Haydock park is our venue of choice today. The Lancashire track looks to the eye like a big wide flat and fair galloping test, however it repeatedly rewards speed, and is unusually suited to course specialists given its visible lack of idiosyncracies.
We have course specialism in mind when looking at the feature race, the 7f conditions stakes (1600 BST).
The weights here hugely favour David O’Meara’s consistent warhorse, So Beloved, who is rated 111, and is at least 7lbs well in with the rest of the field. He has been in decent form all season, and he always gives of his best here at Haydock, winning 2 and placed the other 3 times in 5 course runs.
He is short enough in the betting, but everything looks set for a long overdue win.
The following race (1635) is a 12f handicap in which Niblawi is strongly fancied. He comes here off the back of two good placed runs at Ascot, he won twice at this time last year, but this will be a first run here and he is now a stone above his last winning mark. He could be opposable.
Step forward the ex-Italian Azari. After a debut flat run ended in victory on the sands of Wolverhampton, three decent York runs followed before a narrow win on a first appearance at this track in a lady riders’ race last time.
It is a little bit tricky to assess that last run when he got up to beat the useful dual-purpose Zubayr. The handicapper has had a guess at a 4lb rise, which seems very fair. It might be that the track really suited, and that win may be better than it looks. At the odds he is worth taking a chance with.
We are happy to make him the second leg of a Haydock double following banker So Beloved.
Recommendation: So Beloved (1600 Haydock) & Azari (1635 Haydock), 1pt win double, approx 14/1.
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