The John Of Gaunt Stakes is centre stage on Haydock’s Saturday afternoon card as three days of racing at the Merseyside track comes to a close and Charlie Hills is looking to give Godolphin another afternoon to savour hot on the heels of Masar’s Derby win.
Dutch Connection to win @ 3/1
Dutch Connection ran a stormer last month at in the Lockinge at Newbury in finishing fourth behind Rhododendron at a massive 50/1. He can build on that now with extra fitness to call upon, a drop in class and – most crucially of all – a drop to seven-furlongs.
For all the five-year-old travelled powerfully at Newbury, he was least at ease in the final furlong and once again served to highlight that he just lacks the stamina for a mile in elite company.
This is his trip, as he showcased last summer with a Group 3 win in the Supreme Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. But for the timing of that race, he’d be forfeiting weight to his Haydock rivals in the form of a penalty but that race fell outside the cut-off and he will therefore compete on level terms.
With conditions and trip in his favour, James Doyle can bring Dutch Connection home in front and leave the Godolphin boys smiling again on Saturday afternoon.
Mustajeer to win @ 6/4
Ger Lyons has improved the lot of Mustajeer since he took him from Owen Burrows in the UK and he returned to action with a career-best effort in defeat behind Cliffs Of Moher in the Mooresbridge Stakes last time out.
Mustajeer had won at Naas last season over this trip and also ran well in Listed class there but his effort behind Aidan O’Brien’s charge was a step up, one that the winner has paid tribute to since when finishing second in the Tattersall’s Gold Cup.
Lyons looks to have crafted a strong and clear opportunity for his charge this afternoon and he’s deemed unlikely to pass it up.
Mossy’s Lodge to win @ 6/1
Anthony Carson’s mare has only made three starts on turf up until now and could still have untapped potential at this level.
She was a winner at Chelmsford in February under William Carson and is worth chancing in a wide open handicap here.
Mossy’s Lodge found only one too good at Yarmouth in her previous start and finds plenty of potential deadwood in this field.
She’s drawn close by Baby Gal and Cat Royale, two of the other likely leading protagonists, and should make use of that in laying down a strong challenge.
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