It’s the Betfred-sponsored Temple Stakes Day at Haydock on Saturday – and Betfred’s Owen McMahon has a couple of tips for the occasion.

Haydock Park Tips

  • 2.25 – James McHenry e/w @ 7/1
  • 3.00 – Little Big Bear @ 11/8

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I was in attendance at Haydock on Swinton Hurdle Day two weekends ago when JAMES MCHENRY won a 0-90 handicap over 1m in good fashion. I was impressed.

He’s been raised 7lbs for that which I believe is a fairly harsh bit of handicapping, but it must be said I’m not put off by that in the context of this race – the Silver Bowl Handicap (1m) at 2.25.

I think the likes of Covey, Defence Of Fort and Royal Cape have all been treated equally harshly and that the experience over course and distance, plus the good form of trainer Edward Bethell, gives the selection an edge over his 10 rivals.

To me, the three-year-old son of Starspangledbanner’s current price looks pretty generous and he rates a strong each-way play.

Horse Racing Odds

As I write this, I wonder: what price would LITTLE BIG BEAR be for the Betfred Nifty Fifty Sandy Lane Stakes if he hadn’t run in the 2000 Guineas earlier this month? I’m thinking 4/5 – possibly even shorter.

Based on juvenile form, Aidan O’Brien’s son of No Nay Never is easily the standout in this field. His 7L beating of Persian Force in the G1 Phoenix Stakes over course and distance to cap off a fantastic two-year-old campaign was breath-taking.

Because of everything I’ve just mentioned, he went off at 5/1 for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. He had no business being that short, which I admit is very easily said in hindsight, for not only was he making the drastic step up in trip from 6f to 1m but conditions were terrible, making it an even more daunting task.

For those reasons alone, I’d be prepared to put a line through that bit of form – so I’m certainly going to do so considering he was struck into early on in the race and finished lame.

Forgive him for that and you’re getting odds-against value about an Aidan O’Brien runner who’s rated 10lbs+ inferior to his seven rivals, is returning to his preferred trip on better ground and has the brilliant Frankie Dettori in the plate.

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