|Group 2, Haydock Park 16:00
5f, Class 1
|Saturday 25th May 2019|
The Hambleton handler feels his sprinter’s Group One penalty would have made life very difficult in the Palace House Stakes, in which he was a close third at last year’s Guineas meeting behind Mabs Cross, so is happy to wait for the Merseyside contest on May 25.
Last year’s Palace House was the first in a trilogy of great races between Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross, with Michael Dods’ mare benefiting from a below-par run from Smart’s gelding to win the Prix de l’Abbaye in France, having lost out by the narrowest of margins at York.
“We’ll wait for the Temple to start him off,” said Smart.
“I personally don’t think he handles Newmarket that well, and he’d have had a big penalty anyway, so you’ll see him in the Temple.
“The Temple leads nicely into Ascot and the King’s Stand, and then of course the main aim this season will be to try to win a second Nunthorpe – that’s what it’s all about.”
The Michael Dods-trained Mabs Cross, who is owned by the sponsor David Armstrong, finished only fourth in the Group Two 12 months ago – but then her career really took off.
On her return to action this season, she defied a big penalty in the Palace House Stakes, and on Saturday is set to be giving 2lb away.
Battaash won the race last year but finished only fourth in the Nunthorpe and the Abbaye, and has something to prove this season.
Another leading player is Tom Dascombe’s Kachy, who proved he has no peers on the all-weather when winning on finals day.
Aidan O’Brien could run the three-year-old Sergei Prokofiev, while Robert Cowell has also left in Pocket Dynamo from the sage age group.
Mick Appleby’s veteran Caspian Prince and Paul Midgley’s Tarboosh are the remaining possibles.
(British Champions Series)
£100,000 added, 3yo plus, 5f, Class 1
8 remaining entries
Going: Good to Firm
|43321-1||Mabs Cross 21||5||9-6||M Dods|
|232210-||Alpha Delphini 230||8||9-4||B Smart|
|1/12144-||Battaash (IRE) 230||5||9-4||C Hills|
|601220-||Caspian Prince (IRE) 274||10||9-4||M Appleby|
|3951-11||Kachy 36||6||9-4||Tom Dascombe|
|1221-38||Tarboosh 21||6||9-4||P T Midgley|
|2459-24||Pocket Dynamo (USA) 24||3||8-10||R M H Cowell|
|5718-14||Sergei Prokofiev (CAN) 21||3||8-10||A P O'Brien|