Our racing expert likes a trio of Haydock runners.
Haydock supplies today’s bets and ORIENTAL TIGER can hopefully get us off to a flyer in the opening 1m3f handicap for apprentice riders (6.45pm).
The five-year-old has had three runs since joining Iain Jardine for the start of this season and ran his best race yet when a staying-on third over 1m2f here a couple of weeks ago. Off the same mark and over today’s extra furlong, he should go close to relinquishing his maiden tag under a capable apprentice. Last year’s winner Merchant Of Medici looks a big danger off just a 1lb higher mark.
The 1m handicap (8.15pm) looks wide open with bookies going 5/1 the field, with top weight Capo Rosso the gelding general favourite at that price. While respected he’s proving hard to win with and, besides, he might struggle to give HEISMAN 7lb. George Baker’s charge is having his first run back, so we are taking a chance on his fitness (market is positive in that respect), but he was a decent three-year-old, winning twice from four starts, and is better than he showed in three runs for Olly Stephens last season. He starts this one on a good mark and is his Wiltshire-based trainer’s only runner at the meeting.
Inniscastle Lad is attempting to land a four-timer in the closing 1m2f handicap and he should make a bold bid, despite a rise in grade. However, Richard Fahey’s STARDRIFTER caught the eye when finishing second over 1m at Pontefract last month having missed the break and not enjoying the best of runs through the race. He’s better than the bare form suggests and off just a 1lb higher mark this afternoon he can go one better, with the step up in trip very much in his favour.