John of Gaunt Stakes Preview – Saturday 8th June
Last updated: June 5, 2019 by Leon Marshal
Haydock Park stages a good quality card on Saturday, featuring the £63,000 Group 3 John of Gaunt Stakes at 3.35. The seven furlong contest has been won by some high class horses in the past including Decorated Hero (1997), Sleeping Indian (2005) and Home of The Brave (2016). Last year’s race was won by D’bai, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick.
Sir Dancealot ante-post favourite at Haydock
Bookmakers have installed Sir Dancealot as the ante-post favourite. He hit a rich vein of form last summer, winning the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. He was tried at sprint distances and finished a creditable fourth in the July Cup at Newmarket. This is his optimum trip and he shaped well on his reappearance in the Lockinge Stakes behind Mustashry. Gerald Mosse held him up to try to get the mile and closed on the leaders with a furlong to run. His lack of stamina and possibly fitness told in the closing stages and he faded back into seventh place. Sir Dancealot should be much sharper this weekend. The highest rated horse in the race is Tip Two Win, a shock second to Saxon Warrior in last year’s 2000 Guineas. Roger Teal’s grey finished fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot but subsequently lost his form. This will be his first race since finishing sixth in the Qatar Derby in December.
Safe Voyage and Mankib set to renew rivalry
Safe Voyage is a very progressive gelding trained by John Quinn. He won a valuable handicap here in April before beating Mankib in the listed Spring Trophy. He quickened impressively last time to win by a length and a quarter and meets the runner-up on identical terms. Mankib was fourth in a Group 2 in France in October and William Haggas must have been delighted with his recent run. Neither horse will mind the forecast cut in the ground and Mankib could improve a few pounds with that run under his belt. One horse who loves to get his toe in is Breton Rock, trained by David Simcock. He is now nine years of age but has a formidable record in soft ground and must be respected. He showed his well-being when third to Bye Bye Hong Kong at Windsor last month. Suedois is also reaching the veteran stage at the age of eight but was less than four lengths behind Safe Voyage last time. He gained the biggest victory of his career in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in 2017. Suedois was only a short-head behind Sir Dancealot at Goodwood last July but does not seem quite as effective when the mud is flying. Mitchum Swagger has run well here in the past and goes well in soft ground. He also needs to improve on his run at Windsor.
Safe Voyage @4-1 Bet365
Breton Rock @8-1
The John of Gaunt Stakes is due off at 3.35 at Haydock Park on Saturday 8th June and will be televised live on ITV.