Sun Central set to thrive in stamina test
Between Epsom last weekend, and Royal Ascot on Tuesday week, an inevitable suspension of quality today produces one of the quieter Saturdays in the calendar.
It is another story over the ocean, where a fascinating Triple Crown series concludes by pitching the winners of the first two legs, Orb and Oxbow, against each other in the Belmont Stakes.
To keep the home fires smouldering in the UK, Channel 4 relies on sheer competition to keep punters engaged.
In the opening contest at Haydock (2.05), SUN CENTRAL represents the respected Somerville Lodge yard in what will only be his fifth handicap, and his second beyond a mile and a half. He has a superb pedigree, as a Galileo half-brother to George Washington, and was well backed for a competitive race at Salisbury last month.
Though he only just won, he did well to overcome a steady pace after proving quite fresh on his return from an eight-month lay-off, and will relish a greater test of stamina now that he steps up to two miles.
The Germans could not quite get involved with their first Derby runner last week, but their overall record overseas in recent years commands respect for NYMPHEA (2.40).
Nor should her stablemate, Amarillo, be neglected at too big a price for the other Group prize on the card, but PASTORAL PLAYER (3.15) sets a good standard on his success in last year's running.
He shaped well behind Eton Forever, which is always effective fresh, over course and distance last month and looks primed to strike if granted a decent gallop this time. (© Independent News Service)