‘Questionable’ watering can help mud-loving Vadream make a splash

<span>Deteriorating ground conditions are expected to tip the scales in favour of proven mud-lover Vadream in the Temple Stakes on Saturday.</span><span>Photograph: Nigel French/PA</span>
Deteriorating ground conditions are expected to tip the scales in favour of proven mud-lover Vadream in the Temple Stakes on Saturday.Photograph: Nigel French/PA

Dan Cooper, Haydock’s clerk of the course, conceded earlier this week that the decision to water the track on Tuesday looks “questionable” in the light of subsequent significant rainfall, but there are unlikely to be any complaints from the connections of Vadream (1.50) ahead of the Group Two Temple Stakes there on Saturday.

Charlie Fellowes’s mare put up a useful performance to finish a length behind the three-year-old Seven Questions – who is also in Saturday’s field – on good ground at Newmarket earlier this month, but she is ideally suited by plenty of cut.

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The going ahead of Friday’s meeting was soft, heavy in places and while top-rated Live In The Dream, last season’s Nunthorpe winner, has form on testing ground, it is not an ideal surface for his first outing since last year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Australia’s Asfoora, who is prepping for the King Charles III (formerly King’s Stand) Stakes at Royal Ascot, is another fascinating runner but also coming off a break, and Vadream is a clear pick of the prices at around 5-1 to make the most of a heaven-sent opportunity.

Haydock Park 1.15: Volterra justified heavy support on his handicap debut at Newmarket earlier this month and a 9lb hike may not be enough to prevent a follow-up.

Goodwood 1.30: Odds of around 20-1 could well underestimate the chance of The Camden Colt, who should appreciate the drop back to seven furlongs, has Alec Voikhansky taking off 5lb and every chance of getting a decent position from stall one.

Goodwood 2.05: A quick turnaround for Francophone after her second place in the Musidora at York but that form gives her a narrow edge at this trip.

Haydock Park 2.25: Last year’s top sprinting juvenile Vandeek will be a warm order to defend his unbeaten record but this is a tough first assignment and Inisherin, who led the 2,000 Guineas field to five out, will appreciate this drop back to six furlongs.

York 2.45: Lightly raced Rabaah ran his best race last year over six furlongs here and could benefit from the drop back to five.

Haydock Park 3.00: English Oak has plenty of scope for improvement and a repeat of his latest effort – from the same mark – could well be enough.

York 3.20: A repeat of last year’s success on seasonal debut looks likely for Ralph Beckett’s consistent mare, River Of Stars.

Haydock 1.15 Volterra 1.50 Vadream 2.25 Inisherin 3.00 English Oak 3.30 Divine Comedy (nb) 4.10 The Amazon 4.45 Corsican Caper

Goodwood 1.30 The Camden Colt (nap) 2.05 Francophone 2.35 Nightbird 3.10 Crescent Lake 3.45 Meydaan 4.20 Nini Star 4.55 Grandlad

York 1.35 Holkham Bay 2.10 Simmering 2.45 Rabaah 3.20 River Of Stars 3.55 Mr Irrelevant 4.30 Terrorise 5.05 Northcliff

Chester 1.45 Hiya Honey 2.20 King Of Angels 2.55 Dreams Adozen 3.35 Maso Bastie 4.05 Prince Of Zenda 4.40 Alfa Moonstone 5.15 Fouroneohfever

Cartmel 4.00 Santwopointfive 4.35 She’s A Saint 5.10 Fautinette 5.40 Tommie Beau 6.15 Salamanca Bay 6.50 O’Faolains Glory 7.20 My Gift To You

Salisbury 4.49 Lovestruck Romeo 5.20 Sub Thirteen 5.55 Northfield Lake 6.30 Harry Three 7.00 Hilltop 7.30 Enpassant 8.00 Nothing To Fear 8.30 Warranty

Windsor 5.35 Vince Lombardi 6.05 Afentiko 6.40 Ethandun 7.15 Navello 7.45 Tarjeeh 8.15 Thrilling Dream 8.45 Great Acclaim

Haydock Park 3.30: Ground, trip and Kaiya Fraser’s 5lb claim are all major positives for Divine Comedy.

The Curragh 3.40: Just eight runners go to post for the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Richard Hannon’s Rosallion, the 2,000 Guineas runner-up, looks a worthy favourite to confirm Newmarket superiority over his stable-companion, Haatem.