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WE ARE in between the really big meetings of the season, The Derby at Epsom and of course Royal Ascot, which means that the quality of racing is hardly tip top, but I shall be going to Haydock Park this afternoon for some interesting cards.
After plenty of rain today and more expected tomorrow, the ground is sure to be very testing and that should suit the mud lark that is Breton Rock in the John of Gaunt Stakes at 3.05.
However, there is a new kid on the block on a real roll at the moment and if anything around the 3/1 marker is available I really fancy a massive run from the hugely progressive SAFE VOYAGE (nb) who comes here on a hat-trick mission and has in fact won five of his last six.
Soft ground is not imperative to him, but it does tend to inconvenience his rivals an awful lot more and he travelled very strongly to pick up the leaders on his last two starts at the Merseyside track winning a class two handicap, followed by a Listed contest.
Of course this is a deal more difficult for the son of Fast Company and he will almost definitely require a career best, but the combination of the likely deep conditions and his love of the track make him the bet of the day on this card.
Earlier on, DANZENO, an easy winner at Nottingham last week on his seasonal return, steps up to Listed company in the 3.00 and although he has plenty to find on official ratings it was not too long ago that he would have picked up these rivals and carried them over the finishing line.
I think he will have too much toe in the conditions for the likes of Stake Acclaim and the outsider Maid In India.
On her only run on genuinely soft ground HIGHGARDEN absolutely hacked up on her career debut, but has only run six times since. She has to give weight away all-round in the Pinnacle Stakes at 2.25 but will have less of a problem with the conditions than her rivals will. The biggest danger could turn out to be the short priced favourite and Willie Mullins’s raider True Self.
Of the handicaps at Haydock Park, Captain Colby is temptingly handicapped off 90 in the 4.10, but with the ground likely to be very testing the nod goes to GROWL who ran in the Group One Haydock Park Sprint Cup as recently as 2017 and looks absolutely flung in here off a rating of just 92.
Over at Newmarket, they too are expecting rain, but nowhere near as much as their northern compatriots and the best bet on the card could well come in the form of AMAZING RED in the staying handicap at 2.45
He won this contest under Frankie Dettori off a much lower mark in 2018, but has shown he is well up to a three figure rating this year, most recently with a really good run at Goodwood last time out.
Later on in the fillies’ novice stakes at 4.30, NONCHALANCE should be able to put her rivals to bed under Ryan Moore, while the class two mile-and-a-quarter handicap at 5.35 could go to the lightly raced CARADOC (nap).
The Ed Walker-trained charge has been crying out for a step up to this trip and being a former Derby hero, Camelot, I think, will relish the extra yardage. Off his current handicap mark of only 86 it remains feasibly treated with the best almost certainly yet to come.
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