Cabaletta bids to get back on the winning trail in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock
Roger Varian’s filly won in Listed company at Newbury last summer, before going on to fill the runner-up spot in both the Group Two Lillie Langtry Stakes and the Group Three March Stakes at Goodwood.
She again had to make do with minor honours when third behind the impressive Queen Power in the Middleton Stakes at York on her seasonal reappearance – and connections are hoping the application of blinkers for the first time will have the desired effect on Saturday.
Chris Richardson, managing director for owner-breeders Cheveley Park Stud, said: “We were a little bit disappointed in the way she performed at York. She just looked to be not really concentrating, so we’re trying something different to try to help her focus.
“I hope the blinkers don’t make her run too free, but she certainly looked to be dossing in the Middleton.
“I think the step (back) up to a mile and a half is what she needs, and hopefully we can see her get back on track.
“Based on what we’ve seen at home, we’re hoping to see an improvement.”
With Alpinista a significant non-runner, Cabaletta is set to face five rivals at Group Three level on Merseyside – Oriental Mystique (David Simcock), La Lune (Henry Candy), Salsada (Jedd O’Keeffe), Wait For The Lord (David Elsworth) and National Treasure (Ben Haslam).
A field of quality sprinters will do battle in the Listed Betway Achilles Stakes, including last year’s winner El Astronaute.
John Quinn’s evergreen sprinter defends the crown he won when the 2020 edition was run at Doncaster, having also made a successful return to action at Chester three weeks ago.
“He’s come out of Chester very well and he’s in good nick,” said Quinn.
“He doesn’t mind a bit of ease in he ground – he goes on any ground. We’re very happy with him.”
Connections of Motagally are pleased to see the five-year-old make his comeback, following a 227-day absence.
It will be a belated seasonal reappearance for the Charlie Hills-trained gelding, who was last seen finishing third at Kempton in October.
“He’s been held up this year, but he’s a decent horse at his best, so it would be good just to get him back out again,” said Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Shadwell Estate Company.
Andrew Balding’s King’s Lynn renews rivalry with El Astronaute – after filling the runner-up spot at Chester – while Edward Bethell runs stable star Moss Gill, whose most recent run was down the field in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan.