Timeform preview and tips for three races in the next round of the Sky Bet Sunday Series at Haydock.
This mile and a quarter contest looks an intriguing handicap with plenty of in-form horses and features some unexposed three-year-olds taking on some older rivals. Ed Walker’s runner American Flag, who started off in the Wood Ditton at Newmarket in the spring, looks interesting on his handicap debut after just three starts and this is also his first run since being gelded.
But fellow three-year-old Rich King tops the Timeform weight-adjusted ratings and looks the one to beat for Ed Bethell. Rich King hasn’t had much racing either and has the added recommendation of being a course-and-distance winner. He got off the mark in a three-year-old contest here in May when making ground smoothly from off the pace and getting up late for a short-head win over the William Haggas filly Tamilla.
The form of Rich King’s win worked out really well as the runner-up was one of no fewer than four of the beaten horses to win next time out. It was another ten weeks before Rich King had his next run but he could finish only fourth at Southwell last week. However, he shaped better than the distance beaten suggests and had some excuses, being left with too much to do and sticking to the inside of the track which proved the wrong place to be throughout the card. He looks worth another chance from the same mark.
A competitive handicap for fillies over a mile can go to three-year-old Queen Aminatu for the William Haggas stable. Typically for one for her stable, she progressed well earlier in the year, easily winning a novice at Wolverhampton in March and then following impressively on her handicap debut at Lingfield the following month.
Raced only on the all-weather up until then, she then made her turf debut here at Haydock in June and was beaten only narrowly into third when going down by a head and a nose behind Elsals and subsequent dual winner Zulu Tracker. That was over seven furlongs, the distance of both her wins, but the way she ran on late after a slow start suggests she’ll stay another furlong.
Queen Aminatu’s first try at a mile came on her latest start but she proved to be flying a bit too high in a bid for some black type in a listed contest at Sandown last month. She never threatened in finishing sixth of the seven runners behind a potentially smart winner in Grande Dame but looks worth another try at the trip and can resume her progress with her sights lowered again to handicap company.
The final race on the card is a two-mile contest in which the mares Real Terms and Arctic Fox are both seeking hat-tricks. This is a big step up in trip for Real Terms but Arctic Fox is more interesting, particularly as her two recent wins for Martin Todhunter have come at this track.
However, the one takes the eye is Run For Oscar who is sent over from Ireland by Charles Byrnes. He’s probably better known as a useful hurdler and proved better than ever when twice a winner in that sphere last year before contesting the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby.
But Run For Oscar also has winning form from a handful of tries on the Flat and he’s had his attentions switched back to the level this year, contesting a couple of staying handicaps at the Curragh. He never threatened in the first of those after a seven-month break since Wetherby but went with a lot more promise on his last run in June when catching the eye running on late for third and shaping better than the bare result after finding himself short of room and having to switch. The Willie Mullins pair who beat him, Maze Runner and Dark Voyager, have both run well since to be placed in big fields at the Galway Festival, and a Flat mark of 82 suggests Run For Oscar is on a good weight judged against his hurdles form.
We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.
If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.