The Temple Stakes (4.10 Haydock Sat 21st May) is a Group-2 race run over 5-furlongs. It was originally run at Sandown Park, where it remained until 2007, before being transferred to its new home at Haydock Park.
Since 2008, it has been won by two 3-year-olds, two 4-year-olds, two 5-year-olds, one 6-year-old, and one 8-year-old. No trainer has won it twice in that period, but jockey George Baker has ridden two winners in that time.
The weather forecast could have a major bearing on this year’s race, as rain is forecast, and the effect it will have on the ground is an unknown, so it may be wise to take a weather-watching brief before you place your bets.
Here’s an analysis of the possible runners for the 2016 Temple Stakes.
Brought to his peak to win his two major group-1 targets, the King’s Stand and the Prix De L’abbaye, and he absolutely loves fast ground. However, he was below par in this last year, and has to concede 4lb and upwards to useful rivals.
Listed winner over 6-furlings here and often tried at 7-furlongs. Running-style doesn’t cry out that he needs to drop for 5-furlongs, and unlikely winner.
Listed and Group-3 winner, but not group-1 class on all evidence so far. Loves fast ground, and could improve this year, but lots to find with plenty of these on form.
Not up to this class, but could inject plenty of pace for the high-numbered runners.
Move In Time
Saves best form for Longchamp, but was behind Goldream, Muthmir and Pearls Secret there in October.
Talented individual, but was probably flattered when winning group-2 at Goodwood last year, as he had the best of the draw and got a dream split. Racing room could be more tough to find here, but dangerous if he finds it.
Last year’s winner, and run well all 3 course starts, but this year’s race is tougher on paper.
Appeared to have improved over the winter when winning group-3 on reappearance, but the first three home where all draw high so form may be unreliable. Potential for further improvement though.
Often runs well in listed and group-3 races, but needs a big step-up to play a hand here.
Loveable class sprinter who will love it if the ground stays fast, but asking a lot of him to recapture his best form at his age.
Course and distance winner, but this requires a personal best, and came good in the Autumn last year.
Likes to force the pace, but that looks likely to help set-up the race for a late finisher, and held by a few of these even on his best form.
Form figures over 5-furlongs read 1/1/1/1/1/3, and he was very keen when only third last time on ground softer than ideal. One of the more interesting runners, as he could still have plenty of improvement to come, but usually needs look in running, and will need the gaps to appear.
Looked absolutely brilliant when winning the Nunthorpe last year, broke the track record on her seasonal debut last year, and has won 6 of her last 7. Will probably need the ground to be genuinely good at worst to run, and would be a good thing if it turned even softer. However, if it remains good to firm, she’s an unlikely runner.
Made it 3 wins 4 when slamming a well-backed horse at Chester last-time, though the horse that he beat also finished second next time. Trainer does well here and, as a 3-y-o, he could be improving rapidly.
Temple Stakes Summary
Meccas Angel is the class act in the race but, if the ground remains on the quick side, then Waady could be an interesting alternative.