetia’s talent for getting the best from her team in testing conditions, he is another for the short list.

Trained by the leading course trainer, Donald Mc Cain, Corrin Wood deserves a mention. After only six starts over the larger obstacles, and having won 3 of them, he is already rated 16lbs above his hurdle mark. On his second outing this season he ran well enough at Wetherby on Boxing Day, where, despite stumbling after jumping the 5th last, he finished 3rd off a mark of 147. He is one of the few in the race to have been competing at cl1 level, looks well treated off a mark of 146, and will handle the conditions, so this progressive animal must be considered.

Selection: Corrin Wood.

E.W: Green Flag.