Hat-trick bid on the cards at Haydock

Haydock Park
Haydock Park

Italian Marco Botti will be aiming for a hat trick of Bet365 Old Newton Cup wins at Haydock Park on Saturday.

Botti won the race with Dylan Mouth 12 months ago and De Riguer in 2014, and fresh from the trainer’s first victory at Royal Ascot last month, he sends Crowned Eagle to Haydock in a bid to land back to back victories.

“The ground at Haydock will be on the quick side, but he is in good form so we will take our chance,” said the trainer.

“He prefers a more galloping track, with a longer straight and Haydock Park should be ideal for him.

“I would say he is definitely up to the level of my two previous winners of the race.”

The Old Newton Cup remains the jewel in the crown of Haydock’s Flat Turf season and general manager Jason Fildes said: “I particularly remember the 1986 winner, Rakaposhi King, with great fondness.

“I had backed it for weeks before, and Steve Cauthen, the American jockey, rode a beautiful race to win it for the late Sir Henry Cecil.

“The Old Newton Cup is our big race of the summer – it is the people of Lancashire’s race.”

Saturday’s meeting at Haydock Park has an earlier start due to England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden, due to kick-off at 3pm.

The seven-race card starts at 12.35pm with the Bet365 Handicap Stakes, followed by the Bet 365 Lancashire Oaks (1.10pm), and the Bet365 Old Newton Cup (1.45pm)

“We are expecting a big crowd tomorrow, but there will be television screens all over the course, so why not cheer England into the semi-finals of the World Cup after seeing some top class racing first,” added Fildes.

Gates open at 10.35am.

Meanwhile, of all the challenges Kirkland Tellwright thought he might face ahead of Friday’s Old Newton Cup fixture at Haydock Park, tropical weather was probably towards the bottom of the list when he began planning for the Flat campaign several months ago.

But with temperatures set to climb to 27 degrees, Haydock Park’s clerk of the course says it is the driest spell he has experienced since taking charge at Haydock Park 18 years ago.

“In 2017, we did not irrigate the course after May because it was so damp, but this year, we’ve had a couple of showers of 2mm each since rainfall on May 25,” said Tellwright.

“We are watering daily, putting on around 10mm on each occasion.

“Over the whole flat course that amounts to around 700 cubic metres of water a day.”

Friday’s meeting is a Winner Takes It All: Abba Night with a concert after racing by Abba tribute act Arrival.

The first race is due off at 6.15pm and the last of six contests at 9.05pm.

Arrival’s concert is due to start at approximately 9.15pm and will last for about an hour and a half.

Tickets and details 0344 579 3006, haydock.thejockeyclub.co.uk.