Fresh from putting up the Temple Stakes winner last week, there are more Haydock betting tips for this Saturday. The feature contest on the May 29 card is the John of Gaunt Stakes, supported by the Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares and a Listed sprint. In Ireland, meanwhile, we have picks from Punchestown over jumps. See who our experts like at these two big horse racing venues.
Haydock betting tips – Njord the each-way play in John of Gaunt Stakes
In the 7f Group 3 John of Gaunt Stakes (15:30), NJORD makes plenty of each-way appeal on the pick of his form. Trained in Ireland by Jessica Harrington, the five-year-old progressed last season and won on his last British start in the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day at Ascot.
Njord has always needed his first run and shaped far better when a two-length third to Snapraeterea in a Listed contest at Naas last time out. As he gave the winner 11lb weight for age and 2lb to the runner-up, it was a fine effort. The consistency shown by the Roderic O’Connor gelding in Premier and Heritage Handicaps suggests he can make his presence felt at this level.
Last year’s winner, Safe Voyage, drops back in trip and grade after not firing in the Lockinge at Newbury. This is obviously easier with nothing the calibre of Palace Pier in the line-up, but John Quinn’s stable star is an eight-year-old now. Much as I like Safe Voyage, he can be opposed here.
In an open renewal of the John of Gaunt, Njord could hit the frame if running up to his official rating of 108. With Shane Foley again aboard after two wins and as many placed efforts in seven starts on him, the standout 9/1 with Bet365 looks the each-way value in the race.
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Cabaletta the Pinnacle Punt
Earlier on the card is the extended 1m 3f Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares (14:55). CABALETTA looks the one to be on. Trained by the in-form Roger Varian, this four-year-old daughter of Mastercraftsman has first-time blinkers on that should help her concentrate.
After winning as a juvenile on heavy ground, she came good again on her third start of last season. That was at Listed level around Newbury following a fourth place finish in the Lancashire Oaks here. Cabaletta wandered about in the final furlong that day, so the headgear has arguably been needed since.
She chased home subsequent Lonsdale Cup heroine Enbihaar at Glorious Goodwood and filled the same spot behind Subjectivist in the March Stakes. That one has since landed the Prix Royal-Oak in France and Dubai Gold Cup in Meydan, so it gives Cabaletta leading form claims.
This is much easier than those assignments, and she kept on into third on reappearance in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes behind Queen Power. Now stepping back up in trip and down in grade, this should be the day when Cabaletta delivers under David Egan. She is 13/8 with Betfred to do just that.
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No Achilles heel for Moss Gill in cheekpieces
The last of our Haydock betting tips comes in the Listed 5f Achilles Stakes (14:20), where MOSS GILL could bounce back. Trained in Yorkshire by Edward Bethell, this five-year-old No Nay Never gelding runs in cheekpieces for the first time.
Moss Gill has won in this grade before and his three-length third to Battaash in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at the Ebor Festival last August is perhaps the best form on offer. He now meets Doncaster conqueror Tarboosh off 6lb better terms, so should turn the tables.
After ending last season with a fourth in the Rous Stakes when he fluffed the start, Moss Gill was held just a neck on reappearance at Lingfield. He didn’t get the extra furlong in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan; so, following a break, drops back in distance and grade.
El Astronaute is the favourite here, for the same connections as Safe Voyage. Similar observations apply. I also think Dubai Station has bits of good form but must bounce back from two disappointing efforts. If the cheekpieces work, then Moss Gill looks the value bet at 5/1 with Betfair here on Merseyside for this wide-open sprint contest.
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Punchestown betting tips – Try our picks as Trixie with touch of Abbey Magic
In the Emerald Isle, meanwhile, ABBEY MAGIC can resume winning ways in the opening 2m 4f mares chase at Punchestown (13:20). Trained by Henry De Bromhead, this 10-year-old daughter of Beneficial has four wins from eight starts over fences.
Abbey Magic was behind two subsequent and as many previous winners in a red-hot renewal of the Hurst Park Handicap Chase at Ascot last autumn. The winner, First Flow, went on to land the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase later in the season. Prior to that, Abbey Magic won a graded handicap herself at Cork.
Following a winter break, she returned in the spring with a fine fourth behind Elimay at Fairyhouse’s Easter Festival. As Abbey Magic was only beaten about five lengths, and was less than three behind a Cheltenham Festival winner in Mount Ida, that is strong form.
She also reversed it with the runner-up Demi Pile when a staying on third in a graded handicap at the Punchestown Festival. Abbey Magic gave weight to both the winner and runner-up, but now has terms in her favour. Under regular pilot Rachael Blackmore, she should deliver and is 5/6 with 888sport for success.
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Banbridge can make successful hurdles debut
The next of our Punchestown betting tips is recent bumper winner BANBRIDGE in the extended 2m maiden hurdle (15:35). Trained by Joseph O’Brien for Ronnie Bartlett, this five-year-old Doyen gelding placed in a couple of Irish Points for Colin McKeever before joining his current handler.
Banbridge shaped as though needing the run on his first bumper outing at Thurles in March. He has since bolted up by 8 1/2 lengths at Killarney earlier this month in facile fashion. With his Point form working out so well, he is of obvious interest now switched to hurdles.
Dreams Of Home, his Moira conqueror, has hit a hat-trick since coming over to the UK. The runner-up, Bill Baxter, won a bumper. Banbridge has seen Loughanmore winner Undersupervision score first time out over the smaller obstacles after being beaten just a length by him between the flags.
JJ Slevin now takes the ride for the first time. There are dangers including John Kiley’s bumper mare Powerful Out, while Willie Mullins newcomer Cacique Royale will attract support. They don’t look as open to further progress as Banbridge, however, who is 15/8 with BetVictor for a winning hurdles bow.
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Grangeclare West the bumper bet
In the concluding bumper (16:45), Cheveley Park Stud purchase GRANGECLARE WEST appeals to follow-up under Rules. A four-length success at Lingstown in an Irish Point was enough for his new owners to buy him from Denis Murphy’s yard and send him to Closutton maestro Mullins.
The form of that race between the flags has potential. Both the fifth and eighth horses home have since posted better efforts on their most recent starts. Mullins obviously has a fantastic record with Irish pointers and in bumpers, so Grangeclare West – a gelding by Presenting – is in the right place.
Jody Townend takes the ride and a valuable 7lb off with her claim. Grangeclare West represents connections that have bought some really smart National Hunt racehorses in recent years. On that basis alone, he is of interest in this contest.