Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 19 November 2017

Gibbons can keep Pearl cool to leave rivals in the shade

Pearl Secret looks to have what it takes to score at Haydock
Pearl Secret looks to have what it takes to score at Haydock
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Eddie Lynam has sent his exhilarating sprinter Sole Power to Haydock for a fourth stab at the Temple Stakes under Ryan Moore.

The seven-year-old speedball beat Kingsgate Native to win the five-furlong dash in 2011 and finished second to Bated Breath in 2012, before hitting the front too soon when eventually fourth to Kingsgate Native 12 months ago.

At Newmarket last time, he denied his old nemesis when they flashed home together to pounce on Hot Streak at the death.

All three could clash once again in what would be a fascinating rematch in this Group Two. However, there is a considerable amount of rain forecast to hit the Liverpool region, and Lynam has already stated that he could withdraw Sole Power if the ground turns.

Kingsgate Native would be similarly unsuited by slow conditions, while the opposite is true of Hot Streak. He is the current bookies' favourite at 9/4, which isn't a prohibitive price.

A cracking juvenile, he won an Ascot Group Three over this trip in tremendous style in the autumn, and then emerged with credit when second over six in the Middle Park.

His similarly gallant turn in the Palace House Stakes marked his seasonal bow, so he is a worthy market leader to build on that here, as he was only just collared by the two wily old campaigners.


Hot Streak receives an eight-pound age allowance and has rising star Oisin Murphy up top, though three-year-olds don't have a great record in this, winning just one of the last 10.

Kevin Ryan's colt is joined in the 10-runner line-up by fellow Qatar-racing-owned Pearl Secret.

Trained by sprint king David Barron, this five-year-old gelding is interesting, as he was the choice of Qatar's jockey Jamie Spencer at Newmarket.

On that occasion, his second run back after a lay-off, he got even hotter than usual, and Spencer had to detach him from the field early on to get him settled, which gave them an impossible task in such a high-class dash.

Pearl Secret had previously readily justify odds-on status at Nottingham in April, and on his only outing last year he chased Sole Power to a length and a half in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot.

That was some effort. A precocious two and three-year-old, the son of Compton Place clearly has his issues, not least his tendency to get hot and race keenly early on.

There is a chance, though, that he might have learned a lot at Newmarket, when he was that bit buzzier than usual following his return victory.

His run flattened out from the furlong pole, as he had simply done all of his work getting into a position to challenge.

Crucially, much of Pearl Secret's best form is on soft ground, so he won't be inconvenienced should things turn muddy. At up to 4/1, then, he is fancied to score under Graham Gibbons.

Lynam has booked the out-of-fashion Godolphin rider Mickael Barzalona for Gathering Power in the six-furlong Listed Race. This is a good fillies' race, but Gathering Power (12/1) is arguably the more intriguing of the Co Meath-based handler's two travellers.

The Kyllachy four-year-old has always shown potential, and won a decent handicap at Naas a year ago before her form tailed off.

Well held on her Curragh reappearance behind Srucahan, she duly improved to stride clear off a mark of 87 at Naas last month, accounting for the well-regarded Masai as well as subsequent winners Wexford Opera and More Questions.

In the mile Silver Bowl, the day's showpiece handicap, Eve Johnson Houghton's What About Carlo is fancied to have a big say under Graham Lee.

The lightly-raced colt bounded clear on slow ground on his seasonal return at Sandown, and he turns out here under a nine-pound penalty.

A progressive horse, he is value at 9/1 to defy that hike and follow up here.

Best bet: Pearl Secret


Watching Brief

The frenzy surrounding the Tote Scoop6 has been hard to avoid, with the pot estimated to reach £15m today after it has gone unclaimed for 11 successive weeks.

Joe McGuire, a Kildare-born 59-year-old former jockey, was denied a mammoth payout when Escape To Glory flattered to deceive in the final leg last week. Maguire's Scoop6 strategy is to pick two horses in the first and last legs, which is a tactic we are happy to adopt in an effort to get rich quick.

Of the Haydock races (2.05, 3.10 & 3.45), we have already advised Gathering Power, with What About Carlo nominated in the final leg, to which we will also add Ryan Moore's mount Bilimbi.

In the first leg at 2.05, Discussiontofollow and Shore Step get the nod to get us in the game. At Catterick, Hadaj (2.50) and Johnny Cavagin (3.25) appeal, with Wee Jean the selection in the 2.55 at Goodwood.

The bet, which can be placed on the Irish Tote website, will cost the equivalent £8 (2 x1x1x1x1x2 = 4 x £2 = £8), so it is a pretty cheap way of becoming a multi-millionaire.

Irish Independent

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