Haydock Saturday

13:15 Sky Bet Achilles Stakes (Listed) 5f

Equilateral bounced back to form when a length second of 13 to Dramatised in the Temple Stakes over course and distance last time, and five furlongs on quick ground is what he wants to show his best.

He needs consideration, but that good run sees him pretty short in the market – he is just 1-18 in Class 1 domestic company over the years, after all, and hardly a betting proposition given those figures.

Raasel was behind Equilateral in the Temple, but was poorly drawn that day and got little chance to get involved.

He’s a veritable win machine by comparison, with eight wins in the last couple of years, and he made the breakthrough with listed and Group 3 wins last season, the former in this corresponding contest.

He wasn’t discredited in the Palace House Stakes on his return, and his stable is beginning to find form after a barren spell, with Mick Appleby sending out six winners in the last fortnight. He looks poised for a big run assuming the draw doesn’t scupper him again, and looks the value call.

13:50 Sky Bet Reverence Handicap 6f

Mr Wagyu was mentioned last week given his excellent record in the summer months; after finishing in the places again at Epsom, his full record in June and July is 31 runs, 15 wins and a further 10 placings.

He’s a course and distance winner and should again give punters a good run for their money from the same mark as when third on Derby Day.

Marginal preference at the prices, however, is for Cooperation, who takes a bit of knowing, but is a useful sort who was back to winning ways despite missing the break at Thirsk on his penultimate start. He found the stiff finish against him at Ascot last time, and his record on a fast track over five furlongs is an eyecatching 2215112.

Cooperation can make the running, but two of his recent wins have come after missing the break, and the key has been for his rider not to rush him up if he’s unable to break on terms. When he’s forced out of his own rhythm he can sulk, but left to his own devices, he has looked an improved performer for Mike Murphy and Michael Keady. Marco Ghiani takes over here, and is a fine ‘kid-gloves’ rider, who should suit the selection’s quirks well.

14:25 Better Betting With Sky Bet Handicap 1m 3f 175y

Live Your Dream is a lukewarm selection in a tough handicap at a trip short of his best, but he showed smart form when last seen here, and was just about favourite for the 2021 Ebor when missing the cut.

He flopped in the Cesarewitch after that, but injury accounts for that effort, and his stable has a near 25% record when bringing horses back from long absences, as shown by this gelding, who was off the track for 571 days before making a winning handicap debut at Newcastle in 2021.

15:00 Sky Bet Lester Piggott Stakes (Group 3) (F&M) 1m 3f 175y

Time Lock looked the winner throughout the Daisy Warwick Stakes at Goodwood last time, so it was disappointing that she didn’t put the race to bed, and she has now traded at lows of 1.27 and 1.06 twice in her last three runs.

She holds Mimikyu on her excellent second to Haskoy in the Galtres Stakes at York last year, and is receiving weight, but I struggle to back her after her rather tame finish last time.

With Mimikyu still penalised for her Park Hill win, and Modaara beating nothing of note at Kempton, the vote goes to last year’s Oaks D’Italia winner Nachtrose for German trainer Peter Schiergen.

Nachtrose was just outstayed by Aff Un Zo in the Comer Group-sponsored Oleander-Rennen at Hoppegarten in May, but she was seven lengths clear of the third, and clearly retains all her ability.

German form rarely gets the credit it deserves in the UK, but that merely means better odds against their occasional sorties, and Nachtrose does look a tad too big overnight.

15:35 Sky Bet John Of Gaunt Stakes (Group 3) 7f 37y

The Astrologist is the pick on balance of form here, and his modest run in the Duke of York was likely due to that being the first in a couple of steps to Royal Ascot for the Leon and Troy Corstens-trained gelding.

He’d run to a much higher level when second in Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan a couple of months earlier, and his best effort on home soil came at a turning six and a half furlongs in the Tabtouch Gold Rush at Ascot Racecourse in Perth.

The Astrologist will be suited by seven furlongs at a flat track like Haydock, and a reproduction of his best recent form should be good enough to see him oblige.

Beverley Saturday

14:05 Hilary Needler Trophy Fillies’ Conditions Stakes 5f

Alfa Moonstone had a stiff task and caught the eye after blowing the start behind Ziggy’s Phoenix in the Lily Agnes at Chester, but showed the benefit of that experience when making all and quickening off the front at Catterick next time.

She can do better still, and is appealing for her up-and-coming trainer with 14/1 quotes looking generous. She clearly needs to improve again, but could hardly have been more impressive last time out, and is not one to underestimate in a race that’s had its share of surprise results.

14:40 Bet365 Handicap 7f 96y

He may be up in class after being beaten last time, but Ugo Gregory has been knocking on the door for a while, and it can finally open for him here.

Having fallen in the weights after a moderate 2022 campaign, he has caught the eye on all four starts this season, looking for all the world like ending a losing sequence when nailed on the line over course and distance on his latest start.

That took his record at this course and distance to 118413242, and he’s ready to go in again when getting the breaks.

15:15 Bet365 Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes (C&G) 5f

Loaded Gun didn’t look ready for his debut in the Brocklesby at Doncaster and was wisely given a break before a second appearance at Bath, where he showed up well until taking a bump inside the final furlong, but still ran well to be beaten a length and three quarters in fourth behind Mayo Neighs.

He can progress again with that behind him, and makes some each-way appeal in a tricky contest.


Raasel 1:15 Haydock – 1pt win @ 13/2 (general)

Cooperation 1:50 Haydock – 2pts win @ 10/1 (general)

Nachtrose 3:00 Haydock - 1pt win (Bet365, 8/1 general)