Haydock preview: Dude ready to turn on the style

Handsome Dude shaped with plenty of promise on his seasonal reappearance, and looks the one to beat in the 5f feature handicap at Haydock today (15.40).

The David Barron trained colt had just two runs as a juvenile, shaping well when fifth on his debut at Ripon before opening his account in good style at York.

Handsome Dude went left at the start in the latter, but showed plenty of dash to recover quickly to track the leader before taking up the running a furlong from home to readily beat Brando by 1 3/4 lengths.

It was a most taking performance, and one which suggested Handsome Dude would make up into a useful handicapper as a three-year-old.

That view was confirmed when the son of Showcasing reappeared in a hot handicap at York seven days ago and ran far better than his final finishing position suggests.

Handsome Dude raced with plenty of zest on the heels of the leaders despite running green, and held every chance until weakening a furlong from home to finish a 4 1/4 length 11th of 18 to Indescribable.

Jockey Graham Gibbons allowed Handsome Dude to come home in his own time once it was clear he would not be winning, and he looks sure to come on a bundle for the outing.

This race is also far less competitive, and represents a good opportunity for Handsome Dude to get back in the winners’ enclosure for s stable going great guns at present.

In the 1m 2f handicap that closes proceedings (17.20), Tenhoo can take advantage of a drop in the weights to score an overdue success.

Race horse trainer ERIC ALSTON. Copyright Martin Lynch.

The Eric Alston trained nine-year-old was last successful in a 1m 4f contest at this venue back in June 2013 when beating Zenafire by a head off a mark of 66.

Tenhoo went on to finish a solid third off 70 and is now able to race off just 56.

That is 10lb lower than when last successful and the lowest mark the veteran has run off for four years.

It gives Tenhoo every chance at the weights, and the gelding has caught the eye in his last two starts at Newcastle and looks primed to run a huge race at a track where he has twice been successful.

14.00: Life Less Ordinary
14.30: Hibou
15.05: Honeysuckle Lil
15.40: Handsome Dude (NAP)
16.15: Its Gonna Be Me
16.50: Rocket Punch
17.20: Tenhoo (NB)