An interesting handicap here to kick off the days racing.
Starczewski has settled for second place on both recent outings including his handicap debut. He stayed on well in the end and should benefit from the extra furlong here at Haydock. There’s an argument that he should have seen that race off but it was poor positioning in the final few hundred yards that cost him, even slightly trapped against the rail he still managed to finish strongly. The 3 year old can improve here although he does meet some stiff opposition.
Frankadore in particular was impressive at Newcastle but he didn’t quite show enough to get the nod today.
Starczewski is on a fair mark and one to watch as he bids to improve. The extra distance should make the difference for the Simcock horse who has already shown to be a sturdy stayer on this turf.
At by far the fastest sprint course in the UK the downhill undulations of Epsom Downs provides a very unique test and horses that act well around here should be taken very seriously. It’s safe to say that the David O’Meara trained Highland Acclaim has a great record here at Epsom with 5 victories and 3 top three finishes from 9 starts at this venue. The slight concern is that the eight year old takes a step up to Class 3 company after a couple of disappointing efforts in a lesser grade. That being said however the horse now resides at a 5lbs lower mark than when last successful on turf and this race looks less competitive than some he’s been competing in of late. With better ground predicted expect a good run from Highland Acclaim.
The winner of this race last year Ashpan Sam returns to retain their crown and has a good chance of doing so however at the age of ten and with more weight to carry this time around I can only see him grabbing a place at best.
The pretty consistent Handytalk deserves a market check and a return to turf for Harrogate will be of benefit but I can’t see past Highland Acclaim adding to his course and distance successes.
HIGHLAND ACCLAIM (WIN)
The Cambridge News – PicksfromthePaddock.co.uk:
14:00 Haydock – STARCZEWSKI (WIN)
The Jersey Evening Post – Rory Paddock:
19:15 Epsom – HIGHLAND ACCLAIM (WIN)
East Anglian Daily Times – Dean Kilbryde:
16:00 Haydock – DAL HORRISGLE (WIN)
Norwich Evening News – Chris Connolly:
18:05 Epsom – TAPIS LIBRE (WIN)
Ipswich Star – Matt Polley:
19:15 Epsom – POETIC FORCE (WIN)