Architect Tips continues his new daily Tote Placepot tips column with selections for the first six races at Haydock.
Leg 1 Selections: GANNON GLORY, SWAYZE
GANNON GLORY will be suited to conditions and following a promising seventh on debut last year at York, which was his only start that season, he returned with a bang at Pontefract when winning from the front. He backed that up with a close-up third under a penalty at Doncaster despite being hampered and, off what appears to be a fair mark on handicap debut, he’s strongly considered off bottom weight.
SWAYZE was highly-tried last year and was unlucky when second on his penultimate start at Nottingham and wasn’t beaten far when seventh in a good-quality handicap at Royal Ascot two weeks ago. Besides the winner Latin Lover, he fared best of those who were drawn low, so back down in grade off the same mark here, he should be extremely competitive with Rab Havlin booked to ride.
Leg 2 Selections: DOUBLE CHERRY, NATHANAEL GREENE
This is a seriously competitive, but DOUBLE CHERRY turned his handicap debut, three weeks ago, into a one-horse race, as he came clear of the field to win by three lengths. He has been raised eight pounds as a consequence, but he should confirm the form with the runner-up Percy Jones and he’s bred to stay this longer distance. With conditions looking likely to be in his favour again, he could be tough to beat.
William Haggas runs two in this with marginal preference for NATHANAEL GREENE, who should be suited to this stiffer test of stamina and while he’s unproven on soft ground, he should have more to come. He stuck to the task well when second last time and the application of headgear should eke out more, so provided he gets rolling early doors, he could play his cards late in the latter stages of this race. He’s the second choice to the former.
Leg 3 Selections: ESHAADA
A very good renewal of the Lancashire Oaks and it’s hard to not see ESHAADA at least finish in the frame for leg three, who looked in need of her return at Newbury when last spotted and brings the strongest form-lines into this race, courtesy of her Group 1 victory in the Champions Fillies’ Mares at Ascot last year.
The forecast soft ground will suit Roger Varian’s filly and she’s expected to fare a lot better back against her own sex too. She’s the highest rated runner in the field at 114 and is unbeaten in three when the ground has ‘soft’ in the description, so she can therefore go close to winning this under Jim Crowley.
Leg 4 Selections: MORANDO, FANCY MAN, RAYMOND TUSK
The highly-competitive Old Newton Cup is leg four on the Placepot and I’ll be playing three outsiders against the field here. Firstly, Andrew Balding’s MORANDO, who’s a former three-time Group 3 winner and has phenomenal career statistics when the ground is soft or worse. This will be just his second handicap start in six years and was a close-up third on his penultimate start in a Group 3 on soft-to-heavy ground. His latest effort can be excused as conditions were too quick and he looks set to roll back the years at the age of nine and go well at large odds with conditions likely to be spot on for him come post-time.
FANCY MAN has the difficult task of top-weight, but he has excellent course form, which reads 112, and he came close to remaining unbeaten in the latest of those when beaten less than length. He will also benefit from the rain and has placed multiple times in Group/Listed events. In fact, the last time he competed here on soft-to-heavy ground, he thrashed subsequent Group 1 winner Alenquer so despite his big weight, he’s a cracking choice for the ticket. Alan King’s RAYMOND TUSK was a fine seventh at Royal Ascot last time and handles most ground. He should be suited to the strong pace here and could come through late to steal some place money or even more if everything falls into place.
Leg 5 Selections: SUNNY ORANGE
Ralph Beckett has a good strike-rate at this course, which is 24% over the last five seasons, and many will expect the favourite SUNNY ORANGE to resume winning ways here. She couldn’t replicate her winning debut last time but she retains potential and should be suited to the step up in distance.
She’s unproven on a slower surface, but she’s promising and is open to any amount of improvement. Rossa Ryan, who rode her to victory on debut, is back in the saddle which is a good sign, and she should go close if the ground doesn’t hold her back.
Leg 6 Selections: TACARIB BAY
The Richard Hannon-trained TACARIB BAY could prove to be a class above this field. He beat Kingmax on debut on soft ground before a good third in a Group 3 at Newbury, when a place in front of subsequent Jersey Stakes winner, Noble Truth. He’s been highly-tried in two subsequent starts in the 2,000 Guineas and at the Royal Ascot last time but he’s had excuses both times when down the field in each of those.