All eyes turn to Haydock for the Rose of Lancaster.
Haydock’s Rose of Lancaster Stakes looks a very competitive affair for a Group 3, and it’s hard to rule many of the runners out with confidence. The market is likely to be dominated by Sir Michael Stoute’s Hillstar, who bids to give the Newmarket handler a fourth success in the contest after wins for Greek Dance (1999), Notable Guest (2005) and Class Is Class (2011).
It’s fair to say that Frankie Dettori didn’t get the best out of him when runner-up in the Hardwicke Stakes, but the Italian was much more proactive when he again filled that spot in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket’s July Meeting. That form received a boost when his conqueror landed the Goodwood Cup, and with Ryan Moore back in the plate, he has solid credentials, without looking unassailable at the head of the market.
It was the royal blue of Godolphin which kept Hillstar out of the winner’s enclosure at Newmarket, and Sheikh Mohammed’s operation is double handed in an attempt to repeat that feat here, with both True Story and Vancouverite holding compelling claims on ratings. The former has proved a disappointment since bolting up at Newmarket in April, but he’s been thrown into the deepest water possible since that rout, with his last two runs coming in the Derby and the Eclipse.
Jockey Kieren Fallon has never hidden his regard for the handsome son of Manduro, and he will surely bounce back soon to justify his rider’s faith. This represents an easier task, and while excuses seem to be running out, he’s shown more than enough in defeat to suggest he can make a mark at the highest level when getting a race which showcases his strong-running style better, and it would be folly to write him off as a lost cause. This looks a good opportunity for him to get back to winning ways, and he can use it as a springboard to better things.
Charlie Appleby’s Vancouverite was beaten by the reopposing Amralah at Newbury recently, but is expected to turn the tables given he looked less than cherry-ripe there and didn’t get the best rides given the way that contest was run. Jim Crowley takes over from Jamie Spencer, and a much-improved performance looks in the offing for the ex-Andre Fabre inmate. Nabucco was back in third there, and looks held, for all he’s unlikely to be disgraced.
Of the others, it would be unwise to pass over the chances of Educate, for all he’s coming here off the back of a handicap defeat. That came in the ultra-competitive John Smith’s Cup, and he performed with credit in finishing fourth to Farraaj, so is no forlorn hope.
That’s a comment that also applies to Danadana, but Luca Cumani’s 6-y-o entire seemed to have lots in his favour when bombing out in a lesser race at York recently, and has questions to answer all of a sudden. The 3-y-o challenge comprises another pair in addition to True Story, but while Ayrad and Spark Plug aren’t fully exposed, they appear to have a mountain to climb based on official ratings, and plenty of improvement is needed if that pair are to get involved.
The BetBright Verdict
Win or each-way pick: True Story
Each-way alternative: Vancouverite
Bet on the rose of Lancaster Stakes and all tomorrow’s racing at Haydock Park in our horse racing markets at https://www.betbright.com/horse-racing
The goes off at at 14.55 on Saturday afternoon, let’s hope it stays dry for those making the trip to Haydock!