13:10 Haydock

THUNDER LEGEND (NAP) (best price 3/1) couldn’t quite meet expectations on stable debut for William Haggas at Ascot three weeks ago but he’s expected to take a significant step forward now back up in trip with that run under his belt and he gets a strong vote to take the opener. 

His latest display is worth upgrading to quite some extent given he raced keenly throughout the race on the far side of the group and had no cover which wouldn’t have helped in the slightest in regards to settling better. That said, he was still one of the last horses off the bridle as he cruised into the lead just inside the final two furlongs, looking as though he was going to bolt up, but those earlier excursions told late on and he finished third. 

The form of his win at Hamilton has been positively advertised, with second winning next time out, while his fourth on debut is even stronger, as the first, second, third, fifth and sixth have won since. That race featured the likes of Modern Games, who won the French 2,000 Guineas recently and Desert Angel, who bolted up at Newmarket off a mark of 90, so the form has tons of substance.

This son of Night Of Thunder might well have won without being denied a clear run too as he surged home to only be beaten a couple of lengths and on that piece of evidence, he’s chucked in here off 84. Dropping down a couple of grades on the back of his reappearance, he should be sharper now and should be more than ready to win this event. 

Thunder Legend - 2pts @ 3/1

13:45 Haydock

Dragon Symbol would be the standout pick on last season’s Group 1 efforts but his last two runs have been rather disappointing, including on debut for Roger Varian last time and I think he’s vulnerable here. Instead, greater preference is for progressive sprinter CLARENDON HOUSE (best price 11/2) who’s got every chance of beating him on these terms.

He won four of his six starts last term and made a fine return to action when a ‘head’ second to Raasel at Goodwood who he was giving five-pounds. A trip to France to contest a Group Three two weeks ago turned into a nightmare as a sluggish start set him on the back-foot from an early stage but he still ran with credit to finish fourth on ground that would have been softer than ideal. 

With form figures on good, good to firm ground reading 112112, he will thrive under today’s conditions and I rate him better than a handicapper. He is a very exciting sprinter, has lots of natural pace and has a change of gear so if he behaves himself and can break from the stalls terms, he ranks a cast-iron each-way bet to finish in the frame and potentially beat the favourite, who will need to be at his very best to beat him. 

Clarendon House - 1pt e/w @ 11/2

14:20 Haydock

SCARLET DRAGON (best price 12/1) hasn’t been able to get his head in front since landing the Duke Of Edinburgh at the Royal meeting two years ago but his latest return at Newmarket back with this handler suggests he’s still got more to offer on the Flat and he should strip fitter for that appearance and bridge the gap on latest form with Contact on these better terms. 

He comes with a few risks attached due to his habitual ways of being reluctant to race but the good news is that he’s very well-treated nowadays. He finds himself ten-pounds lower than when sixth in last year’s Old Newton Cup over course-and-distance and that was a much stronger race than the one he’s contesting here. 

If you go back and watch the replay of that race, you’ll notice how unlucky he was not to finish closer as he was hampered not once but twice when trying to make ground but kept on strongly once in the clear in the latter stages. Hollie Doyle, who’s the last rider to win on him, is reunited and if her mount is on a going day, he’s got the ability to be competitive off what is a fair mark here. 

Scarlet Dragon - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1

14:55 Haydock

A lot of these can be considered here but the vote goes to LADY HAYES (best price 7/1) is a very useful filly who showed loads of useful form last season and looked better than ever when narrowly denied on her return last month in which she pulled less with the winner who looks smart. 

She was also an excellent second in the Lancashire Oaks over track and trip last season with her record at this course now reading one win and a second from two runs here. She has a bit to find on official ratings with a couple of these but her valuable experience of this course will stand her in good stead and she could be the value to dent some reputations in this field and finally get her deserved pattern success. 

Lady Hayes - 0.5pts e/w @ 7/1

16:05 Haydock

ALREHB (best price 4/1) couldn’t land a blow in the Victoria Cup last time when well-supported before the off but he’s built up a consistent profile and is penultimate second at this course is a solid piece of form as he was only just collared in the final strides by Boardman. The winner has subsequently defied a mark of 92 so he appears to be well treated off 89 here and he is open to the progression on just his third turf start. Benoit D L Sayette is in the saddle this time who can claim five-pounds and with this trip looking worth a go having demonstrated loads of pace to date, he can resume winning ways.
Alrehb - 1pt