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.