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Bet of the day: Thursday’s racing

Haydock headlines a busy day

Action from Haydock headlines Thursday’s British and Irish horse racing schedule, with support coming from Brighton, Yarmouth, Newcastle, Sandown, Wolverhampton, Leopardstown and Sligo. So, there’s plenty to get involved in, and Coral’s the place to do it.

Concentrating on the Merseyside show, we aim to help boost your balance with a selection in every race. Pick your favourites to give an interest throughout the day, or add four together in a Lucky 15 and aim for a big pay-out. For followers of our daily NAPs, we run through the ace below.

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We like what we’ve seen from the NAP

Getting started with a 1m 2f handicap at 1.50pm, and Tom Dascombe looks set for an early visit to the winners’ enclosure with Punkawallah, who has already proven himself over course and distance. If our thinking is correct, we’ll get off on the right foot, but our NAP goes later in the day at 3.50pm. Another handicap, this one decided over the six furlongs trip, nine runners are expected to battle it out for the £18,675 prize, and that cheque will go to connections of Sainted.

A very well looked after four-year-old, punters may be surprised to see she arrives at track having only raced five times before. There’s no doubt she has plenty of ability, her CV showing three wins from those five goes, including two in her last three outings. It’s a mystery as to why she has not been more active, but we do like what we’ve seen so far.

Sainted steps down in grade

Based at the William Haggas yard, she was seen making a winning debut around Doncaster at the tail-end of 2015. Followed that with a runner-up at Leicester, narrowly beaten on that occasion, before scoring back-to-back at Newmarket and York. Both wins came over 7f, but both came with plenty to spare over the field.

Impressive stuff, and easy to admire on paper, but her best performance to date came last time out when mid-division at Goodwood earlier this month. Stepping up in grade, she went in the Queens Plate Oak Tree Stakes, a group three affair, and held her own in decent company, despite finding a real lack of racing room. We’re confident she would’ve gone much closer had a gap appeared, but Sainted will take experience from that, and can continue to impress here.

Haydock selections

1.50 – Punkawallah

2.20 – Cool Spirit

2.50 – Lexington Sky

3.20 – Danish Duke

3.50 – Sainted

4.20 – Always Thankful

4.50 – Indy

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