Haydock Hosts Only Weekend Graded UK Racing

What happened at Epsom gallops on Monday

The Epsom classics to be run Friday week are the focus of most of the racing world with runners and riders still being finalised. The Cazoo Oaks runs on Friday and the blue riband event, the Cazoo Derby on the Saturday.

This weekend Haydock Park stages the only graded racing in the UK on Saturday with two group three events.

Soft to heavy going has been reported at race tracks throughout the United Kingdom recently with meetings abandoned at Windsor on Monday and Newton Abbot on Wednesday.

Haydock Park is forecasted to be heavy ground.

The Gr3 Betway Pinnacle Stakes (Fillies and Mares) over 2400m is scheduled at 15h55.

Eight runners are declared with Alpinista the highest rated on 113. This Sir Mark Prescott trained four-year-old won on her seasonal return at Goodwood last month on good to firm ground by the minimum margin. Her rating was gained by running second last season in the Gr1 Yorkshire Oaks to the champion three-year-old filly Love.

Albaflora from the inform Ralph Beckett yard is also owned by Miss K Rausing and is likely to start favourite.

This improving daughter of Muhaarar was placed in listed class against the boys last season – beaten a head by the Gr1 St Ledger runner-up Berkshire Rocco on easy going at Ascot. Then, on her seasonal return earlier this month, she sluiced up by seven lengths at a soft Ascot.

Thirty five minutes later, the Gr3 Betway John of Gaunt Stakes is contested over 1400m.

An open contest where sixteen runners have been declared. Course and distance winner and top-rated Safe Voyage has won on heavy going and must be respected. The eight-year-old finished last on his seasonal reappearance, but that was behind the champion miler Palace Pier in the Gr1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes two weeks ago.  This lower grade will be to his advantage.

Bounce The Blues receives the sex allowance and has the services of the champion jockey Oisin Murphy. She has won on soft ground. Glorious Journey returns from Saudi Arabia where he ran a great race to be beaten a length and three-quarters behind the top-class Space Blues. The Dubawi gelding trained by Charlie Appleby has also won on soft ground. The biggest danger could come from the William Haggas trained With Thanks. This four-year-old filly by Camacho is a real mud lark having won all her three starts on heavy going, the last a group three at Naas. Tom Marquand takes the ride.

News from gallops at Epsom on Monday where Cazoo Oaks contender Saffron Beach worked around the Tattenham turn with rider Adam Kirby.

Unbeaten in two starts as a juvenile, including the Gr3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket, the filly then ran a staying-on second in the Gr1 Qipco 1000 Guineas earlier this month.

Her trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam commented “She was nice and relaxed today and has won on soft ground.”

Later, Charlie Appleby watched his Dubawi colt One Ruler, pictured above, gallop at Epsom.

Last season, he finished second behind subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas winner Mac Swiney in the Gr1 Vertem Futurity Trophy on heavy ground at Doncaster. The Gr1 Qipco 2000 Guineas was his first race this year and he was a respectable sixth on unfavourable fast ground. Now stepped up in trip, the Godolphin team are very pleased with his progress and the way he handled the contours and undulations at Epsom.

John Leeper, a son of the mighty Frankel, also had a spin around Epsom on Monday. Out of the 2010 Oaks heroine Snow Fairy and named after the late John Dunlop, the dual Derby-winning father of Ed Dunlop.

After a promising debut, he won a novice contest in good fashion at Newcastle in April and then impressed again when a decisive winner at Newmarket earlier this month in very soft conditions.

Ed Dunlop commented “We were never going to do too much whether the ground was nice or not as he only ran the weekend before last. This was about bringing him to get a bit more experience with Adam Kirby on him. The ground was very soft, almost heavy but he looked to enjoy himself.”

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