With the Oaks, Derby and Royal Ascot on the horizon, there is plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks, but before all of that there is some decent stuff at Haydock, Beverley and Chester.

Here are Nick Luck’s thoughts and fancies.


CAPOTE’S DREAM is on a real roll for his capable new stable, and he can win the first televised race from Haydock Park on Saturday (1.45pm) at 11/2. Although he has arguably shown a bit more dash on the all-weather, he did well to win after a troubled trip at Windsor (runner-up respectable effort since) and has been lucky to get away with just a tiny rise in the weights. There aren’t too many in form here and this progressive gelding might just be hiding in plain sight.

KING’S LYNN (6/1) can gain revenge on El Astronaute from their meeting at Chester last time in the Achilles Stakes (2.20pm). Andrew Balding’s horse has always been highly regarded, and probably faced an impossible task around that track given how smartly the winner broke. El Astronaute will not be gifted that kind of advantage here, however, particularly with Ornate, Zargun and Glamorous Anna in the field, and I fancy that a stalk-and-pounce type might be the way to play this.

SALSADA might upset the applecart in the Pinnacle Stakes (2.55pm) at 7/1. On the face of it, she’s got plenty on her plate, but this is a thin Group 3 with plenty of questions about the front of the market in terms of their form or whether they will handle conditions. Salsada shaped really well for a long way when stepped up in class last back end on soft ground, is a course winner and is open to quite a bit more improvement than most.

SAFE VOYAGE has a bit to prove after two unusually dismal efforts, but anything like his best makes him a bet at 11/4 in the John Of Gaunt (3.30pm). A multiple course winner on this ground, including in this race two years ago, he has the perfect draw on the inside to dominate on his favourite track. His Lockinge effort should have taken the freshness off him: he didn’t appear to get home at all and his rider didn’t knock him around. I expect a big run this time.


JAZZY PRINCESS is a speculative shout at XX in what looks quite a winnable Hilary Needler at Beverley (2.00pm). Her sire Prince Of Lir won the Brian Yeardley on this card as a newcomer for these connections, while she comes from an above average family relative to most of these and the yard is in pretty good form.

TIPPERARY SUNSET looked well forward on his debut, but might be able to go in again in this year’s Brian Yeardley (3.10pm) at 4/1. What impressed me at Hamilton was how well he hit the line having run quite keenly throughout, suggesting he had a bit in hand over the well fancied Ryan’s Party (reopposes). The Gatekeeper should appreciate the drop in trip, but may not be open to quite the same progression. 

LATE ARRIVAL is a complete wild one at 33/1 for an impossible looking crapshoot (3.45pm). He almost certainly has more to offer for his new yard judged on his quietly progressive form for the Crisfords last year, some of which makes him look perfectly well-handicapped. His huge price here owes much to his apparent no-show on his seasonal debut, but he showed speed and enthusiasm for an inexperienced apprentice for a long way there (hot race), before being allowed to coast home. He also showed a pronounced knee action, suggesting very deep ground wouldn’t be a problem. This stiffer test will suit, his rider is fantastic value for a claim, and he’s worth a chance each-way.


BOARDMAN was the winner of Late Arrival’s race at York, and he can duly follow up in the feature at Chester (2.40pm). He couldn’t have been more impressive that day, and his pedigree suggests he should be much better still. He has a lovely draw here, with out of form speed to his inner to drag him into the race. A perfect set-up looks on the cards at 11/2.

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