Haydock Temple Stakes and Silver Bowl Preview
Haydock is the venue for some top class racing this weekend with the feature event being the Group 2 Temple Stakes over five furlongs. Sole Power is almost certain to start favourite following his victory in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket, a race that gives him the edge over Kingsgate Native (2nd), Tangerine Trees (3rd) and Spirit Quartz (5th).
Sole Power finished runner-up to Bated Breath 12 months ago in a race that smashed the track record. His impressive win at Newmarket followed two solid efforts at Meydan and he looks the one to beat. He may have most to fear from the least exposed runners in the field, Reckless Abandon and Pearl Secret.
Reckless Abandon starts the season unbeaten and ended his two-year-old campaign with gutsy victories in two Group 1 events, the Prix Morny and the Middle Park Stakes. Pearl Secret lost his unbeaten record in the Nunthorpe Stakes last season but had previously looked likely to make the grade as a top sprinter. Maarek and Swiss Spirit finished out of the money in the Duke Of York Stakes last week but would also have claims on their best form.
The Silver Bowl is usually won by a smart three-year-old and Saturday’s race looks like being another high-class renewal. The probable favourite is Andrew Balding’s Here Comes When who won well at Chester to confirm the promise of his fast-finishing second to Baltic Knight at Newbury. However, he is set to meet the Newbury winner on 7lb worse terms on Saturday.
Breton Rock went into many a notebook with his unlucky second at Chester. He missed the break from a wide draw but finished strongly enough to suggest he will give Balding’s horse plenty to think about on with a 2lb pull in the weights. Another leading contender here is the rapidly improving Newstead Abbey who shook off a 9lb rise in the handicap to win easily at Musselburgh in March.
Montiridge, Hay Dude, Makafeh and Red Avenger will also have their supporters in a very competitive race.