Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle heads to Haydock Park on Saturday for the eagerly anticipated return of Group One sprinter Glen Shiel.
Glen looking amazing for Haydock return
I’ve been eagerly waiting for my Champions Sprint hero GLEN SHIEL‘s return to the racetrack at Haydock Park on Saturday.
Glen reappears in the Pertemps Network Conditions Stakes (1.50) where he faces only four rivals, on what looks likely to be his favoured soft ground.
He’s clear top-rated on 115 and easily brings the best form to the race, so I’m hoping he can make a winning start to what promises to be an exciting campaign – even though he’s entitled to sharpen up for his first run since October.
This race has been the plan for some time in preparation for the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot next month – ground permitting, of course.
He’s a different horse when the rain arrives, as he proved on Champions Day in 2020 and again in the Diamond Jubilee and the Champions Sprint last season. I don’t think his trainer Archie Watson will want to run him on fast ground again this year.
He wasn’t able to show his class on it in the July Cup or the Haydock Sprint Cup last season, so there’s no point in risking it. Archie’s got Hambleton Racing’s star in amazing condition. In fact, I’ve never seen him look better.
I haven’t ridden him at home as Brodie Hampson has been doing a superb job with his homework. A winning start on Saturday would really give his confidence a boost.
Fearless about Bay at Haydock
FEARLESS BAY impressed me when he won at Wolverhampton last week and I’m expecting to see him build on that when he steps up in distance in the Pertemps Newton Handicap (1.20) at Haydock.
Ed Dunlop’s gelding picked up really well for me in first-time cheekpieces on the Tapeta to supplement his win in a nursery handicap on the All-Weather at Chelmsford City back in November.
Easy ground on turf, which he’s likely to encounter at Haydock, is an unknown, as he’s only run in similar conditions once and that was in novice company at Newmarket on only his second start.
By Siyouni, he’s a nice stamp of a horse and is well-drawn in stall 4, and if he enjoys the ground is up to defying a 6lb rise in this grade, over what looks an ideal distance.
Herbert can reign supreme
It’s always a pleasure to ride for my old boss Richard Hannon, who has given me a winning chance on OH HERBERTS REIGN in the Pertemps Network Handicap (5.18) at Haydock.
He’ll enjoy this galloping track, having won over the trip at York and Doncaster as a juvenile, and has shown enough to suggest he can improve on his opening rating of 90 in his three-year-old campaign.
His liking for give in the ground is another plus. I also ride SIR BENEDICT for local trainer Stella Barclay in the Pertemps Handicap (4.45). Though his two wins have come over sprint trips, he has form over 7f and is another who enjoys soft ground, so looks well placed to rediscover last year’s form.
Tempus can confirm Doncaster promise
A potentially good book of rides at Windsor on Monday evening includes the return of Archie Watson’s talented six-year-old TEMPUS in the Listed Racing Welfare Royal Windsor Stakes (6.40).
Hambleton Racing’s gelding translated some smart All-Weather form to turf when he chased home the classy Chindit under difficult terms in Listed company at Doncaster at the end of March, and is certainly much better than he showed at Newcastle on Good Friday.
I couldn’t get the easy lead I wanted in a big field in the All-Weather Mile Championship, but in a small but select line-up I’m hoping to see him get back to the promise he showed us on Town Moor.
He’s always worked like a very good horse and on a track he should enjoy, this is his chance to prove himself a genuine Pattern performer at a mile on turf this season.