The Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock is the key betting heat of the racing weekend and Bated Breath is my fancy against the field at odds of 10-3. One of the UK’s top sprinters last season Bated Breath was unlucky with three second prizes in Group 1 races. In-form trainer Roger Charlton’s stable-star tops the official ratings, likes the track and looks sure to put up a bold showing. The step back in trip to 5f won’t inconvenience him as Bated Breath has pace to burn.
Later on the card at Haydock, Al Muheer looks a horse to keep onside in the 4.40. Ruth Carr’s seven-year old won a Thirsk Class 4 handicap a week ago by six lengths over a mile and it was as easy as the winning distance suggests. He steps up in Class but looks capable of entering the winner’s enclosure again.
On Sunday the Irish 2000 Guineas takes place at the Curragh. There has been a major midweek gamble on Jim Bolger’s Parish Hall as the shrewd Irish trainer attempts an audacious bid to land a famous double with the horse also entered in next Saturday’s Derby. Parish Hall should run well but on breeding he will be suited by further and I prefer his each-way chances in the Derby.
Aidan O’Brien seeks his fourth Irish 2000 Guineas win in five years. O’Brien fields four runners and he could land the big race again with Power. The three-year old was very disappointing in the 2000 Guineas but better ground will be key to his chances on Saturday. In last year’s Dewhurst which Parish Hall won, Power would have been better suited by a stronger pace. Denied a clear run in the final furlong, Power was switched off the rail to challenge and finishing with a flourish he failed by only half a length to peg back Parish Hall. The extra furlong of the Irish Guineas will be advantageous and although Wrote is highest on the figures from the O’Brien camp, Power is each-way playable at 6-1.