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2019 Temple Stakes tips - Dascombe's 5/1 chance could be hard to Kach in Haydock's Saturday feature

Brian Healy 21 May 2019
Kachy could blaze a trail to Group Two success in Saturday's Temple Stakes at Haydock.

Brian Healy gives his runner-by-runner view for Saturday's Group Two feature race at Haydock, the Temple Stakes where Battash will bid to retain his crown.

The feature race of Saturday’s Haydock racecard is the Group Two Temple Stakes, which gets underway at 4.00 as the fourth race of the afternoon at the Merseyside track.

A top-class five furlong dash, this blink-and-miss contest features an entry of eight classy runners each bidding to land a prize pot in excess of £56,000 to the winner, and the action will unfold live on ITV Racing as part of their Saturday coverage.

2018 winner Battash will bid to successfully retain his crown, while other previous notable winners of this Group Two prize include the likes of Profitable, Hot Streak,dual-winner Kingsgate Native and Soul Power since the turn of the decade so the race certainly boasts a good pedigree.

Charlie Hills’ crack sprinter Battash (6/4, BetVictor) didn’t quite hit the heights expected of him last term despite winning this contest on his reappearance following a very productive season that had seen him collect four wins from five starts which included the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye.

The Dark Angel gelding beat Washington DC by a head in this contest twelve months ago, after which he was beaten in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Blue Point having sweated up at the start. 

Although he won the King George V Stakes next time out at Goodwood, beating the veteran Take Cover by four lengths, he came up short in the Nunthorpe behind Alpha Delphini, finishing fourth; and he filled the same position behind Mabs Cross when defending his Prix de l’Abbaye crown, although he was beaten less than one length.

He is a highly-strung individual who can often boil over in the preliminaries; but when channelling his nervous energy into his racing, he is a top-class sprinter who can often blaze a trail to victory.  York has never appeared to suit him, and he has been well beaten in both cracks at the Nunthorpe; but he is much better suited by this track as he showed when overcoming a tardy start twelve months ago to score.

He has won first time up on each of his last two seasons, and he is dangerous to discount here on his reappearance and if back to his best.

Alpha Delphini (12/1, Paddy Power) had been in good form prior to winning the Nunthorpe Stakes by a nose from Mabs Cross at York in August; but that was a significant career-best by Bryan Smart’s charge who had been beaten in Listed and Group Three company previously.

The Captain Gerrard gelding is clearly a very talented sort, and he acquitted himself well last term, going close behind Mabs Cross in the Palace House Stakes before being denied by narrow margins in starts here and York behind Muthmir and Mr Lupton respectively.

He took a big step forward when denying Mabs Cross back at York in the Nunthorpe, scoring by a nose to land odds of 40/1; but he was unable to replicate that form at Longchamp when last seen, finishing down the field in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

Although he has won first time up previously in his career, he may just need this return to action; but he can give a good account for all he may prove vulnerable as an eight-year old to a younger one who could have more scope for progression.

Mabs Cross (3/1, BetVictor) has developed into a high-class sprinter, building on a near miss on her return twelve months ago to win the Palace House Stakes before finishing fourth in this race twelve months ago where she was beaten less than one length behind Battaash.

Michael Dods’ charge subsequently filled the frame in a trio of starts which included the King’s Stand Stakes where she was just behind Battash, and when denied at the Curragh behind Havana Grey prior to her Nunthorpe near miss.

However, the Dutch Art mare got back on the winning trail to deny Gold Vibe and a few of these in the Prix de l’Abbaye, and she made a solid return to action when successfully defending her Palace House Stakes crown at Newmarket where she beat Equilateral.

She is clearly progressing well, but her exploits mean she now has to burden top-weight here, giving 2lbs to the likes of Battash, Alpha Delphini and KACHY (5/1, Paddy Power) who has made hay on the all-weather over the winter and early spring, and the Kyllachy gelding is chanced to continue his progression back on turf.

Tom Dascombe has a good record here, and the six-year old finished a good third in this race twelve months ago where he was only beaten a neck having won previously at Chester in a Listed contest where he demolished Grown by nine lengths.

Not seen at his best in two subsequent starts, finishing ninth in the King’s Stand Stakes and then fifth in the King George V Stakes at Goodwood, he has been rejuvenated by wind surgery in the autumn and he racked up three wins from three starts on the all-weather with a trio of impressive successes.

This will be much tougher than dominating on the all-weather as he returns to Group Two company, and it is perhaps a slight concern that he drops back in trip to five furlongs having done his recent winning over six furlongs.

He has won at this trip however, and his Chester success last term came at the minimum distance where he showed blistering speed throughout to register an easy win; and he has looked pacey again on the all-weather with a trio of dominating front-running performances.

Wind surgery has certainly seemed to help him, and if he could prove hard to peg back if allowed to blaze a trail in front. He is chanced to do so, and proven over an extra furlong, he likely won’t go down without a fight, and he was only run down late in the day in this contest last year.

Sergei Prokofiev (5/1, William Hill) represents the Aidan O’Brien camp, and the Scat Daddy colt struggled last term over six furlong despite finishing third to Calyx over that trip at Ascot.

That run had come in the wake of wins at Navan and Naas over the minimum trip, and having failed to fire over six furlongs in the Phoenix Stakes and Middle Park Stakes respectively, he took advantage of the return to a shorter trip and a drop in grade to win the Cornwallis Stakes from Well Done, scoring easily.

A fair eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint followed, and he made a winning return to action at Navan in March. However, he was only fourth to Mabs Cross back at Newmarket in the Palace House Stakes, not helped by a slow start although there is a feeling he wouldn’t have won in any case as he had the benefit of race-fitness over the eventual winner and was unable to capitalise.

Ballydoyle runners can never be fully discounted, and the Scat Daddy colt’s record over five furlongs is 4-7 albeit mostly at a lower level. He might just struggle back up in class, but he represents a yard who are collecting big prizes wherever they go, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see anothe big effort for all he may just come up short again at this level.

Caspian Prince (20/1, Paddy Power) was kept busy last term, but he managed to strike at Musselburgh in June when winning the Scottish Sprint Cup, after which he notched up successive runner-up efforts at the Curragh where he was beaten a short-head and one length respectively in his two starts in Ireland.

The latter of those came when beaten behind Havana Grey in the Sapphire Stakes last July, giving 3lbs and a beating to third-placed Mabs Cross in the process. The tables were turned though when Michael Appleby’s charge disappointed in beating only four horses home in the Nunthorpe Stakes.

The Dylan Thomas gelding is in his veteran stages now, and while clearly capable of smart form he is likely to fall short of this level on his return to action; while his record fresh doesn’t inspire confidence that he’ll be fully wound up ahead of this reappearance and his aging legs might just need this first run back.

Pocket Dynamo (33/1, BetVictor) won twice last term, scoring at Chelmsford and Longchamp before getting to within a nose of Shang Shang Shang in the Norfolk Stakes; Robert Cowell’s charge subsequently could only beat one rival home at Maisons-Laffitte behind Signora Cabello in the Prix Robert Papin.

The Dialed In colt returned from a three-month break following that run, but he didn’t show his best behind Sergei Prokofiev in the Cornwallis Stakes, or when beating only three home in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

The three-year old has perhaps had his limitations exposed in two runs this term, beaten behind Garrus at Nottingham on his return before finishing fourth to Calyx in the Pavillion Stakes at the beginning of May, and this looks a very tough assignment stepping into Group Two company as a three-year old and taking on some established and high-class sprinters.

Completing the potential line-up for this Group Two prize, Tarboosh (33/1, William Hill) progressed well last term, winning four times in all in Conditions races and handicap company, rounding off his season with a win at Doncaster in a competitive big-field handicap where he struck by one length over Erissimus Maximus.

Paul Midgley does well with his sprinters, and the Bahamian Bounty gelding ran well into third behind Tanasoq in the recent Borderlescott Sprint Trophy at Musselburgh prior to contesting the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket where he could only finish eighth behind Mabs Cross.

On that outing he has plenty to find to be a factor in this race, and he looks up against it making the step up to Group company.


A classy renewal where Battash will bid to win the race for a second time, and Charlie Hills’ crack sprinter has won his last two seasonal reappearances; he has to be feared if at his best, and he could take some beating if he is. Nunthorpe winner Alpha Delphini and recent Palace House Stakes winner Mabs Cross could also renew rivalry although the latter looks to face a stiff task to concede weight all round.

It could be worth chancing on KACHY (5/1, Paddy Power) though to blaze a trail to Group Two success, and Tom Dascombe’s charge has been imperious on the all-weather following wind surgery, racking up a trio of impressive all-the-way wins.

The Kyllachy gelding has already proven himself to be a very smart performer on turf, winning impressively in a Listed contest at Chester last campaign before finishing a close third in this race twelve months ago where he was only run down late.

Strictly on the weights for this latest renewal, he has to find some improvement as he was getting 5lbs from Battash twelve months ago, while the pair meet now on level terms; but wind surgery has certainly appeared to deliver a jolt of improvement, and proven stamina for further could stand him in good stead as he drops back to five furlongs having struck over six furlongs for his three all-weather wins.

He has shown blistering and relentless speed on all three of those wins, and if showing similar back on turf then he could prove tough to peg back in this contest.


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2019 Temple Stakes tips - Dascombe's 5/1 chance could be hard to Kach in Haydock's Saturday feature

Brian Healy gives his runner-by-runner view for Saturday's Group Two feature race at Haydock, the Temple Stakes where Battash will bid to retain his crown.

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