Tony Calvin: Veteran sprinter a big contender in Temple Stakes

Former Group 1 winner Kingsgate Native retains plenty of ability and can go well in the Temple Stakes
Former Group 1 winner Kingsgate Native retains plenty of ability and can go well in the Temple Stakes

We introduce a brand new weekly column today in which our regular big-price tipster Tony Calvin looks ahead to the weekend racing, providing us with ante-post tips as well as some horses that have caught his eye in the previous seven days...

"Remember, he was beaten only ½ length by Sole Power on fast ground in that Newmarket race last season, before chasing home Hot Streak and Pearl Secret in the soft in this race afterwards, and his reappearance effort suggests the years haven't dulled all the ability just yet."

Back Kingsgate Native at 24.023/1 in the 15:45 at Haydock on Saturday

With the make-up of the fields for the Irish 1000 and 2000 Guineas not likely to be known until declaration-time later in the week, my new Wednesday ante-post column looking ahead to the big Saturday races will be focusing solely on Haydock this week.

But, in future weeks, I will also be touching on performances in the previous seven days that have caught my eye with regards to races further down the line.

In addition, my midweek brief has also been extended to take in Betfair's Sportsbook prices too, particularly when liquidity in the exchange markets is a touch on the light side.

Anyway, let's crack on with Haydock on Saturday, and a very competitive handicap in the shape of the Silver Bowl Stakes at 14:35.

The first, and most obvious, point with ante-post betting is that we will inevitably get our fair share of non-runners, and therefore not even get a run for our money, on occasions - the British weather and changeable running plans will see to that - but hopefully I'll keep my ear to the ground and we can keep the no-shows to a minimum.

And that is exactly what I have done this week.

The clear starting point for this handicap is the Sportsbook's 9-2 favourite Mutarakez, as he was undeniably impressive in beating Shaakis - I tipped the runner-up that day - by an easy 2¾ lengths in the Esher Cup last month.

He could be up to making his mark in listed and Group 3 company before too long but he may need to be if he is going to follow up here off a 10lb higher mark, especially as the Sandown form hasn't worked out too well, a win for the fifth-home aside.

And there is also the small matter of six other last-time out winners in a 17-strong field at the five-day stage, not to mention plenty of other lightly-raced 3yos who promise to progress again stepped up to 1m. This is invariably a red-hot handicap.

The one I initially liked at a double figure price - it is currently 15.5 on the exchange and a fair 12-1 on the Sportsbook - was King To Be. But there is a chance he may not run, and his current price doesn't compensate for the risk of backing him now, so I am going to stop short of putting him up.

I'll explain.

I noticed that he was also entered at Goodwood on Saturday, so I contacted connections last night and they said "not sure" when asked whether he went to Haydock.

So let's start as we mean to go on. We can always step in if and when he is declared a runner on Thursday morning, as I do like the horse.

He still looks to be getting the hang of racing, but I thought the Goodwood maiden winner did really well to finish fifth over 7f at York last week considering he possibly wasn't ideally positioned on the inner throughout there, and shaped as if a longer trip was needed as Ryan Moore had to get after him from an early stage.

And that would be in keeping with his pedigree, too.

I don't think we saw the best of him at York - he will certainly need to step forward a good deal here - and his Goodwood win, for which he only asserted close home, was given a boost when the runner-up won a fair Redcar maiden on Monday.

Proven Group 1 winner Sole Power is the predictable 4-1 favourite for the Temple Stakes on the Sportsbook, and is currently not much bigger at 5.24/1 on the exchange in the Group 2 contest at 15:45.

But everyone knows that Sole Power is most effective on good or faster ground, and with the ground good to soft at Haydock, with a variable forecast at the time of writing, it is no certainty that he will rock up on Saturday.

But Kingsgate Native will, whatever the weather, and I think he rates a fair bet at 24.023/1.

Okay, at 10yo, he is no spring chicken and he has no pretensions to being a top-grade sprinter any more, like Sole Power and G Force.

But he was only 2½ lengths behind his much shorter-priced, though admittedly far younger, stablemate when third to Goldream first time up in the Palace House Stakes, where I thought he ran a stormer from off the pace to finish third to the improving winner, who got the run of the race on the inner.

And Newmarket has been his traditional stepping stone into a race that he won in 2010 and 2013.

Remember, he was beaten only ½ length by Sole Power on fast ground in that Newmarket race last season, before chasing home Hot Streak and Pearl Secret in the soft in this race afterwards, and his reappearance effort suggests the years haven't dulled all the ability just yet. And odds of 24.023/1 underestimate his chances here.

It's a low-key start, but we will be far more active in the future,


Recommended Bet

Back Kingsgate Native at 24.023/1 in the 15:45 at Haydock on Saturday


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