Triple Champion Hurdle winning jockey Steve Smith Eccles previews the action.
Starting with the big races from Haydock this afternoon with the Silver Bowl at 3.05, a fiercely competitive handicap over a mile and where pretty much any of them could win on their day if everything goes right for them. The one I like and at an each way price is the Walter Swinburn trained Staying On who is lightly raced and has the sort of progressive profile I like to look for. After only one run as a two year old when he won a lowly Wolverhampton maiden, he made a good start to his three year old career when fourth in a competitive Newbury handicap over a mile and a quarter, beaten by Unnefer who runs in the 2.20 at Newmarket this afternoon and is Listed class at the very least. With that run under his belt he reverted to a mile at Windsor when scoring by a neck but was as green as grass and ran all over the place that day and should improve again for the experience. He has gone up seven pounds hence his price but must have improved more than that and has a solid each way chance today.
In the Temple Stakes at 3.35 its speed all the way over this five furlong trip on good to firm going, and luck in running will no doubt play its part. Fleeting Spirit would be my choice here as I have heard that she is in very good form at home for Jeremy Noseda and working with real vigour. She was very speedy as a juvenile winning three races from five including the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood and the Group Two Flying Childers at Doncaster, and lost nothing in defeat when a neck runner up to Natagora in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes with the winner going on to land our 1000 Guineas. If she is fully wound up and in the same sort of form she will take all the beating here, but it is a competitive event and I cannot add her to the account even with the excellent Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Luck Money in the 2.50 is Trained by the very much in form Paul Cole, this son of Indian Ridge won two from four as a two year old including the incredibly valuable Goffs Million at The Curragh, but may have run his best races in defeat when third to 2000 Guineas winner Henrythenavigator at Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes, and fifth to New Approach in the Dewhurst Stakes on ground that was too soft to see him at his best. With his favoured fast ground and further improvement to come he certainly looks the one to beat as he effectively drops in class to this listed contest.
In the 3.20 you will not find a better combination than trainer Michael Jarvis and jockey Philip Robinson with Ancien Regime and this three year old should go close for them this afternoon. Strongly fancied on his return to action here over seven furlongs he ran well before fizzling out at the business end which can be put down to failing to last home and needing the run a lot more than was originally thought as he blew pretty hard after the race and was not fully wound up. The drop back to six furlongs today is ideal as is the faster ground and as he will strip a lot fitter this afternoon he should take some stopping here.
John Gosden has his string firing on all cylinders again and I expect a victory for Expresso Star in the 5.10, the once raced three year old. He caused a bit of a stir when finishing runner up on his debut on the Lingfield turf when coming from a long way back when an unfancied 20/1 shot, only beaten a length and a quarter by the odds on Tawaash. Expected to badly need the run he caught jockey David Kinsella by surprise when coming from well off the pace with a swooping run late on and with that race behind him massive improvement can be expected, which is evident from his recent homework on the Newmarket gallops. With Jimmy Fortune taking over today we have one of the strongest jockeys in the business on our side and if he can lay up closer to the pace there is every reason to expect an easy victory.
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