By Andrew Atkinson
Haydock Park stage the £100,000 G2 Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes over five furlongs on Saturday – with Calyx, trained by John Gosden, set to run in the £90,000 Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes over six furlongs.
The Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes, part of British Champions Series, includes last year’s winner Battaash trained by Charlie Hills.
Battash went on to finish runner-up in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and gain a second success in the G2 King George Stakes at Goodwood.
David and Emma Armstrong of the sponsors Armstrong Aggregates could attempt to win their own race with the courageous mare Mabs Cross. Following her fourth in the 2018 Temple Stakes, she went on to third in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and was beaten just a nose in the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York by Alpha Delphini (Bryan Smart), who also goes forward.
Mabs Cross, named the leading European sprinter at the 2018 Cartier Racing Awards, made the perfect start to 2019 when winning the five-furlong G3 Palace House Stakes for the second year in succession at Newmarket in May.
Kachy is set to make his fourth appearance in the Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes on Saturday.
His most recent success was in the £150,000 All-Weather Sprint Championship over six furlongs on at Lingfield on April 19.
Kachy’s trainer Tom Dascombe, said: “Kachy is in good form and the target is the Temple Stakes.
“He has won his last three races, breaking two course records and winning the All-Weather Championship Sprint.
“Kachy has to be a better horse this year. He ran at Lingfield off his highest-ever rating and everything about him makes you think he is a better horse in 2019.
“He ran well in the Temple Stakes last year when he was beaten a head and a neck and we are hopeful of another good performance.
“He is entered in the G1 Diamond Jubilee and the G1 King’s Stand at Royal Ascot and we will see how he gets on at Haydock before making any plans.”
Aidan O’Brien has left in Sergei Prokofiev, fourth to Mabs Cross at Newmarket.
Pocket Dynamo, runner-up in last season’s G2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, veteran Caspian Prince and Tarboosh are also entered.
Haydock’s main supporting race is the £90,000 G2 Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes, staged over six furlongs, a leading trial for the G1 Commonwealth Cup over the same distance at Royal Ascot in June.
The standout entry is Calyx, trained in Newmarket by John Gosden. The Juddmonte Farms homebred Kingman colt won both his starts in 2018, following up a five-length Newmarket debut success with a length victory over subsequent G1 winner Advertise in the G2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
After being on the sidelines Calyx return to action with an outstanding four-length triumph in the G3 Pavilion Stakes over six furlongs at Ascot on May 1.
Lord Grimthorpe, Racing Manager to owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah, said: “Calyx is in very good form and John has been happy with him since his run at Ascot.
“The current plan is to run in the Sandy Lane at Haydock on Saturday and then on to Royal Ascot for the Commonwealth Cup.
“He was very impressive at Ascot and we are looking forward to running at Haydock.”
Calyx looks set to face some decent competition at Haydock with the entries for the Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes also featuring G2 winner Hello Youmzain (Kevin Ryan), plus Listed scorers Royal Intervention (Ed Walker) and Vintage Brut (Tim Easterby).
Progressive handicapper Leodis Dream (David O’Meara) is unbeaten in three starts this year, while Quiet Reflection’s trainer Karl Burke could be represented by True Mason, third in the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville, France, last year.
Irish challenger Angelic Light (Michael O’Callaghan), successful in Listed company at Newmarket in November, completes the entries.
Haydock also showcases The £80,000 Amix Silver Bowl Handicap, staged over a mile for three-year-olds.
*Andrew Atkinson’s Saturday news and racing tips will be Online on Friday at www.theleader.info