An overcast day at Haydock was lit up by some ultra competitive racing, a host of potential future stars and a wealth of course specialist successes.
The first three races contained plenty of promising youngsters and the day kicked off with the well-bred Gassin Golf staying on determinedly to see off Gabrial The Hero by 2 lengths. The 3 year-old is a son of Montjeu and relished the step up in trip to a mile and three quarters, making relentless headway and travelling strongly. He has the look of a good stayer.
Chat, the well supported favourite, won the E.B.F. Classic Lodges Maiden Fillies’ Stakes in some style. She looked composed in the paddock before this her first career start and translated that to the race, in which she travelled well and extended readily. Strictly Silca was another newcomer who has plenty of scope and she ran well to take second, despite a slow start and hanging in the closing stages. She is speedily bred and could be another nice type for Mick Channon. Chat was the winner however, and continued John Gosden’s fine run of form, not least at this track.
David Simcock and Jamie Spencer are other Haydock Park specialists and the two teamed up to good effect with Cardinal Walter in the Legends Blackpool At Central Pier Showbar Maiden Stakes. The colt came with a withering late run inside the final furlong to nail Swynmor on the line and score for favourite backers. Spencer later doubled up with Postscript, who won for Ian Williams and leading owner Marwan Koukash, who has an excellent record at Haydock, one of his local tracks.
Number Theory was having his sixth start at Haydock in the Trust Inns Publicans Handicap, the feature race of the day. He had previously won on two of his previous visits and had finished placed on the other three past outings. This was another eye-catching success under a good ride from Russell Kennemore. He had a troubled passage mid-race, but made headway up the straight and was always holding Tmaam.
It was a case of déjà vu in the final race, as Natasha Eaton and Alan Bailey, the same combination who took the opener on Timeform Jury Stakes day less than a fortnight ago (courtesy of Fleeting Image), landed the Coloroll Design Handicap with St Ignatius, a readily improving 5 year-old, gaining a third straight win and a second course and distance triumph. In a way none too dissimilar to Fleeting Image, St Ignatius pressed a very strong early pace before striking for home up the straight and holding on by a neck. Eaton and Bailey have now won at each of Haydock’s last three meetings.