A noble winner in the John of Gaunt?

Saturday 8th June, 3:35pm

Noble Dynasty @ 4/1
Witch Hunter @ 5/1
Pogo @ 6/1
Tiber Flow @ 6/1
Ramazan @ 13/2
view odds

*prices correct at time of writing. 

Named after the father figure of the medieval House of Lancaster – which fought the Yorkists in the bloody Wars of the Roses – Haydock seeks to emphasise its Lancastrian roots (even though these days it’s geographically in Merseyside) with the John of Gaunt Stakes (3-35), a principal target for older horses over the specialist distance of seven-furlongs. A terrific staging of the Group Three prize sees the last two winners and several in-form runners lining up.

With William Buick on duty in Saratoga, Pat Dobbs takes the mount on Godolphin’s well-bred six-year-old Noble Dynasty, which has returned from a considerable absence with good efforts, notably when conceding fifteen pounds and delivering a two-length defeat to subsequent winner English Oak at the Guineas meeting.

Witch Hunter, a fine third over the mile of the Lockinge Stakes, almost always runs well over this distance – including when successful at Royal Ascot and at Group Two-level last summer – though he was third when Pogo, the winner of this in 2022, was narrowly thwarted from getting his head in front for the first time in nineteen months in a course and distance Listed race in mid-May.

Tiber Flow is upped in distance having taken a crashing fall at York, but has won twice from three starts at seven furlongs. Flight Plan is down from a mile after finishing tailed off in the Lockinge, but it would be no surprise if he bounced back – just as the nearly as distant Royal Scotsman did at Epsom.

Course and distance winner Ramazan, the veteran Bless Him and Popmaster all step up from high quality handicap efforts in Ascot’s Victoria Cup – particularly Ramazan’s in second – while, behind them, Jumby, comfortable John of Gaunt winner twelve months ago, again proved vulnerable to being slowly away.

Sirona definitely deserves another chance after being decidedly luckless on stable debut before finishing strongly.

After that weight-carrying performance last time personally I’m with Noble Dynasty – what about you?

Democracy Dilemma (1-50) has demonstrated himself in fine fettle, only just missing out at Epsom last weekend, and although rated ten pounds below Live In The Dream another good run for money is anticipated.

Having bookended his British riding career by winning his first and his final race at Haydock – in 1948 and 1994 – the memory of Lester Piggott is honoured (3-00), and the great man’s daughter Maureen and son-in-law William Haggas will be hopeful of scooping up the Group Three prize for the fourth time in six years with lightly-raced Sea Theme.

In the Hilary Needler at Beverley (2-05), a few are categorised as ‘will have learnt from encouraging enough start’, but not all of the likely improvers are well-drawn, though Irish challenger Powerful Lady.

The summer jumping circuit is having a boom time and, at Bangor, progressive Can’t Beat History (2-15) and recent course-second Feel The Pinch (2-50) look likely lads for a double to help keep the wolf from the door.

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