2021 has started out incredibly well for Mark Crehan. Thirty-one winners already on the board this year, Crehan is well in the mix to be the top apprentice this season, riding the winner of the Woodcote at Epsom on Oaks day, live on ITV Racing.
That sort of exposure will be invaluable to him but it also puts him out to a wider audience than those who already knew what great value Crehan is for his claim. He has four rides at Haydock on Thursday night that combine to make an each-way Lucky 15 that pays £21,865 to a 50p each way stake with bet365.
6.00 Haydock – racingtv.com EBF Restricted Novice Stakes
David Loughnane would not normally be the first trainer to turn to when looking at a juvenile race but Corinthiano is certainly bred to be a precocious type. His dam was a five furlong winner as a two-year-old as was his grand dam who is a half-sister to one who was placed at Royal Ascot in the Albany Stakes.
It will be very interesting to see what the market makes of this colt in the early stages, with any shortening notable given that pedigree. All four of his rivals have already seen action and set a fair standard but three of those showed their best on far softer ground so this surface is a question mark for them.
7.00 Haydock – Broad Oak Novice Stakes
There was plenty of promise from Mr Professor on his debut at Salisbury, sent off favourite for his second outing. He didn’t go on but the ground was soft at Catterick, very different to the good to firm that he faced on his racecourse debut.
Back on good to firm at Haydock, he should be capable of making that step forward for a yard who were quick off the mark with a juvenile winner at York. His dam wasn’t seen until she was three but it was at this track where she broke her duck.
Crehan is 5/11 on juveniles on the turf this year and while that’s mainly for George Boughey, it’s a nice stat with his opening two rides both on the two-year-old generation.
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8.00 Haydock – King’s Moss Handicap
A progressive type on Tapeta at the end of 2020, Richard R H B has not hit those same heights yet on turf. His best turf RPR came on good to firm, his last three runs on this surface all on soft or heavy. He was third (of five) at this track last season on good when twelve furlongs looked to stretch his stamina away from a sharp all-weather track.
Down three pounds for his return to turf over course and distance last time, he is slipping to what should be a workable enough level on his old turf form. These conditions will suit so he would have a squeak at a decent price.
8.30 Haydock – Haydock Windle Handicap
Just three runs on turf so far for Hafez. A pair of maidens at Sandown in which he was far from disgraced before a keeping on third on his handicap debut over a mile at Beverley. Placed twice from a pound lower on the all-weather at the back end of 2020, he starts this season for a new yard.
He is yet to look anywhere close to living up to his 400,000 price tag but he may do better for the smaller yard of Alice Haynes. She may not be familiar to a lot of racing fans but she was trusted to pre-train horses for the likes of William Haggas and Roger Varian so she is more than capable.