Our racing expert likes the look of two Haydock runners.
The class 2 6f fillies’ handicap at the Lancashire track looks seriously competitive with six of the seven runners having won twice already this season, four last time out.
But the forecast fast ground might be a problem for some, particularly Under The Covers (the forecast favourite) and Maid In India, and I’ve narrowed it down to the pair of three-year-olds, Queens Gift and ZIP ALONG, with preference for the latter Richard Fahey-trained filly.
After a promising start last August, notably when runner-up to a subsequently smart sprinter on her debut, she has built on that with a couple of wins from as many starts, both over 6f and on a fast terrain.
Her most success came on her handicap debut at Nottingham and while that was expected given her 5/4 starting price, she did it comfortably without her rider Paul Hanagan (back on board) having to ask for maximum effort.
In which case, that shouldn’t prove all she’s capable of in handicaps and a subsequent 8lb rise should be well within her compass. She appeared to enjoy passing horses last time, having been dropped in behind by design, and the likely strong pace hers should help Hanagan execute similar tactics.
MOYASSAR, who is Richard Hannon’s only runner at the track in the 6f novice, ought to oblige for favourite backers with the presence of last-time-out winner Metallic Black ensuring he’s a backable price.
The latter horse was an easy winner of a similar race at Pontefract last time, but I doubt the form amounts too much and he’s going to find this much tougher under his penalty.
The selection is also penalised after scoring by five lengths at Chelmsford 16 days, which he was entitled to do as 4/9 favourite. But he is entitled to improve again and we know he acts on turf too as he finished runner-up twice previously on such a surface, including a nose second in a 6f York novice on his debut.
His trainer clearly thinks he’s capable of cutting it at a higher level judging by an entry in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at the St Leger meeting, so it will be disappointing if he can’t put today’s rivals to the sword.
All odds were correct at time of posting.