Haydock brings forward Sandy Lane to create day for sprinters
The success of the Commonwealth Cup since its addition to Royal Ascot in 2015 has been cited for Haydock's decision to bring forward the date of its key trial, the Sandy Lane Stakes.
Originally scheduled to take place on June 10, the Sandy Lane will be run on the same card as the Temple Stakes on May 27 following approval from the European Pattern Committee.
That gives a 27-day gap between the Sandy Lane and the Royal Ascot Group 1, also run over six furlongs and restricted to three-year-olds.
Haydock's clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright said: "The way the fixtures fell this year meant there was only ten days between the Sandy Lane and the Commonwealth Cup and we've moved it so it can act better as a prep for Royal Ascot."
Quiet Reflection won both races last year when they were three weeks apart and the track is hoping for a similar success story for the Sandy Lane, which was upgraded to Group 2 level following improvements to the sprint programme made in 2015.
"We've had two good years and Quiet Reflection gave the race a huge boost by going on to win two Group 1s, including our Sprint Cup," said Tellwright.
The Temple and Sandy Lane have new sponsors with local owner-breeder David Armstrong, whose colours have been carried to Group 1 success by sprinters Mayson and Garswood, backing both races under his company name Armstrong Aggregates on a five-year deal.
Armstrong's wife Emma said: "We've agreed sponsorship of the full day and because we do a lot of work with Haydock and it's our local track, we thought it was good to give a bit back."
Last year the Temple Stakes, a Group 2 over 5f, was run without a sponsor after Betfred failed to meet the authorised betting partner criteria, while 188Bet were the previous backer of the Sandy Lane.