The next fixture in the popular Sky Bet Sunday Series takes centre stage at Haydock on Sunday, with brilliant prize money on offer, as well as a number of significant bonus prizes.
We have picked out a selection for each of the seven races, all live on Racing TV!
Street Life was a shock 80-1 winner of this race under Morgan Cole a year ago and the duo, who also finished third together here in May, are reunited once more. The Pat Morris-trained gelding is given more attention this year but is passed over in favour of the more consistent trio at the other end of the handicap. Preference is for SILKY WILKIE who won under today’s jockey at Hamilton last month and may not have finished progressing just yet. Conditions look ideal for his stablemate Fast Response, and she looks more of a threat than the more experienced Bath winner Jack The Truth. Flat course specialist Boudica Bay and the class-dropping Kimngrace look the pick of the rest.
Verdict: 1 SILKY WILKIE 2 FAST RESPONSE 3 BOUDICA BAY
ROAD TO THE EAST is closely related to Yousini who won his first two starts, and he might be sharp enough to see off a strong Newmarket challenge which includes horses from the yards of William Haggas (Silver Legend), Roger Varian (Charyn) and Ed Dunlop (Centerstage). Of that trio, Charyn looks one of the speedier types, on paper at least. The Ed Bethell-trained Yorkshire is also related to juvenile winners so could run well at a price, while interesting runners from that county itself include Time Traveller and Kitai, along with Nahwand, a close relation of the Coventry Stakes winner Rajasinghe.
Verdict: 1 ROAD TO THE EAST 2 CHARYN 3 NAHWAND
The victory of Lezardrieux 12 months ago was enough to clinch a narrow win for Grant Tuer in the £10,000 Stable Staff Bonus scheme. His stablemate SHOWTIME MAHOMES, who has already taken home one race in this series (at York), is fancied to bounce back from defeats in very strong heritage handicaps. Mister Bluebird has also struck once in this series but may find things happening a little too quickly now back over six furlongs, in contrast to Toussarok who should relish the drop in distance. The front-running Seven Brothers is quickly dropped in trip for his new yard, and could easily outrun large odds, a comment that also applies to Russco. Recent winners Ballyare and Surprise Picture, along with the in-form trio of Good Earth, Rambuso Creek and Jordan Electrics, all hold obvious claims and are respected accordingly.
Verdict: 1 SHOWTIME MAHOMES 2 TOUSSAROK 3 GOOD EARTH
A gelding operation and a first outing in handicaps could see marked improvement from American Flag, who is one to watch closely in the betting, but a safer bet looks to be bottom-weight FORGIVABLE who has already demonstrated his improvement since stepping up in trip; a 3lb rise looks manageable, despite this better company. A switch from the all-weather should see the course and distance winner Rich King in a better light, while the drop in both trip and grade should also suit fellow three-year-old Luminous Light. Of the older horses, the hat-trick-seeking Award Dancer looks the pick, just ahead of the consistent trio of Miramichi, Solar Joe and Jewel Maker.
Verdict: 1 FORGIVABLE 2 LUMINOUS LIGHT 3 AWARD DANCER
The proven handicap form of Urban Sprawl and Fomo is respected, but those two pace-setters could set the race up for a finisher and the hope is that HAVE SECRET can take advantage (assuming he doesn’t get too far back after a slow start). Course and distance winners Disputed and There’s The Door command respect, especially the latter who was still very green when winning last month, while Indian Dream appeared to benefit from a gelding operation when producing much improved form to win at Epsom last time out. Debut winners Faisal Road and Nap Hand both need to bounce back from modest runs when last seen.
Verdict: 1 HAVE SECRET 2 INDIAN DREAM 3 THERE’S THE DOOR
This has attracted a strong representation from Newmarket, with Queen Aminatu dropping in grade but up against a filly very much on an upwards curve in the form of TARRABB. A winner at Ascot when last seen, the Owen Burrows-trained filly appears the pick of a field in which the three-year-olds look likely to hold sway over their older rivals, with recent Windsor winner Rose Barton and handicap debutante Valley Mist also considered. Any softening of the ground would suit Urban Violet who is still well enough handicapped if bouncing back from a modest effort at Epsom last time. The lightly-weighted Rainbow Colours and Ana Gold are also considered.
Verdict: 1 TARRABB 2 URBAN VIOLET 3 QUEEN AMINATU
Irish raider RUN FOR OSCAR caught the eye when a running-on third at the Curragh back in June and is fancied to make amends with victory here; the booking of in-form Ben Curtis looks significant. El Picador has something to prove in terms of stamina but ran on well when winning the Sky Bet Sunday Series Middle-Distance Handicap at Musselburgh back in June, while Kaizer and Haizoom have already won in this stayers’ series, at Pontefract and Hamilton respectively. Arctic Fox is still well handicapped on his old form as he chases a hat-trick of wins, all at this venue, while Real Terms also has a small rise in the weights to contend with as he chases three in a row of his own. The return of the classy hurdler Coeur Blimey, along with the presence of Frankenstella, Malakahna, and recent winners Sovereign Duke and Levitate, help make this a very tricky puzzle to solve.
Verdict: 1 RUN FOR OSCAR 2 ARCTIC FOX 3 MALAKAHNA