I see no reason why Galileo Gold won’t make a pretty bold fist of it again but sometimes the home team are difficult to beat in their own backyard and I would rather back Air Vice Marshal at decent odds than stablemate Air Force Blue, who has questions to answer after his disappointing performance at Newmarket.
Channel 4 cover races from Haydock, Goodwood and York and I’m quite keen on Jalotta in the opener on the Knavesmire (2.05). This is a horse who ran some very good races last season, including over this course and distance, and I didn’t think his effort at Chester last time was at all bad considering everything went wrong for him at the start. The ground should be more suitable for him on this occasion and, given the way the track was riding at the Dante meeting, I don’t think it’s a disadvantage to be drawn low.
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Jalotta’s rider Jamie Spencer has a couple more interesting rides and I think there could be some mileage in backing him on Doctor Sardonicus in the five-furlong sprint at 3.50. In this instance ideally I would have preferred a lower draw but there are very few progressive horses in this race and the selection put up a perfectly respectable comeback here the other day. He looks to be going forward and there is plenty of pace drawn around him in this race to aim at.
The feature race at Haydock is the Temple Stakes (4.10) and although the heavy rain has turned conditions firmly in favour of Mecca’s Angel, I have to oppose her on value grounds given she may not be fully tuned up for this first run of the campaign. As such, I’m going to side with Waady who ran a sound race in the Palace House last time behind today’s rival Profitable. I think Graham Lee might be the ideal jockey for this horse, who is quite a fired-up character in the preliminaries and might just need riding with a bit of restraint.
Earlier in the day I’ll be disappointed if Chief Whip can’t make a significant impression in Haydock’s Silver Bowl (3.05). I don’t suppose I’m alone in latching onto his tremendous performance in what was one of the hottest three-year-old handicaps of the season so far, last time out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he made up into a pattern-class horse later in the season.