Andrew Balding: Raise You ready to bounce back at Haydock
The Betway ambassador previews all of his runners on a busy Saturday at Ascot, Haydock, Chelmsford, Lingfield and Arlington.
Looking back at Goodwood, it was just one of those frustrating weeks where nothing seemed to go right for us.
Horses we thought would go close seemed to get stuck in traffic and we just didn’t manage to get the breaks.
Unfortunately, things have continued in the same vein so far this week, but hopefully our luck will turn sooner rather than later.
It will be another busy Saturday on the logistics front here at Park House Stables, with runners all over the place stretching from Ascot all the way over to Arlington Park in the States.
We could have up to 14 runners in total with six or seven set to line up at Ascot’s Shergar Cup meeting, two each at Haydock, Chelmsford and Lingfield, with Pivoine set to fly the flag for us just after midnight in the Arlington Million.
The Shergar Cup meeting was particularly good to us 12 months ago when we saddled three winners, so here is hoping for more of the same.
It is a meeting that we tend to target as it suits us well because it caters for those horses we have towards the top of the handicap who get an opportunity in a tightly-contested small field handicap.
Ascot do a terrific job and it suits our owners well as they can enjoy a good day out too.
Ascot on Saturday
Our first runner of the day is Stone Of Destiny who backs up quicker than ideal in the Dash (13:05), having finished eighth in the Stewards’ Cup last Saturday.
He was drawn on the wrong side of the track and might well have hit the frame if he’d been closer to the action.
He is probably suited to a bigger field, but he could easily hit the frame if they go a good pace.
Next up, Lorelina steps up to two miles for the first time in the Stayers (13:40) after a really nice run at Newbury last time.
She would love a bit of rain and can also go well if seeing out this new trip.
We also have Diocletian , who gets in here as a second reserve so needs a few to come out to get his spot.
The more rain, the better for him and he has been in good nick of late.
Genetics bolted up by 12 lengths in last year’s Challenge (14:15) and returns in good form off an 8lb higher mark.
He ran really well in a valuable race in Madrid and must go close in this again.
The better the ground, the better his chance, so he certainly wouldn’t want too much rain.
Another horse who ran well here last year is Zwayyan , who finished third in the Mile (14:50) and he returns for another go.
He seems in good form and we opted to miss Goodwood and wait for this as it seemed an easier option.
Never Do Nothing has been ultra-consistent and goes in the Classic (15:25) having run well to be third here last month on ground that would have been quicker than ideal.
I’d be disappointed if he isn’t bang in the mix.
My final runner on the card is Hero Hero , who drops back in trip for the Sprint (16:00).
He is a colt we like a lot and he ran remarkably well in the Britannia at Royal Ascot considering he ran with the choke out for most of it.
He’d previously shown a lot of pace at Chester and we look forward to seeing how he gets on here.
Haydock on Saturday
There is plenty of rain forecast up at Haydock, where we are hoping to get Barossa Red back on track in their opening mile handicap (13:25).
He’s been off for a while but certainly won’t mind the conditions.
The feature race on their card is the Rose of Lancaster Stakes (15.05) where we saddle Raise You , who seems in great form at home.
He steps back down in class after running down the field in the Group One Prix du Jockey Club last time and I’m looking forward to seeing him back in action.
This certainly won’t be easy with Addeybb and Pondus in the line-up, and this will tell us a lot about where we go next with Raise You.
Chelmsford on Saturday
We send two to Chelmsford starting with Crossing The Line in the valuable fillies’ handicap (15:55).
She goes particularly well here and was a good second behind Billesdon Brook at the track two starts back.
We know she operates well around here so it seemed the sensible place to come after finishing down the field in the Bunbury Cup last time.
Our other runner is the hugely frustrating Papa Stour who runs in the penultimate handicap (16:30).
He is so frustrating as he doesn’t show any of his great homework on the track.
I’m hoping that the first-time visor may just spark him into life but he’s becoming disappointing.
Lingfield on Saturday
On Saturday night I run a couple at Lingfield starting with Geomatrician in the opening handicap (17:10).
He was a little bit disappointing on fast ground at Salisbury last time, but we will just put a line through that run and go again, we know he is better than that.
There are only the seven runners, but it does look quite a strong race for the level.
My other runner Riverfront (17:45) takes his chance in the next and is somewhat of a working progress.
He just may need a bit more time.
Arlington on Saturday
Last, but by no means least, I have an excellent team out in Arlington looking after Pivoine who takes his chance in the Arlington Million (00:12).
It was some performance to win at York last time under a big weight and he has always been a horse we have thought a lot of.
When he’s good, he’s very good and deserves a tilt at a Grade One prize like this.
There isn’t much between the best US turf horses and our very best handicappers and he shouldn’t be out of place in a race like this with plenty of prize money up for grabs.
Obviously Bricks And Mortar looks the best of the home challenge, but we will give it a good go.
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