Horse Racing Tips

Thursday Horse Racing Tips: Timeform's view and 5/2 nap at Haydock

Haydock racecourse
There is a quality card at Haydock on Thursday

Timeform's Andrew Asquith outlines the Timeform view at Haydock and Chelmsford on Thursday...

  • Timeform highlight three selections for Thursday's racing

  • Woodleigh can defy a penalty

  • Queen of Soldiers interesting for in-form yard

  • Divine Breath has more to offer

Woodleigh stands out on these terms

This looks a strong race for the grade, with three horses all running under penalties having won recently, but from a handicapping standpoint, it is hard to see past Woodleigh.

He looked rusty on his first two starts back this season, but he took a major step forward when belatedly opening his mark over six furlongs at Ripon last week, taking advantage of a career-low mark in some style, switched for a run around two furlongs out and produced to lead soon after.

Woodleigh readily drew clear of his rivals in the final furlong in the style of a horse some way ahead of his mark and, though that may not have been the strongest race, it was hard not to be impressed by the visual impression he created. It is no surprise connections turn him out under a 6 lb penalty and he is at least 6 lb clear at the top of Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings, so another big run is expected.

Queen of Soldiers a sure-fire improver

A big-field maiden which seems sure to provide plenty of future winners, but it will take an above-average newcomer to lower the colours of Queen of Soldiers on the back of her promising debut.

She cost €380,000 as a yearling who is bred to be smart and she showed plenty of ability on her debut over a mile and a quarter at Ascot last month, not the best away from the stalls, but making good headway entering the straight and running on well in the straight, only narrowly failing to get past one with the benefit of previous experience.

Queen of Soldiers still holds an entry in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, so clearly she is held in some regard, and she is well up to winning a race of this nature. She not only tops Timeform weight-adjusted ratings, but she still has the small 'p' attached to her rating, which means she is open to further improvement.

Divine Breath will remain of interest

Divine Breath is bred to be useful, and was strong in the betting for her debut over this course and distance in January, knowing her job and displaying plenty of ability, headed only in the final 50 yards by another promising newcomer.

She had no trouble going one place better over six furlongs at Wolverhampton next time, not needing to improve but readily landing the odds, overcoming some trouble in running in the process.

Divine Breath was again strong in the betting for her handicap and turf debut at Newmarket last time, the least exposed in the field, but she found things happening a bit too quickly kept to sprinting on handicap debut, while she also ended up a little away from where this unfolded having raced on the far wing.

She is better than she was able to show on that occasion, and promises to be well suited by the return to seven furlongs back on the all-weather. Divine Breath is another who tops Timeform weight-adjusted ratings and still has the small 'p', so she is expected to prove herself on a good mark now.

Now read Tony Calvin's ante-post column for racing at Haydock on Saturday

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