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haydock racecourse 10 06 2023 top picks sport preview

Haydock Racecourse 10/06/2023 – Top Picks

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Haydock Racecourse, Saturday 10th June

Racing heads to Haydock this Saturday. There may not be the drama of Epsom last weekend, or the glamour of Royal Ascot in the week after next, but this is a competitive card, with the feature John of Gaunt Stakes at 3:35. There is also a strong undercard and our racing experts have picked out 3 horses in this races to keep an eye on.

1:15 – Achilles Listed Stakes

The obvious starting point for this sprint is with last year’s winner Raasel. Mick Appleby’s charge can be forgiven his poor showing in the Temple Stakes last time, when he was drawn on the wrong side and had no real chance given the way that the track bias panned out on the day. Forgiven yes, but his form prior to the Temple Stakes does leave a lot of question marks as he failed to really land a blow in Dubai over the winter and it was a similar story at Newmarket where he was only a steady fourth in the Palace House Stakes. He came into last year’s race in red hot form after a win at Goodwood and a superb second place finish in a competitive handicap at York. Is he in the same kind of form a year later, probably not and that makes him worth opposing.

Raasel was inconvenienced by the draw in the Temple Stakes, but the same cannot be said for Equilateral who had a high draw and the better ground on the stands side to aid his chances. He finished an admirable second which was his best run for some time and with Frankie Dettori retaining the ride, he is going to be a popular choice for this race. However, he hasn’t won a race of any description in over two years, and it is nearly 4-years since he won a race in the UK, so he doesn’t make a great deal of appeal at what is likely to be a relatively short price. Instead, we will take a chance on the potential improver in the lineup, PRINCE OF PILLO.

There hasn’t been a 3-year-old winner of this race since 2012, but not that many have tried and the first point to note is that Keith Dalgleish has gone to the trouble of booking Ryan Moore to ride on Saturday. This is only the 3rd ride that Moore has taken for the Scottish trainer and with other options available, there is clearly some thought that the 3-year-old is here for much more than just the experience. He won 3 of his 5 starts last season, including a Listed win at Ayr and his 3rd place finish in the Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket in October is at least as strong as most of his rivals have achieved in the last 12-months.

There is a slight drawback as he can be slowly away at times, but he often front runs despite the tardy starts and on his first start since October, he is likely to be fairly fresh. After just 5 starts, he is still learning on the job and there is no better educator of a young horse than Ryan Moore, who is operating at a 32% strike rate this season. He gets a 4lb weight for age allowance here and according to timeform, he only has 5lbs of improvement to find in order to feature, which makes him interesting in this company.

2:25 – Better Betting with SkyBet Handicap

The inaugural running of this race last year threw up a decent winner as Contact went on the finish 3rd in the Duke of Edinburgh handicap at Royal Ascot on the back of this. Whether this year’s race has a horse of that quality remains to be seen, but there is some potential on show. We were impressed with the way that Good Show went through his race to win at Hamilton.

That sets the standard of those who have run so far this season, but it should be noted that all of his best form has come north of the border, and we feel a mark of 91 is probably correct for a horse of his ability. By contrast, a mark of 89 could underestimate CUMULONIMBUS. Charlie Fellowes 4-year-old stepped up on his previous efforts this season when winning in first-time cheekpieces at Newmarket 3-weeks ago. He made the running that day and quickened clear with 2-furlongs to run.

Although he hung slightly in the closing stages, he hit the line well and the 3lb rise shouldn’t be enough to stop him. Harry Davies retains the ride, and we know that he will handle the track, as he proved when winning here last September. He makes a lot of appeal and if getting to the front, he could prove hard to pass with such a low weight on his back.

3:00 – SkyBet Lester Piggott Stakes (Group 3)

Frankie Dettori takes the ride on Mimyiku and that will probably help to form the market. She sets the standard after winning the Park Hill stakes at Doncaster last September and her comeback run at York was perfectly fair after an absence. However, it is open to debate as to whether she is still improving and she has a penalty to carry for that Doncaster success which is likely to make her vulnerable. The most obvious danger is Modaara, who fits into the “could be anything” bracket after a pair of wins on the all-weather, the latter by 13-lengths. She didn’t beat a great deal at Kempton when winning last time, but she is an interesting horse for Roger Varian and there is always a chance that she will prove better than this grade. However, the horses she meets here are rated 30lbs higher than the rivals she has previously encountered, and this will prove to be a much sterner test.

The key piece of form to focus on would look to be the Listed Fillies race that four of these rivals ran in at Goodwood last month. The race was won by Luisa Casati, who came with a late run to get the better of TIME LOCK and the pair pulled clear of Ching Shih and Thanks Monica who finished 3rd and 4th. This looks to be a solid piece of form for the grade, but on reflection, Time Lock looks to be some decent value to reverse the form. The winner came down the outside of the field and used her fitness edge (she had a pipe opening run at Saint-Cloud at the end of March) to close down Time Lock, who traded very short in-running when looming up alongside the leader at the 2-furlong pole. She probably hit the front too soon on what was her first start for almost 9-months, but she travelled so strongly that it is impossible not to think that she won’t come on for the run. Ryan Moore takes over the ride and with the Charlton yard operating at a 32% strike rate, she should go well.

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