Mystery Angel will bid for glory in this Saturday’s bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock Park following her fine second in the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom.
George Boughey’s three-year-old filly is among the current 11 entries for the Group Two contest on Merseyside and is a best-priced 6-1 joint second favourite with SkyBet and Unibet behind 2-1 market leader Alphinista.
Mystery Angel was not so well fancied at Epsom being sent off a 50-1 shot for the fillies’ Classic at Epsom earlier in the month. But she ran a superb race for her owners – the Nick Bradley Racing syndicate – when finishing runner-up to Aidan O’Brien’s runaway winner Snowfall.
Mystery Angel is said to be ready to return to action on the final day of three days at Haydock this weekend.
Bradley said: “She’s a likely runner at Haydock on Saturday.
“She’s in serious form at home – George couldn’t be happier with her. I think if you were to put a gun to his head, he’d say she’s better now than she was before Epsom.
“The Oaks form looks strong. The horse that was 13th (Zeyaadah) won that Group Three the other day and Aidan O’Brien’s filly (Santa Barbara, fifth at Epsom) was just touched off in that Group One in Ireland on Sunday.”
Ben Curtis has ridden Mystery Angel on her last three starts, but is unlikely to partner her on Saturday after dislocating his shoulder at Newcastle last Friday.
Bradley added: “I don’t know if Ben will be able to ride or not. I think he’s seeing a specialist this week. If Ben doesn’t ride, I suspect Mark Crehan might take the ride.”
Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista is the 2-1 favourite with William Hill, SkyBet and bet365 and may finally line-up at Haydock, having missed two recent engagements.
The four-year-old daughter Frankel was second to recent Royal Ascot winner Love in the Yorkshire Oaks last August and made a wining return to action in a Listed contest at Goodwood in April.
Henry Candy’s La Lune won over course and distance in the Group Three Pinnacle Stakes at the end of May and looks set to bid to land a hat-trick of victories this season in the Lancashire Oaks.
The five-year-old is a 10-1 chance with the sponsors bet365 to land another triumph.
Mark Johnston’s Dubai Fountain is also among the entries and is a 6-1 chance with William Hill and Unibet.
The daughter of Teofilo won the Cheshire Oaks at Chester’s May Festival under Liverpool-born jockey Franny Norton.
She could only finish fifth under the Scouser in the Oaks at Epsom, but may bid to get back to winning ways back on Norton’s native Merseyside.
Another course and distance winner, the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Bharani Star, could line-up at Haydock and may again be ridden by Warrington jockey Paul Hanagan, who partnered her to a Listed win at Ayr on her seasonal return.
Other entries include the Joseph O’Brien-trained Traisha – the only Irish raider, the Sir Michael Stoute’s Katara – a recent Listed winner at Pontefract, and Group Three Bronte Cup scorer Tribal Craft from the in-form Andrew Balding stable.
The seven-race card on the final day of Haydock’s three-day meeting is headlined by the prestigious handicap, the bet365 Old Newton Cup.
There are currently 34 entries for the 1m4f contest, which has been a stepping stone to Group company for some past winners.
There are several horses vying for favouritism for the typically competitive event and Roger Varian’s hat-trick-seeking Valyrian Steel is a best-priced 8-1 with most bookmakers following his two wins on the all-weather at Kempton over the past six weeks.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained Grand Bazaar – third at Newmarket on his only start this season last month – is a 9-1 chance with William Hill.
Also 9-1 with Hills is Prescott’s lightly-raced Longsider, who won his only start this season at Lingfield in February having switched stables the previous, having been trained by David Lanigan before.
David Simcock’s Rodrigo Diaz won at Doncaster at the start of the month and is a 10-1 chance with bet365.
William Haggas’ Pablo Escobar tops the weights having been third to Outbox and Logician in a Listed event at Newmarket over the weekend.
The Mark Johnston-trained Zabeel Champion – who is 11-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair – was third at Royal Ascot in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes, which has been a good stepping stone to glory in the Old Newton Cup in the past.
Tickets are no longer available for Saturday at Haydock, but you can book for Thursday’s and Friday’s action by visiting the racecourse’s website at https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/haydock/