The Temple Stakes sees the return to action of one of last season's top sprinters Quiet Reflection. Her wins at three included the Sandy Lane Stakes on this same card and then a successful return visit to Haydock later in the year for the Sprint Cup, her second Group 1 success of the season after landing the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. As a recent Group 1 winner, Quiet Reflection has to give weight away all round but she boasted high-class form at her best last year (her Sprint Cup win, which came on soft ground, was the pick of her efforts) and comes out top on Timeform weight-adjusted ratings even so. More of a concern than her penalty is the fact that she lacks a recent run against race-fit rivals, not having been seen since a subdued effort at the end of a long season in the British Champions Sprint at Ascot. This will also be her first start at the minimum trip since her two-year-old days when she gained all three of her wins over five furlongs.
Quiet Reflection isn't the only filly with a leading chance. Priceless represents the stable of Clive Cox, successful in last year's Temple Stakes with Profitable. Her cv reads less impressively than Quiet Reflection's, but she's only recently found her optimum trip since being dropped to five furlongs, winning a listed race at Doncaster on her final start last season and beginning the current campaign with a storming five-length success in a similar event for fillies and mares at Bath last month. She had excuses last time in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket, paying for being the first to commit for home in a strongly-run race.
Acapulco is yet another filly whose involvement in the finish wouldn't come as a surprise. She'll be best remembered in Britain for her impressive Queen Mary victory as a two-year-old and her second place when favourite for the Nunthorpe the same year. She won a couple of times in minor company for Wesley Ward back in the States last year and recently made a successful reappearance in a listed race at the Curragh on her first start for Aidan O'Brien. Acapulco - who's in foal to Galileo, incidentally - would need to step up on the bare form of that win to figure here, but she gave the impression she was only doing the bare minimum and is still lightly raced.
Ballydoyle stable-companion Washington DC has had a lot more racing, but he's another who has only really started to thrive since being dropped back to five furlongs. His strong-finishing second to Marsha in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Chantilly was his best effort in a busy campaign at three and he ran another good race to go down by a neck to the same rival, who looked better than ever under a penalty, in the Palace House Stakes last time. Washington DC won a listed race at Navan in April but he's overdue a success in group company and his hold-up style of running may be no bad thing on this occasion with a number of trailblazers likely to be in the field - as well as Priceless, they include veteran Take Cover (who beat Washington DC in the King George Stakes at Goodwood but hasn't run since the Abbaye) and Final Venture, a dual winner in Dubai early in the year.
Washington DC finished ahead of several of his potential Haydock rivals in the Palace House in which Goldream and Kachy completed the frame ahead of Priceless in fifth, Alpha Delphini eighth, Cotai Glory ninth and Thesme well beaten. That was Goldream's best effort for some time, and if the 2015 King's Stand and Abbaye winner is sharper for that reappearance, he looks the value bet, particularly with his trainer Robert Cowell firing in a number of winners in recent days.
Normally a front-runner, Kachy came from well off the pace for fourth in the Palace House, and while he was only sixth in this last year, he went on to split Quiet Reflection and Washington DC in the Commonwealth Cup despite veering badly left. Waady is another who could bid to improve on his effort in 2016 when third behind the high-class pair Profitable and Mecca's Angel. He'd need a career-best to win this year's renewal, but the return to five furlongs is very much in his favour.
With Quiet Reflection making her reappearance and doubts about which of Aidan O'Brien's two entries will run (both have entries in Ireland the same day), unpenalised dual Group 1 winner Goldream is the selection after showing more of his old spark last time.
Win back Goldream in the Temple Stakes at Haydock