The Temple Stakes – Our Runner-By-Runner Guide To Haydock’s Sprinting Showpiece

Winter Power won last season's Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes and is favourite for Haydock's Temple Stakes on return.Winter Power won last season's Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes and is favourite for Haydock's Temple Stakes on return.

The Group 2 Temple Stakes is the highlight of Haydock’s Saturday card. We have analysed the 12 runners, which feature a Group 1 winner.


Ainsdale (Julie Camacho, Graham Lee)

Will be his stable debut for Julie Camacho after 19 runs for Karl Burke. Won four times for his previous yard and ran an absolute screamer in this last year. Finished a neck second to Liberty Beach in a clear career best, but has otherwise proven much of a muchness in Group company. Rain is falling, so soft ground form may come into it, but needs to step up regardless.

Arecibo (Robert Cowell, Rossa Ryan)

Was twice a winner for Robert Cowell in his first season with that yard. Both of those came in handicaps before he stepped up to Pattern races for the rest of the season. Clearly improved for current trainer, as was only ever a handicapper for David O’Meara, and was second in last season’s King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Also second in a Group 3 at Sandown, but dropped below his best from late summer. May have needed the run on return and this may be the time to catch him.

Came From The Dark (Ed Walker, Tom Marquand)

Stepped up to a new level last season with two victories coming after being gelded and having wind surgery. A Newbury handicap success last April preceded a Group 3 breakthrough in the Coral Charge at Sandown. Absent for 301 days thereafter, so perhaps no surprise that he could not match that form in the Palace House Stakes on return. Has good form at Haydock, but the necessary improvement he needs seems to have been factored into his price.

Existent (Stuart Williams, Marco Ghiani)

Campaigned on the all-weather by his new trainer over the winter, scoring twice at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton. Both of those came in handicaps, but his return to turf has been highly promising too. Runner-up in the Group 3 Palace House last time and Williams may well have unlocked the best of him by dropping him back to 5f. On that form he is a big price and could easily be in the reckoning for a place again.

King’s Lynn could well provide a royal winner at Haydock on Saturday.

King’s Lynn (Andrew Balding, David Probert)

Could be the Queen’s representative in her own Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Equally adept over 5f and 6f having taken Listed honours at both trips. The former of those came at this track too and has been very consistent. Has not been beaten more than five lengths since September 2020 and applies himself on all surfaces. Tough ask conceding 9lb to a very progressive three-year-old at Chester and should not be too far away here.

Mondammej (Antony Brittain, Cam Hardie)

Twice won over course and distance last September, both in handicaps, off marks in the low 90s. Does therefore have a 100% record over track and trip, but not too many other positives. Has been on the go since November 2020 and though that does not seem to have had too much of an effect, it also leaves him with little to hide from watching eyes. Eighth in the Palace House and unlikely to significantly improve on that in this field.

Moss Girl (Edward Bethell, Kevin Stott)

Has developed a frustrating habit of finishing second, doing so four times from his six starts in 2021. One of those came in Listed company at this course and distance to King’s Lynn. Twice he was beaten just a neck, so he has been going as close as possible. Nevertheless, his form did drop off from his 2020 peak, where he won a Listed race and was placed in the Group 1 Nunthorpe. Can go well fresh, but needs to refind his very best in doing so.

Twilight Calls (Henry Candy, Adam Kirby)

Relatively slow burner for Henry Candy, gradually climbing through the ratings in handicaps last season, and at the start of this. Won well at Newmarket on his return at such a level and was made favourite for the Palace House as a result. Finished fifth, beaten only 1¼ lengths, but had the worst of the draw and probably came out best in that race as a result. Could well develop further this season and be up to this standard and rates a very big danger.

Twilight Calls: Could well prove progressive this season.

White Lavender (Karl Burke, Clifford Lee)

Useful in Ireland for Joseph Murphy at three, placing in a Listed contest at Tipperary. Otherwise fell short at that level, but a change of yard to Karl Burke’s, an expert trainer of sprinters, worked very well for her. Claimed a Listed success on her stable debut at Bath, ultimately winning with a bit to spare having travelled widest up the straight.. Definitely needs to step up again, but that is not ruled out after that promising reappearance.

Winter Power (Tim Easterby, David Allan)

Silvestre De Sousa will be at Goodwood on Saturday, sp David Allan picks up a big race ride on the Group 1 Nunthorpe winner. Was superb when winning that contest, as she was in every race at York last season. Did not win at any other track last term, so slight fears that she may simply be a course specialist, though she won at other tracks as a two-year-old. Also went alarmingly well fresh last term and can cope with soft ground. Is capable of the highest level of form in this field and will win if anywhere near her best at Haydock

Last Crusader (Karl Burke, Daniel Tudhope)

One of two three-year-olds in the field who look to take advantage of their heavy allowances at this time of year. Stepped forward for the drop to 5f at York recently after a juvenile campaign spent entirely over 6f. Ran some good races at two while only winning once. Slight concern that he could not cope with older horses at Newmarket on return, but had enough excuses to look past that and was well on top at the finish latest. Chances are that he has simply been found his trip now and is one to keep an eye on.

Attagirl (Karl Burke, Sam James)

Beat the useful Caturra in a York Listed race as a juvenile last season. Indeed 5f on genuine good ground saw her run her best two races, so conditions could not be more ideal as things stand. Generally found herself struggling more in Group race company though and return offered little to shout about in France. Needs to improve on her best form to the tune of a stone to stand any chance.

Verdict

WINTER POWER is the best horse in the race and could take some pegging back. She only won at York last season, but has won at other tracks in the past and she is a proper Group 1 filly at her best. The dangers could come from King’s Lynn, who is very consistent and a course and distance winner, the progressive Twilight Calls and the three-year-old Last Crusader.