Sky Sports Racing ambassador Hollie Doyle runs the rule over her five rides at Haydock on Saturday and looks ahead to riding the exciting Frankel filly Nashwa in next Friday’s Cazoo Oaks at Epsom.
Tabdeed has the speed for flying five
Archie Watson’s Tabdeed has never raced over five furlongs but running him in Saturday’s Listed Betfred Nifty Fifty Achilles Stakes (1.45) at Haydock on Saturday is an experiment that could well pay off.
Lightly raced for a seven-year-old, the gelding ran a lovely race on only his second start for Archie to finish third in another Listed sprint at Windsor a couple of weeks ago.
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That was an encouraging return to form for a horse whose last win was a defeat of The Tin Man in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury for previous trainer Owen Burrows two summers ago.
It’s a tough assignment on paper, with Dragon Symbol – a horse I know well – dropping in grade in an attempt to rediscover his sparkle, but a fast-run race on ground Tabdeed should enjoy gives me hope of a bold show.
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Tabdeed (blue and white) wins the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury
Hoping progressive Nell can pass her biggest test
I won twice on Denis Coakley’s lovely filly Nell Quickly last season and am looking forward to seeing how she’s progressed when she steps up in grade for the Group Three Betfred Pinnacle Stakes (2.55) at Haydock.
She’s unbeaten over this one-mile-and-four-furlong trip after signing off with Class 2 handicap wins at Salisbury and Newmarket.
This daughter of The Gurkha broke her maiden for me on the All-Weather at Chelmsford City before we won a Salisbury handicap together, so it did not surprise me she showed such a high level of improvement in the second part of the season.
Nell Quickly is a big filly who should appreciate the good ground at Haydock, and although she needs to take a significant step forward on these terms, the race will be a good indication of her capabilities at this early stage.
Nell Quickly wins on Sun Chariot day at Newmarket
Chef looks well treated on handicap debut
I have always liked Chef De Partie, who makes his handicap debut at Haydock on the back of a promising third run at Goodwood.
Harry and Roger Charlton’s colt was beaten only a neck under Richard Kingscote in a one-mile maiden that day and looks fairly treated off an opening mark of 79 in the opening betfred.com Sankey Handicap (1.10).
I rode this half-brother to my old friend Extra Elusive in his first two starts at Doncaster and Newbury and expect him to run a big race here, with both a decent draw in stall seven and good ground in his favour.
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Dragon a danger if he’s in the mood
I will always be indebted to Scarlet Dragon for giving me my first Royal Ascot success in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes in 2020, and we get together again in the Betfred Double Delight Handicap (2.20) at Haydock.
He’s back with his original trainer Eve Johnson Houghton, as his owner Henry Ponsonby and his partners clearly thought he would benefit from a change of scenery.
Alan King did a great job with him, but the old boy is a bit of a character who certainly has a mind of his own. He ran well enough on his first start for Eve at Newmarket, so if there’s a good pace to aim at he might just decide to put in another big performance.
Doyle winning on Scarlet Dragon at Royal Ascot
Later in the card, I link up with Scott Dixon who runs his in-form sprinter Zargun in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap (4.05). Zargun’s been busy – he ran in big handicaps in consecutive days at York, finishing a close second last time.
Scott does well with his sprinters. I won the Listed Hever Sprint Stakes for him back in February on One Night Stand and it would be lovely to get this lad’s head in front, too.
Excitement building for Epsom
I’m counting down the days to next Friday’s Cazoo Oaks now that my boss Imad Alsagar’s filly Nashwa has been confirmed for the world’s second oldest Classic.
Imad and his trainers John and Thady Gosden had a difficult decision to make as the daughter of Frankel also had strong credentials for the French version over 10 furlong, but I’m delighted she’s going to Epsom as I’m optimistic she will stay the longer trip and cope with such a unique test.
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The Gosdens have hot favourite Emily Upjohn, of course, who looked awesome in the Musidora at York, but Nashwa also takes a compelling profile into the race, so my dreams of a first Classic win are definitely alive.
Meanwhile, my Group One hero Trueshan is set for an away day at Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows after being forced to miss his latest engagement in Thursday’s Henry II Stakes due to unsuitable going at Sandown.
Alan King is understandably keen to get him away from the yard to take a bit of freshness off him in preparation for the Ascot Gold Cup, but we’re all watching the weather forecast quite nervously as the Royal meeting quickly approaches.
Alan King has confirmed star stayer Trueshan will be given an away day to keep him ticking over for the Ascot Gold Cup after skipping Thursday’s Henry II Stakes at Sandown
I will be sitting on the sidelines on Monday after picking up a suspension in the French 1,000 Guineas.
The stewards at ParisLongchamp surprisingly felt I’d taken Christophe Soumillon’s ground on leaving the stalls on Jumbly, but I’ll be back in action the following day with a busy book of rides at Yarmouth, where Imad’s (Alsagar) home-bred Silver Bullet Lady could make her handicap debut for the Charltons.
Hollie Doyle was speaking to Sky Sports Racing’s Simon Mapletoft