Haydock preview: Silver Bowl Handicap (14.35)

Billy Slater looks nicely treated in the Silver Bowl Handicap at Haydock today (14.35), and decent value to land a typically competitive and wide open renewal of the 1m contest.

The Richard Fahey trained colt had just three starts a a juvenile, and caught the eye on the second of those at this venue when fourth to Baitha Alga over 6f.

Billy Slater lost a huge amount of ground when slowly into stride before staying on in tremendous style to be closing at the finish and go down by just 2 3/4 lengths.

The winner is a useful sort now rated 108, the runner-up and third have both won since, and the fifth home Anonymous John has gone on to register three successes and is now rated 93.

That is strong form and makes Billy Slater‘s current handicap mark of 81 look very much on the lenient side.

The son of Pastoral Pursuits also ran well on his final start last season at this venue when third in a 7f contest, finishing just 2 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up Medrano who is now rated 101, and posted an excellent effort on his reappearance at Chester earlier in the month when chasing home Carry On Deryck.

Billy Slater lost vital ground when slowly away, and then got denied a clear run at a vital stage before finishing strongly to go down by 3/4 of a length.

The return to a more galloping track looks sure to suit, and with further progress on the card’s Billy Slater looks weighted to go well off just 8st 1lb.

Storm Rock was a desperately unlucky loser when third over course and distance last time out, and rates a big danger.

The colt was travelling well when being hemmed in by a rival and nearly put over the rails two furlongs from home, but after dropping back to last place rallied strongly to finish a 1 1/4 length third to Gerry The Glover.

There is little doubt in my mind that Storm Rock would have prevailed but for the interference, and in the circumstances it was a terrific effort by the Harry Dunlop trained three-year-old to get so close.

Although now 3lb higher in the weights, Storm Rock is effectively a winner without a penalty and looks sure to go close in the hands of jockey William Buick.