Haydock tips: Mitchum Swagger to walk a Superior Mile, Shakpoee up for the Old Borough Cup
There’s more than just the Sprint Cup to bet on this Saturday, with Haydock tips available on the Superior Mile betting, the Old Borough Cup and the Be Friendly Handicap also on a terrific seven-race card!
Coral horse racing experts assess the best bets from the rest of the action on Merseyside…
Mitchum Swagger can prove Superior to Haydock rivals
Mitchum Swagger has some solid form to his name and can take the step up into Group 3 company in his stride to land the Superior Mile (15:00).
This David Lanigan trained gelding looked a good prospect when making a winning debut in a 20-runner maiden at Newbury, coming from off the pace and showing a smart turn of foot to get up and score by a neck.
Mitchum Swagger was allotted an opening handicap mark of 87 on the back of that success, and made a mockery of it when scoring over course and distance last September.
The four-year-old has since had just five starts and has run far better than the bare result suggests in two outings this season.
Unlucky in Royal Hunt Cup
In the first of those, Mitchum Swagger looked and arguably unlucky loser when third of 28 to Portage in the ultra-competitive Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot.
The son of Paco Boy was still last with three furlong to go but flew home despite not getting the clearest of passages to be gaining at the finish and beaten just 1 1/2 lengths.
It was a cracking effort and Mitchum Swagger backed it up with a solid head second to Buckstay at Chelmsford when not finding by the drop back to 7f to his liking and getting going all too late.
The step back up to 1m is sure to suit, with Mitchum Swagger remaining lightly-raced and open to further progress for a yard going great guns at present.
As the overnight favourite in the Superior Mile betting, Mitchum Swagger odds are definitely worth siding with in case he shortens nearer the race time!
Shakopee poised to go one better in Old Borough Cup
Shakopee ran a stormer when runner-up last time out and can go one beter to land the 1m 6f Old Borough Cup (15:30), which is a handicap.
Trained by Luca Cumani, the gelding looked one to keep onside when showing a smart turn of foot to easily land a 1m 2f contest at Doncaster three starts back.
Although then not at his best when only 14th of 17 at Goodwood, the four-year-old was slowly away and seemed unsuited by the undulations of the track.
Shakopee proved that to be the case when quickly bouncing back and going down by just a neck to Barsanti in a competitive 15-runner affair over 1m 4f at York.
After being held-up well off the pace, the son of High Chaparral was making smooth headway when denied a clear run a furlong from home and was gaining all the way to the line, having been forced to switch.
It was a fine effort given how the race panned out, and the lightly-raced Shakopee looks the type who could have more to offer now stepped up further in trip.
Robot Boy each-way value and can Be Friendly to punters
Robot Boy has become dangerously well-treated, so looks worth an each-way wager in a wide-open renewal of the 5f Be Friendly Handicap (16:00) now he’s partnered by Fran Berry for the first time.
This David Barron trained gelding won the consolation race for Scottish Sprint Cup in 2014 before following up in good style at Newcastle, and got back to winning ways on his second outing last season when readily betting Normal Equilibrium by a 1 length at Newbury off a mark of 103.
Robot Boy went on to finish an excellent 3 1/2 length eighth of 18 to Goldream in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, and backed that up with a solid fourth of 18 to Double Up at Ascot off a mark of 106.
The six-year-old is now able rating of 96, 7lb lower than when last successful, and had been running well prior to a far too free rein in first-time blinkers last time out at York when well-beaten.
With the blinds now dispensed with, it would be no surprise to see Robot Boy bounce back. The booking of Berry, meanwhile, suggests connections mean business as he has a 66 per cent strike rate when teaming up with the yard in the past 12 months.
14.25: Red Ensign
15.00: Mitchum Swagger (NAP)
15.30: Shakopee (NB)
16.00: Robot Boy (E/W)
16.30: Quiet Reflection