A top-notch card at Haydock helps light up the weekend with Limato promising to be the star of the show in the 888sport Sandy Lane Stakes.
It is a pity this horse is a gelding, with any Classic dreams over the winter precluded on those grounds.
For few juveniles caught the imagination as much as Henry Candy’s charge last year, with a four-race campaign rounded off with a defeat of the very capable Mattmu at Redcar that had to be seen to be believed.
Graham Lee’s mount was never off the bridle in cruising to a length and a half success that has been well advertised by the runner-up since.
Candy was a little worried before Limato’s return at Ascot last month that he had perhaps not been showing the same brilliance on the gallops at home, but he need not have worried as his star took his run to five with a straightforward performance.
Adding further credence to the notion his talent remains very much intact is third-placed Adaay coming out to land a nice Listed pot, looking pretty smart himself in the process.
It will be a major surprise if he is beaten and all roads should continue to lead to Royal Ascot and the inaugural Commonwealth Cup.
It could be a big afternoon for Candy, with his Music Master the pick in the 888sport Achilles Stakes.
The five-year-old showed he can mix at the very highest level with valiant efforts in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot and the Sprint Cup at this track last season and he is fully entitled to improve from his comeback third in the Abernant at Newmarket.
It will be interesting to see how he fares dropping back to five furlongs for the first time in his career.
Roger Varian knows what it takes to win the 888sport Pinnacle Stakes and again has a leading contender in Talmada.
* Selections -
Haydock: 1.25 Winterval, 2.00 Talmada, 2.35 Captain Cat, 3.10 Music Master, 3.45 LIMATO (NAP), 4.20 Red Tycoon, 4.55 Illusive.
York: 1.45 Rene Mathis, 2.20 Clever Cookie, 2.55 Lexi’s Hero, 3.30 Innocent Touch, 4.05 Galileo Gold, 4.40 Cartier, 5.15 Celtic Sixpence.
Chepstow: 5.45 Sahreej, 6.15 Diminutive, 6.45 Doctor Bong, 7.15 Strategic Force, 7.45 Pendo, 8.15 Air Squadron, 8.45 Brown Pete.
Chester: 1.50 General Alexander, 2.25 Gran Canaria Queen, 3.00 Gabrial’s Kaka, 3.35 Fleeting Strike, 4.10 Trendsetter, 4.45 Searching, 5.20 Ardmay.
Newmarket: 2.10 Lord Kelvin, 2.45 Peacock, 3.20 Penhill, 3.55 Wordcraft, 4.30 Red Pike, 5.05 Harbour Patrol, 5.40 Mythical Madness.
Stratford: 5.55 Bus Named Desire, 6.25 Thomas Wild, 6.55 Jarlath, 7.25 Storm Of Swords, 7.55 Dubai Prince, 8.25 Friendly Society, 8.55 Officer Hoolihan.
Double: Music Master and Limato.