Author: Tony Ward

Eclipster: James Garfield may relish shorter trip in Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock

Saturday 26th May, Haydock, 3:25pm, 6f Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo) Previously run as a Listed race, the Sandy Lane Stakes was upgraded to a Group 2 event in 2015 as a consequence of changes to the sprint racing programme in Britain. The race is restricted to three year old horses. The betting can be an important factor when considering a likely winner of the race as nine of the last 12 winners have been favourite or joint favourite and two of the other three winners were in the top three in the betting. A recent run is...

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Eclipster: Can Battaash keep his cool for the Temple Stakes at Haydock?

Saturday 26th May, Haydock, 4:00pm, 5f, Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo+) The Temple Stakes is run over the minimum trip of 5 furlongs and is open to horses aged three or older, with three year old runners benefitting from and age for weight allowance of 8lbs. The race was established in 1965 and was run at Sandown Park before it was relocated to Haydock Park in 2008. A good run in the Temple Stakes often means that a horse will run in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and several horses have gone on to do the...

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Eclipster: Could it be Magic at Sandown’s Henry II Stakes?

Thursday 24th May, 7:35pm, Sandown, 2m (2m 50y) Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (4yo+) The Henry II Stakes was first run in 1963 and is named after King Henry II who founded a priory on the site of Sandown Park racecourse in the 12th Century. The race was run as a Group 3 event between 1971 and 2001. The following year it was upgraded to Group 2 and was relegated back to its current Group 3 status in 2012. The race is often used as a prep race for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and a number of...

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Eclipster: Two Tips for the Lockinge at Newbury

Saturday 19th May, 3:40pm, Newbury, 1m (Str) Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+) The Lockinge Stakes was run for the first time in 1958. It is the third Group 1 race of the season after the two Guineas classic races. It is named after a former civil parish to the North of Newbury and has been run over several grades during its history. In 1971 when the present race grading system was introduced the Lockinge was designated as a Group 2 race. It was relegated to Group 3 status in 1983 before becoming a Group 2 race...

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Eclipster: Can a Hurdler win the Yorkshire Cup at York?!

Friday 18th May, 3:30pm, York, 1m 6f (1m 5f 188y) Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup (Group 2) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+) The Yorkshire Cup has been part of the British Champions Series since 2011 in the Long Distance division which concludes with the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day in October. To date the winner of the Yorkshire Cup has not gone on to win the Ascot race. The race was originally run as a handicap and the first winner in 1927 was Templestowe. The race was abandoned during the war and re-established as a conditions race. It reverted...

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