Haydock preview: Temple Stakes (15.45)
The Group 2 Temple Stakes is the feature race on a cracking seven-race card at Haydock, and Hot Streak looks to have been primed to defend his crown in the 5f contest (15.45).
Hot Streak had some top quality form as a juvenile, and shaped really well on reappearance last season when a close-up third behind Sole Power in the Palace House Stakes before putting in a stunning performance to land this contest
After slightly missing the break, the Kevin Ryan trained colt showed plenty of early zip to take up the running in a matter of strides and cruised along at the heads of affairs.
Hot Streak then quickly put the race to bed with an instant turn of foot when popped the question by Oisin Murphy a furlong from home, and only had to be pushed out to score with far more in hand than the winning margin of 1/2 a length suggests.
It was a notably strong performance to win against his elders at such an early stage in the season, and Hot Streak went onto finish an excellent 1 1/2 length third of 16 to Sole Power in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes next time up.
It’s fair to say that his form then tailed off, but it could be that the son of Iffraaj is best in the early part of the season, and there was plenty to like about his prep run for this when third to the hugely exciting Mecca’s Angel in the Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp.
That should have blow away the cobwebs and put Hot Streak spot on, and everything looks in place for a huge run.
G Force is the highest rated runner in the line-up as a result of his victory in the Group 1 Sprint Cup over 6f at this venue last September, when coming with storming run from off the pace to beat Gordon Lord Byron by 3/4 of a length.
The David O’Meara trained gelding is class act on his day, but has to shoulder a 4lb penalty for that success and give weight all-round.
That could prove difficult, especially as G Force is arguably better over 6f and lacks a recent outing.
One worthy of the utmost respect is the Charlie Appleby trained Pretend.
The four-year-old has won his last three starts on the all-weather in the manner of an ultra-progressive sort, and looked a Group 1 performer in the making on his penultimate start when showing a stunning turn of foot to land a Listed contest at Lingfield.
Pretend is going to be a massive player if proving as effective on turf, and his breeding suggests it shouldn’t be a problem.