Breakthrough win for Waliyak in Dick Hern Stakes

Hot favourite Waliyak came up with goods in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock.

Third in the Kensington Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Pipalong at Pontefract and the Valiant Stakes back at Ascot so far this season, Roger Varian’s filly was an even-money shot to open her account for the campaign in a depleted field on Merseyside.

Always travelling strongly in the hands of Jack Mitchell, the daughter of Le Havre clearly had no problem handling the rain-softened ground as she careered away in the final furlong to score by more than three lengths and with plenty in hand.

Passionova fared best of the other four runners to fill the runner-up spot.

Potapova, who was the favourite following the declaration stage on Thursday, was one of six non-runners.

Mitchell, completing a double on the card, said of Waliyak: “She’s very tough, and I think her style of racing on those quicker surfaces means she hits a bit of a flat spot when they’re quickening in front of her.

“The key today was to get her out – not a lot was going to come off the pace today – so the plan worked out well, and her class has shone through in the end.

“The ground was a little question mark, but she’s a big filly and she’s by Le Havre, so she’s not a daisy cutter by any means. She’s probably handled it better than others and she’s won it like a nice filly.

“She’s always worked nicely at home, and I’ve always thought a lot of her. She’s got bits of black type before, but she’s got that win under her belt now.”

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