Betway Sparkling Saturday at Haydock Park is the main horse racing action this Saturday (June 8) and the seven-race card features three highlights in the Pinnacle Stakes, Achilles Stakes, and the John of Gaunt Stakes.
Check out our stats, analysis, and free tips for Betway Sparkling Saturday 2019.
Pinnacle Stakes (2.25)
The Pinnacle Stakes is a Group 3 Race for fillies and mares aged four and older and it is run over 1 mile 3 furlongs and 175 yards. Four-year-olds have won six of the last 10 editions, with five-year-olds winning three, and a six-year-old winning the other. Three winners have been berthed in stall-three, with the other seven drawn in between stalls five and nine.
Nine of the last 10 winners had finished in the top-three last time out. Eight winners had run between 14 and 41 days earlier, whilst the other two were making their seasonal debuts. Only one penalised runner has won in the last decade. Roger Varian and John Gosden have both trained two of the last 10 winners.
Nine runners are set to go to post for the 2019 Pinnacle Stakes, but Dancing Legend, Jedhi, Jet Streaming, and Magnolia Springs all have plenty to find on official ratings. Klassique has less to find on the book on a mark of 102 but her two wins have come in handicaps off marks of 80 and 86 and she was beaten off level-weights by a 97-rated horse on her seasonal debut.
Mrs Sippy and Highgarden are closely matched on form from last year but, though Mrs Sippy has a 3lb pull for being beaten a head, she ran poorly on her seasonal debut. Meanwhile, Highgarden makes her seasonal debut today and both of John Gosden’s other two winners in the last decade had enjoyed a prep run.
Pilaster is another with decent past form in the book, but she also hasn’t been at her best so far this season and didn’t seem to enjoy soft ground on her only previous run on it, be that was in Group 1 company.
That leaves us with True Self, who is officially the best filly in the race by 6lb. She was only an average hurdler up to running on the flat for the first time five runs ago but she has now won her last four races, including a soft-ground defeat of the 114-rated Air Pilot. She’ll be very hard to beat if running to that level for in-form trainer Willie Mullins.
Achilles Stakes (3.00)
The Achilles Stakes is a Listed Race that is open to horses aged three and older and it is run over five furlongs. Only one three-year-old has been successful in the last decade, with the other winners aged between five and 10. The three-year-old carried 8-5 to victory, with the others carrying between 9-3 and 9-8 to success.
The last nine winners were all beaten on their previous run, with the last eight all having a prep race between seven and 69 days earlier. Winners have been drawn as low as stall-two and as high as stall-10, with the last soft-ground winner being drawn in stall-two.
Nine runners are set to go to post, and Treasure Me has been struggling to get her head in front and takes another step-up in class here. Useful looking French import One Last Night has yet to suggest she can win this since moving to England, whilst Maid In India has won on soft ground but most of her best form has come over six-furlongs and she has a bit to find at the weights.
The ground may be too soft for the classy pair of Danzeno and Tarboosh to show their best, whilst Dave Dexter relishes plenty of cut but has a few pounds to find with two other horses that handle soft ground well.
One of those is Intense Romance and she’s fancied to go close, but Stake Acclaim is just preferred. A promising handicapper on soft ground in 2017, he returned from injury with a stunning success at Ascot.
He also ran a terrific race to be second over six-furlongs at Haydock in a big race, and a line through Mr Lupton gives him the beating of Intense Romance. A saver on the once-raced Lady In France could be a wise move, as she gets lots of weight from the older horses and surely wouldn’t be running if shrewd trainer Karl Burke didn’t fancy her chances.
John Of Gaunt Stakes (3.35)
The John Of Gaunt Stakes is a Group 3 race for horses aged four and older run over 7 furlongs and 37 yards. The last 10 winners have been aged between four and eight and enjoyed a prep race 14 to 35 days earlier. The most interesting fact is that eight of the last 10 winners have been drawn in either stalls one, two, or three, with the winner coming out of stall three the last time the race was run on soft ground.
The likes of Shepherd Market, Mitchum Swagger, Larchmont Lad, Keyser Soze, and Burnt Sugar look outclassed, whilst it’s asking a lot of Breton Rock to win this at the age of nine.
The ground also looks to have gone against the likes of Sir Dancelot, Mankib, Sudeois, and Tip Two Win.
Snazzy Jazzy is feared as he loves soft and heavy ground and won at this level in France under such conditions on his final start last season, but a 3lb penalty, stall-eight, and the fact this is his seasonal debut puts me off.
That leaves Safe Voyage, who is four wins from five runs on a soft surface. He’s also three wins from three runs over course and distance, including when winning on his seasonal debut, and he’s taken to continue his progression from stall-three.