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Morning all,

Inside today’s main piece I preview tomorrow’s bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock. Plus, you’ll also find today’s selection.

No Eclipse for World

Just six were left in tomorrow’s Eclipse. Real World, runner-up to Baaeed on his last two starts wasn’t declared. Neither were the Aidan O’Brien pair Stone Age & High Definition. The lack of either of the latter pair in the line-up means there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of pace. The one most likely to go out in front is the William Haggas trained Alenquer. The race looks likely to be a tactical one and if it is whoever gets first run will likely win.

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Lancashire Oaks – Haydock

The final declarations for the Lancashire Oaks came out on Thursday. Eight fillies & mares were left in the race, but they do include the front pair in the ante post betting.

The Group 2 Lancashire Oaks run over 1m 4f has been won seven time by John Gosden and his yard is 4 winners from 13 runners +7.25 6 placed in the past ten years. They have the likely race favourite in Free Wind.

Trends

Turning to the ten-year trends for the race.  All ten winners shared the following traits:

Odds SP: 20/1 & under

Best in Five Run: 1st

On Course Profits free Horse Racing magazine

Runs in Season: 0 to 2

LTO Placing: Finished first six

Using the above trends removed 57% of the runners.

Contenders:

Free Wind ended last season withwins in a Group 3 at Deauville and the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster and must be respected given the record of her yard in the race. For those going for Free Wind I wouldn’t be put off by her 296-day absence as such runners are 2-4 since 2012.

Next in the ante post betting is the Roger Varian trained Eshaada who improved to win the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day. She looked a bit rusty when only 5th of 6 under her Group 1 penalty in the Group 3 Aston Park Stakes at Newbury on her return to action. Better expected here and she’s 3lb ahead of Free Wind on RPR’s. Her Ascot win came on good to soft, so an easier surface won’t inconvenience her.

Besides the front two in the ante post betting Free Wind and Eshaada who have strong claims. Sea La Rosa won the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes over C&D last time. The third in that race Nell Quickly re-opposes and won’t be inconvenienced by the likely easier ground.

Three-year-old’s are 1-13, 2 places since 2012. There are two entries from that age group: Kawida, 5th of 11 in the Oaks who won here as a juvenile and wasn’t suited by the Epsom undulations and Stay Alert who won a Listed race at Newbury (1m 2f) last time. The latter looks capable of more improvement for the step up to 1m 4f.  

Friday Racing:

The weekend’s action gets underway today with the start of Sandown’s Coral-Eclipse meeting. The highlights of a seven-race card are three Listed contests. There’s more flat action at Doncaster, Haydock, and Beverley. Newton Abbott also stages an afternoon jumps fixture. Across the Irish Sea the racing this evening takes place at Wexford and Bellewstown.

Sandown

The Coral Marathon (2:20) see the return of the Sir Mark Prescott trained Alerta Roja. The filly improved markedly when a 2 ½ lengths 2nd of 6 to Stradivarius in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup last September. Granted see was probably flattered by her proximity to the winner but she’s open to further improvement as a 4-year-old and with a weak pace forecast she could get the race run to suit.

The Listed Gala Stakes (4:05) see’s former Group 1 winner Addeybb installed as the short price favourite. He’ll be sharper for his 6-length 3rd of 5 to Bay Bridge in Brigadier Gerard Stakes over C&D. He shouldn’t face much pace pressure although Passion And Glory could go forward.  Provided there’s some ease in the ground he can make his class advantage count.  His main rivals seem to be Harrovian and Regal Reality.  The pair were 3rd and 4th respectively in the Listed Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. The latter was doing his best work at the finish but won’t want the race to get tactical. Harrovian is likely to be better placed. However, he wouldn’t want the ground to ease much further as he needs quick ground to show his best.

Doncaster

The best handicap of the day is at the South Yorkshire track. Betfair Daily Rewards Handicap (3:20).  A class 2 contest over the minimum trip which has attracted a field of ten sprint handicappers. There was plenty of money around for Regional before his respectable 3 ¼ length 6th of 14 to Mr Wagyu at Epsom last time. He might just have needed the run after a 4-month absence that day. Provided he handles the drop back to 5f he looks the on to beat.

Jawaal won this last year off 2lb higher, but he was last of 7 over C&D last time. However, the relatively modest gallop probably wasn’t in his favour. Prior to that run he had been a bit of a C&D specialist having won all three starts over 5f here. He’s yet to hit form on his three starts this season but a strongly run race on quick ground could see him bounce back.  

Sampers Seven ran a cracker when a neck 2nd of 8 to Sound Reason at Haydock. That was the mare’s first start for 20 months and she was only caught close to home that day. Well below form the next time but that race came only nine days after her big effort at Haydock. Each way claims if reproducing her penultimate run.

Friday Selection:

Haydock

7:08 – I’m taking a chance here that Bond Power is effective on soft ground. He seemed to handle it when a 2 ½ length 2nd of 10 to El Caballo at Carlisle on his juvenile racecourse debut last May.  A winner at Beverley (good to firm) on his nursery debut last season. He put in a better effort than his seasonal return when a 3 ½ length 3rd of 6 at Ripon last time. The first time cheekpieces are an interesting addition. If the ground is suitable, I can seem him going close in a slightly lesser race than last time.

Bond Power – 12/1 @ bet365 (paying 3 places 1/5 odds)

Good luck with your Friday bets.

John

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