Robert Cowell is a master when it comes to training older sprinters and his Goldream looks the answer to Saturday's Temple Stakes at Haydock.
Connections of Sole Power have opted to stay at home rather than travel over for the five-furlong Temple Stakes, but it still looks a strong renewal of the Haydock Group 2 race (due off 3.45pm).
Last year’s winner Hot Streak is bidding to double up and Kevin Ryan’s charge will strip fitter for this third to Mecca’s Angel over this trip at Longchamp 13 days ago. He arrived here 12 months ago on the back of a prep run at Newmarket (finishing third in that too) and he has reportedly done well physically over the winter with his trainer describing him in a recent Stable Tour as “more the finished article.” He likes some cut in the ground, however, and I just wonder whether conditions will be ideal on Saturday – they were calling the ground “good to soft” on Friday morning, but there’s no appreciable rain forecast and it may well dry out.
If the word “soft” were to appear in the going description on Saturday I wouldn’t look any further for the winner. But the slight doubt on that score is causing me to switch my allegiance to the Robert Cowell-trained GOLDREAM, who won the five-furlong Palace House Stakes at Newmarket on his reappearance and is more effective on good ground or faster. He’s a couple of years older than Hot Streak at six but it’s very possible we have yet to see the best of him and he may well be the coming force in the sprinting division.
He’s certainly with the right trainer in that respect as Cowell has shown time and time again that he excels with sprinters, and particularly with older horses in Group races at the minimum distance. His two Group 1 winners, Prohibit and Jwala, were campaigned similarly to Goldream in that they graduated up from handicap company, and he landed this race two seasons ago with Kingsgate Native, who is back for another crack at the age of ten. Indeed, since the race was switched from Sandown in 2008, his runners have achieved finishing positions of 303153, which is even better when you consider their starting prices ranged from 8/1 to 20/1.
Given that information I wouldn’t put anyone off having a few quid each-way on Kingsgate Native at 14/1 with bet365 (who are one quarter the odds), but the win bet has to be on his stablemate, who seems to be coming of age as a sprinter and is entered in next month’s Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, won by Cowell’s Prohibit in 2011.
Of the rest, I’m fascinated to see how prolific all-weather winner Pretend gets on now switched to turf. He’s dropping back a furlong after winning over six furlongs on Finals Day, but I can’t see that being a problem as he has so much natural speed. I’ve got more of an issue with the fact he’s had a break since and may need the run, with the aforementioned King’s Stand his mid-season target. The same comment also applies to G Force and Take Cover.
Goldream @ 11/2 bet365
All odds were correct at time of posting.