Racing fans with a need for speed are in for a double treat at Haydock on Saturday.
Group One winners Battaash, Mabs Cross and Alpha Delphini will cross swords with the rapid Kachy in what promises to be a compelling renewal of the Temple Stakes, while rising star Calyx has been declared for the Sandy Lane Stakes 35 minutes earlier on the card.
Both feature races are sponsored by Armstrong Aggregates.
Battaash won the Temple Stakes on his return 12 months ago and Charlie Hills, his trainer, will be hoping his speedster can repeat the dose.
In an intervew with Racing TV last weekend, Hills revealed he was never really happy with Battaash last year but that it had been a different story this term.
He told Angus McNae: “I’m really pleased with Battaash. Last year we were never really 100 per cent with him – he didn’t come in his coat until after Royal Ascot but this year he’s gleaming and been a lot easier to train.
“You can now ride a piece of work on him, whereas last year he would be charging off. Dane O’Neill has done a great job on him, coming in every work morning, and I’m very grateful for that.”
This five-furlong Group Two heat will again be the prep race for the popular gelding before the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in which he was second to Blue Point in 2018.
Battaash won the Prix de l’Abbaye in 2017 – and last year’s winner of that race Mabs Cross, who represents the sponsors, is in opposition on Saturday.
Trained by Michael Dods, the mare made an impressive reappearance to win Newmarket’s Palace House Stakes under a penalty.
Alpha Delphini, who defeated Mabs Cross by a nose to land the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, makes his comeback for Bryan Smart.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) May 26, 2018
Tom Dascombe’s Kachy, third in this race 12 months ago, has blistering pace and returns to Haydock on the back of three emphatic victories on the all-weather during the winter.
Mick Appleby’s evergreen 10-year-old Caspian Prince and Pocket Dynamo, from Robert Cowell’s stable, complete the sextet.
Exciting young sprinter Calyx heads four runners in the Sandy Lane Stakes.
The unbeaten colt has frightened off plenty of potential opponents, after returning from a lengthy absence to win with ease at Ascot three weeks ago.
That performance catapulted the John Gosden-trained three-year-old to short-priced favouritism for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot – where he won the Coventry Stakes on the second of only two starts as a juvenile.
On ratings, Calyx should be tested by Hello Youmzain – who won a Group Two at Maisons-Laffitte in October.
The Kodiac colt was fourth in the Greenham Stakes on his seasonal debut over seven furlongs, and drops back to six this weekend.
True Mason, trained by Karl Burke, can boast smart juvenile form, having finished third in the Group One Prix Morny.
The four runners are completed by Ed Walker’s Royal Intervention, winner of the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket last summer. All hold entries in the Commonwealth Cup.
Calyx will be ridden by Rab Havlin as Frankie Dettori will be at the Curragh to ride Too Darn Hot in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas.