Previews25 May 2024

'He should go very well' - key quotes and analysis for Haydock's £100,000 Silver Bowl Handicap

Nellie Leylax
Nellie Leylax: rated 5lb higher than last month's course-and-distance successCredit: John Grossick (

The Haynes, Hanson & Clark Novice Stakes, run at Newbury last September, has the richest of rich histories having thrown up four subsequent Derby winners in Henbit (1979), Shergar (1980), Shahrastani (1985) and Authorized (2006), and last season's running already looks right up to scratch.

The winner, Bracken's Laugh, scored again at Chelmsford before taking second in the Dee Stakes at Chester, while the runner-up was King's Gambit, who ran out a wildly impressive winner of the London Gold Cup at Newbury a week ago. Just a head behind King's Gambit in the Haynes, Hanson & Clark was Blue Lemons, so can he give the famous old race a further boost by winning here?

He evidently has the form in the book but also has the weight to show for it, and a mark of 99 means he heads the list here, giving upwards of 4lb to some promising rivals. 

It will probably take a performance on the fringes of Listed class for Blue Lemons to win, but there is every chance he will be up to that level in time.

Connections of Nellie Leylax will no doubt harbour similar ambition, but if he is to make it to Listed and Group races it will probably need to be at Haydock. That's because the Calyx gelding already looks a course specialist with two wins from three starts at the track, including one at the distance.

That latest course victory came on his last start four weeks ago, when he dominated from the front to score by two and a quarter lengths, and it's fair to expect Nellie Leylax to make the early running, especially from a good draw in stall two.
Analysis by Graeme Rodway

What they say

Richard Hannon, trainer of Blue Lemons
I was delighted with his run in the Esher Cup and I think a mile is his optimum trip. He is plenty high enough in the weights, but will absolutely love the ground and should go very well.

Tom Dascombe, trainer of Nellie Leylax
The softer the ground, the better for him. He has a good draw in stall two and is a very genuine horse who keeps getting better. He goes into this £100,000 race with a chance.

Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Apiarist
Apiarist ran well for a long way at Newmarket in a hot conditions race last time. The step up in trip will be no issue and the more galloping track at Haydock will suit him better than Newmarket.

Philip Robinson, racing manager to Sultan Ali, owner of Involvement
He's a progressive horse who may not have handled the track at Epsom last time. He hung in and by the time he got out the race was over. We're hopeful he will handle the ground but it's an unknown.

Tim Easterby, trainer of Candonomore
He’s a really nice horse who will keep improving as the season goes on. He won over the course and distance on soft ground on his seasonal reappearance. He’s a big horse with plenty of ability and I’m looking forward to seeing him run.
Reporting by Richard Birch

Read more . . .

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