Thursday’s Racing Preview: Van Gerwen To Hit The Bullseye5 min read
We suggested in yesterday’s column that Prejudice – 11/2 from 6s with BetVictor in the 12f Handicap – and Irish raider True Self – 13/8 from 2s – might be a shade overpriced for their respective targets at Haydock Park on Saturday and both have attracted support. The ground is currently described as good to soft with significant rain forecast for the area on Friday.
They begin their three-day June meeting at Haydock this afternoon and Smeaton represents the in-form yard of Roger Fell in the opener. This represents a big step up in trip for the lightly-raced maiden who is 3lbs “well-in” today having finished second at Hamilton over 9f last week.
Frankadore was taken out of a race on soft ground at Chester last month by Tom Dascombe and he has a bit to find with Highwaygrey (2.10) on recent course form when the selection completely missed the break but came home with a wet sail over 10f. The Dascombe colt is 4lbs better off today and the yard won the corresponding race 12 months ago, but I expect the Tim Easterby gelding to confirm the form.
Enough Already (4.40) showed nothing on debut but finished third in a decent 6f Maiden at Goodwood’s main meeting at the end of July. The 3-y-old has been gelded in the interim period and is obviously no star, but he should appreciate this step up to 7f and has a good draw in stall four.
Enough Already (4.40)
Soft ground expected at Hamilton and Makyon (2.00) shaped with promise when runner up at York on fast ground last month and he is taken to go one better this afternoon. The selection’s sire Make Believe appreciated soft ground so there is every chance he will handle underfoot conditions and champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa takes over in the saddle.
Group 1 winning sprinter Sounds Of Mali (3.30) escapes a penalty for his Ascot win on soft ground back in October and I expect him to return to winning ways today, having been no match for Blue Point out in Meydan when last seen in April. Barry McHugh takes over in the saddle for Richard Fahey on the 4-y-old who is 10/1 at BetVictor for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot later in the month.
If a low draw is not an issue for Van Gerwen (5.00) then I expect to see Les Eyre’s 6-y-old go close with De Sousa a significant jockey booking. The selection has won off higher marks in the past, will enjoy the cut in the ground and must go close if his draw in stall one is not a problem. Indeed, on soft ground a low number can often be a plus at Hamilton Park.
Sounds Of Mali (3.30)
Van Gerwen (5.00)
If the ground is genuinely good at Ffos Las, then I hope to see a big run in the opener from Culm Counsellor (5.35) who ran his best race for some time when third behind a subsequent winner at Warwick last time. The selection has been dropped 1lb for that effort and has won from higher marks in the past. Bryony Frost keeps the ride.
Culm Counsellor (5.35)
In the listed Glencairn Stakes at Leopardstown Hand On Heart (6.50) looks sure to appreciate a return to a mile having stayed on strongly over an inadequate 7f on her last start. The selection won her first two starts before disappointing last autumn, but she is open to further improvement for Fozzy Stack after just six career starts and gets the each way vote.
Hand On Heart (6.50)