ITV Racing tips: Haydock trip and ground to bring out the best in Glorious Journey?
On the weekend after the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas and the weekend before the Derby there is an understandable dip in the level of racing.
Yet there is plenty of variety as the ITV cameras descend on Haydock, Beverley and Chester with no afternoon racing being staged anywhere south of The Wash.
Haydock’s programme includes two Group 3 races and a Listed prize while Beverley’s card features the Hilary Needler Trophy, a 5f sprint for juvenile fillies which is back on the schedule for the first time since 2019.
It all unfolds from 13:25pm on ITV and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing tips.
El Astronaute returns to try to win this Listed sprint which he captured in 2020 when the race was run at Doncaster.
He defeated Tarboush by half a length then, and the two are set to lock horns again at Haydock where El Astronaute gets 3lb from his rival.
Tarboush will be a threat again but conceding weight to a horse as reliable as El Astronaute could make a real difference.
El Astronaute has already won 14 times, started his campaign with a first time out victory at Chester and will have no problems on soft ground, having finished third in the Prix de l’Abbaye on very testing conditions in 2019.
Motagally, who had progressive form in handicaps last year, could provide each way interest.
A small field for this 1m4f prize for fillies’ and mares which looks tailor made for the Roger Varian representative Cabaletta.
Varian is fitting blinkers for the first time to the four-year-old who finished third on her return to action behind Queen Power in York’s Middleton Stakes.
She was well beaten but the race was over an inadequate 1m2f for a filly who has been placed at Group 2 level over 1m6f.
She has most to fear from Oriental Mystique who, while running creditably, has yet to add to her solitary victory in an all-weather novice as a two-year-old.
Haydock is a happy hunting ground for John Quinn who won the Temple Stakes in front of the ITV cameras a week ago.
Earlier on the card he will be trying to win a second Achilles Stakes with El Astronaute and he tries the same with Safe Voyage, another stalwart of his yard who won the John of Gaunt when it was last run in 2019.
One of the best 7f horses in the country, he won three times last year and has amassed more than £500,000 in prize-money. Yet he has a bit to prove now having finished last in both the Breeders’ Cup Mile and Lockinge Stakes.
Probably out of his depth in those races, this should be much more his level but, even if this race sparks a revival, Glorious Journey could be a better option.
The Godolphin gelding had Safe Voyage back in third when they met in the Hungerford Stakes two years ago. He is another 7f specialist and will be suited by the ground on his first run of the year in Europe.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 29th May
13:45 Haydock – 6f handicap
14:00 Beverley – Hilary Needler Trophy
14:20 Haydock – Achilles Stakes
14:40 Chester – 7f handicap
14:55 Haydock – Pinnacle Stakes
15:10 Beverley – Two Year Old Trophy
15:30 Haydock – John of Gaunt Stakes
15:45 Beverley – 7f handicap
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.