There is the risk of an isolated thunder storm at Haydock and any easing in the ground would be a positive for the lightly-raced Hernandoshideaway (4.20) who hasn’t seen the track since finishing runner up to the Queen’s Fabricate over a-mile-and-a-half here back in May.
The selection should appreciate the step up in trip and as long as the ground is not rattling fast he can take this valuable prize. Sir Michael Stoute’s Dannyday is only 6lbs higher than when scoring over C&D last month and looks the sort to keep on improving; he represents a big danger in a race won by Alex My Boy, now trained in Germany, twelve months ago for Mark Johnston.
The booking of William Buick for Fatherly Friend (2.50) suggests connections mean business in the juvenile maiden. The American bred colt cost $140,000 at the Keeneland sales as a yearling and it will be interesting to see what the market makes of his chances.
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum has owned the winner of the corresponding race for the last couple of years including with Faydhan in 2014. That colt was antepost favourite for the Guineas for much of the winter and remains a horse of considerable potential despite his odds on reverse in the Free Handicap at Newmarket back in April in his sole subsequent start. The Maktoum colours are worn by Eqleem this afternoon but it might be significant that the owner’s jockeys Paul Hanagan and Dane O’Neill ride at Newbury and Epsom respectively.
High Speed (3.20) has lived up to her name in recent starts doing far too much too soon at both Chester and Leicester and the hope is that Franny Norton can sustain her challenge for longer this afternoon. Bint Aldar made all at Hamilton last time and I don’t want the selection to get embroiled in an early battle for the lead but I am sure there is more to come from the Charlie Hills trained filly.
Only six to post for the Novice Stakes but every one of the half-dozen due to go to post won last time out and it is another terrific race. My two against the field are Hayadh and Galileo Gold (3.50) with marginal preference for the latter who improved on a promising York debut to win going away over 6f at Salisbury last month. He is bred to appreciate today’s extra furlong and receives 3lbs from likely favourite Hayadh who most when scoring over C&D last month.
Basma (7.05) is likely to be a warm order to make it third time lucky in the fillies’ maiden at Newbury for Barry Hills, and she can go one better than when refusing to settle and being nabbed close home at Haydock last time. Newcomer Tawayna cost E300,000 as a yearling and is certainly bred for the job; the William Haggas’ juveniles often come on for the experience but do note a market move.
Martiniquaise (9.10) has been raised a stone for his recent Newmarket success and can race off just a 6lb higher mark this evening; Mark Johnston’s filly will be tough to beat if over Saturday’s exertions.
The classic generation have won the 10f handicap at Epsom four times in the last six years and they are well represented again tonight. Banditry is visored for the first time and must go close but North America (8.25) has been dropped 4lbs since finishing fourth at Ripon last time and that was his first start following a gelding operation.
Noel Fehily looks a significant booking for Nicky Richards’ Peachey Moment (4.30) at Perth; the selection has gone well fresh in the past, won two of his last three over fences when last seen back in September and has been successful from a mark significantly higher than todays. Gordon Elliot saddles three including Russian Regent who is in great shape at present but must give 10lbs to the selection.
For all your racing needs check out BetVictor.com and follow us on Twitter @BetVictorRacing