Haydock Park played host to a strong seven race card with it’s two feature races being the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks and the famous Old Newton Cup, which is the oldest sporting event in this neck of the woods from where your intrepid reporter is from.
The day itself certainly didn’t pass without incident, most notably in the Lancashire Oaks, which has been assessed and dissected many times over so it’s pretty pointless in me giving my view although I did back the runner up but my wishing and hoping that the stewards would kick out the winner sadly only proved to be in vain.
Anyway as is per the norm here I will have hopefully found a few potential future winners so lets see what Saturday brought.
1 – Speycaster – 3yo Bay Gelding – Trainer : Ralph Beckett.
In what looked a pretty top quality 3yo handicap over 1m 6f, it was a race that had quite a few issues as to how many horses would stay the extra trip with many going up in distance for the first time.
Nathanael Green was a deserved winner but one who caught the eye back in fourth was this one, Speycaster, a winner at Chelmsford over 1m last November & he shapes like a stayer in the making. He was running on pretty well towards the end and wasn’t beaten by far.
He should come into his own in the autumn for me and has a race or two in him.
2 – Free Wind – 4yo Bay Filly – Trainer : John Gosden.
Without doubt the most visually impressive came in the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks as she overcame a bit of traffic trouble trying to go up the inside of Eshaada but when switched out under Robert Havlin she powered home nicely in the end.
This was a third straight win in Group company and she just keeps getting better and better, having taken the Red Rose verison of the two Northern Oaks.
It’s very likely that August will see her head up the A1 for a crack at the Yorkshire one on the Knavesmire, she still remains one to keep onside.
3 – Doux Espirit – 3yo Bay Colt – Trainer : Roger Varian.
Probably in many people’s “Expensive To Follow” list of horses as this was his fifth start without winning a race and it may be folly or pretty stupid to nominate him but I’m sure he has a race in him.
Kept mainly to 7f so far with a race at Leicester over a mile being the other, this pretty likeable type ran an honest enough race considering he was third behind two very useful and inform types, he always appears to be running on at the end of his races although he does lack the pace for 7f.
I could envisage him being far better if upped to 1m2f and given a chance to relax in his races.
If all goes to plan next month will see myself pop over the border to our Yorkshire friends for an afternoon at the Ebor Festival at York, till the next time, Goodbye
Article – Neil Watson ( @WattyRacing )
Pictures – File
Published – July 2022 – AOLR Production