Haydock predictions: Mimikyu can frustrate Time Lock once again
It's a big afternoon of Flat racing from Haydock Park on Saturday, with the Lester Piggott Stakes and the John Of Gaunt Stakes amongst the key attractions at the Merseyside venue.
Ahead of the action, which runs from 1.15-4.45, our expert has a race-by-race look through the Haydock card.
1.15 - Achilles Stakes (Listed, 5f)
Last year's winner Raasel isn't in anything like the same form now, while promising 3YO Prince Of Pillo is massively respected with Ryan Moore on board for this seasonal return but may do well to become the first of his generation to win this race since 2012.
Preference, therefore, is for the recent C&D second EQUILATERAL for Charlie Hills and Frankie Dettori.
He found only a thriving Dramatised too strong in the Group 2 Temple Stakes a fortnight ago and may take advantage of this drop in class.
Racing Post Selection: Equilateral @ 3/1 with LiveScoreBet
1.50 - Reverence Handicap (6f)
RAATEA ran well for a long way on seasonal bow at Newmarket last month in the Howden Handicap and should be sharper for that effort. Julie Camacho's gelding will prefer the quicker ground on offer now and gets a pair of first-time cheekpieces deployed.
If they have a positive effect, James Doyle should go close on him in a race where LiveScoreBet are paying out four places instead of the usual three.
Racing Post Selection: Raatea @ 11/1
2.25 - Handicap (1m4f)
The long-absent Live Your Dream is one to note on his first start in 609 days, and any market support for the Saeed bin Suroor runner would be interesting.
However, GOOD SHOW got back to winning ways at Hamilton last month, and that race has already thrown up a subsequent winner. The Keith Dalgleish inmate is only 3lb higher here and has scope for further improvement as a handicapper.
Racing Post Selection: Good Show @ 5/1
3.00 - Lester Piggott Stakes (Fillies' And Mares' Group 3, 1m4f)
Modaara was an easy Kempton winner last month and is respected, but this is a much tougher engagement, and the pair to focus on could be Time Lock and MIMIKYU.
The latter just edged the verdict when they met as novices here last summer and has done more since, including winning the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster in September.
She was inched out in her return at York over 1m6f last month, and, assuming Frankie Dettori makes this a thorough stamina test, the Dubawi filly may successfully give away 5lb to this field.
Racing Post Selection: Mimikyu @ 7/2
3.35 - John Of Gaunt Stakes (Group 3, 7f)
This lacks a real standout candidate. El Caballo would fit that bill on his 2022 form, which included victory in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes over 6f at this track, but he flopped on his comeback in the Cammidge Trophy Stakes at Doncaster in April.
The ground was heavy on Town Moor, but, as a previous soft-ground winner, that wasn't an obvious excuse. He might well bounce back, but last month's impressive Chester handicap scorer BOARDMAN merits a crack in this grade, and, given the open nature of the contest,
Tim Easterby's Kingman gelding makes some sense at a double-figure price as he belatedly tackles a race of this ilk.
Racing Post Selection: Boardman @ 12/1
4.10 - Handicap (7f)
In These Shoes made a winning handicap debut at Beverley (7½f, good to soft) in April and has scope for better, but that form has taken some knocks, and so the Charlie Johnston inmate may need more improvement to add to his tally.
ROYAL CHARTER won a useful Newmarket maiden on debut last summer before finding the Keeneland Stakes at Ascot in July a bridge too far on his second run.
The daughter of Expert Eye now turns attention to handicaps and looks one to get better for William Haggas and Tom Marquand this term.
Racing Post Selection: Royal Charter @ 9/2
4.45 - Handicap (1m)
Sparks Fly has won four on the trot and improved 28lb along the way for trainer David Loughnane, but the filly will now have to prove she can continue that progress away from soft terrain.
The consistent Choisya for Simon & Ed Crisford should run her usual good race, but JUST BRING IT was fourth in the Class 2 Silver Bowl over C&D last month despite encountering traffic woes and, from an unchanged mark, looks a key player for trainer Clive Cox in these less choppy waters.
Racing Post Selection: Just Bring It @ 15/8