Horse Power: Ramazan can win the John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park

Ramazan, ridden by jockey Oisin Orr (right), on the way to winning the Price Promise At bet365 Handicap on bet365 Old Newton Cup Day at Haydock Park Racecourse on Saturday, July 8 2023
-Credit: (Image: Nigel French/PA)

RAMAZAN can win the Betfred John Of Gaunt Stakes (3.35pm) at Haydock Park on Saturday afternoon.

Richard Fahey’s progressive four-year-old can take the step up to Group Three company in his stride and land the feature on Merseyside. The gelded son of Kodiac has won on both his previous trips to Haydock and has generally been consistent in some top handicaps over the past couple of seasons. He is still open to improvement and looks a real seven-furlong specialist. While he has run well on most conditions so any worsening of the ground would not inconvenience Ramazan.

Ramazan won at Haydock over six furlongs as a juvenile and also scored over this course and distance in a handicap last July. He has won one – at Chepstow – and been runner-up four times in his six starts since that success. A fine second in the Ayr Gold Cup over six furlongs was followed by a narrow nose defeat by Vafortino in a Listed contest over seven furlongs at Redcar. Ramazan has also been runner-up on his two starts this season in a conditions event at Thirsk on his seasonal return and then another narrow defeat in the Victoria Cup at Ascot last month. That competitive contest shows both his well-being and his ability. And stepping up into Group company Ramazan can make it third time lucky this season and land a deserved success.

Others who could go close are Richard Hannon’s Witch Hunter, the Ed Bethell-trained Point Lynas and Noble Dynasty – for Godolphin trainer Charlie Appley and jockey and Liverpool FC fan William Buick.

SEA THEME can give trainer Willie Haggas a third win in a row in the Group Three Betfred Lester Piggott Fillies’ Stakes (Formerly Known As The Pinnacle Stakes) (3pm). Since the race has changed it’s name from the Pinnacle Stakes to honour legendary rider Lester Piggott, Haggas has had the two winners. It is pretty apt as Maureen Haggas, who is the trainer’s wife and assistant, is Piggott’s daughter. And the stable clearly target the contest with Sea La Rosa and Sea Silk Road winning the last two runnings of the near 1m4f contest.

Like those two fillies, Sea Theme is a daughter of Sea The Stars and has a similarly progressive profile. The four-year-old won two of her four starts last season, including a Listed event over 1m4f at York in August. Although she disapointed on her final start in a Group Three at Newmarket last September, she will have been targeted at this contest ever since. Following a break, she will be ready to go on her seasonal return and can give Haggas a third win in a row. Both Sea La Rosa and Sea Silk Road went on to score at the top level and Sea Theme is sure to be aimed at similar Group One contests should she also triumph on Merseyside.

With a run under his belt Adam West’s Nunthorpe Stakes hero LIVE IN THE DREAM can return to winning ways in the Listed Betfred Passionate About Sport Achilles Stakes (1.50pm) back at Haydock. The five-year-old gelded son of Prince Of Lir landed his and his trainer’s biggest career victory in the Group One Nunthorpe at York last August. And he ran a fine race to be a close-up fourth at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita in November. He was probably just a little short of fitness on his seasonal return but still ran another good race when a half-length second to Kerdos over course and distance in the Group Two Betfred Temple Stakes two weeks ago. Dropped down in grade and with that run under his belt, he can return to winning ways before bigger targets at the top level later in the season.

With original selection Maghlaak now a non-runner, Charlie Johnston's KNIGHTSWOOD can win the Betfred ‘Play Fred’s 5 Million’ Handicap (2.25pm). The five-year-old won twice last season and has run well when placed twice from three starts so far this year. He looks ready to return to winning ways.

Eve Johnson Houghton’s SILVER TRUMPET has been in good form this season and can land a fourth win from six starts in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap (4.10pm). The three-year-old gelding won twice on the all-weather at Kempton and Southwell earlier in the year and scored again on Turf at Salisbury two weeks ago. And despite being up in the handicap and carrying top weight at Haydock, he can score again.

Michael Appleby’s BILLYJOH has been on the go all year and the consistent four-year-old can land a deserved success in the Betfred “Join Our Sports Club” Reverence Handicap (4.45pm). Billyjoh won twice at the start of the year and has remained in good form, finishing second three times since. He is up to career-high mark of 93. But if things drop right he can get back to winning ways.

Meanwhile David O’Meara’s CERULEAN BAY can land Division One of the Betfred “Bet Builder” Sankey Handicap (5.20pm); and PHONE TAG – trained by Hugo Palmer at former Liverpool FC and England striker Michael Owen’s Manor House Stables in nearby Cheshire – can take Division Two of the Betfred ‘Bet Builder’ Sankey Handicap (5.52pm).

At Beverley Adrian Nicholls MAW LAM can make it two wins from two starts in the Hilary Needler Trophy EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (GBB Race) (2.05pm). The two-year-old daughter of Acclamation make a good impression when winning on her debut at Thirsk and from a favourable draw in stall one can maintain her unbeaten start ahead of chiefly the Karl Burke-trained Larchill Lass.

Richard Fahey’s MOVING FORCE – a course and distance winner on his debut – can also make it two wins from two starts in the bet365 Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes (Colts & Geldings) (2.40pm).

Others who may win at Beverley are Craig Lidster’s BILLYB in the bet365 Handicap (3.15pm); Michael Bell's BLUEFLAGFLYINGHIGH in the Best Odds Guaranteed At bet365 Handicap (3.50pm); the Roger Varian-treained REMOJI in the opener, the bet365 Very British Raceday Restricted Maiden Stakes (For Horses In Bands C And D) (GBB Race) (1.30pm); and Andrew Balding’s SUN DANCER GIRL in the Never Ordinary At bet365 Handicap (4.25pm).

At Catterick Jessice Macey’s SHARK TWO ONE can take Division One of the Congratulations Erin On Getting Married Handicap (2.45pm); and Tim Easterby’s course and distance winner OBEE JO can land Division Two of the Congratulations Erin On Getting Married Handicap (3.20pm).

Wright Ones


1.50pm Live In The Dream
2.25pm Knightswood
3pm Sea Theme
3.35pm Ramazan (NAP)
4.10pm Silver Trumpet
4.45pm Billyjoh
5.20pm Cerulean Bay
5.52pm Phone Tag


1.30pm Remoji
2.05pm Maw Lam
2.40pm Moving Force
3.15pm Billyb
3.50pm Blueflagflyinghigh
4.25pm Sun Dancer Girl
5pm Briar Rose


2.10pm Asinara
2.45pm Shark Two One
3.20pm Obee Jo
3.55pm Northerner
4.30pm Pons Aelius
5.05pm Jojo Rabbit
5.40pm Livinthelife
6.10pm Langholm


1.40pm Not Now Nathaniel
2.15pm Getaway Glory
2.50pm Simply Red
3.25pm Grain D’oudairies
4pm Regal And Royal
4.35pm The Gambler
5.10pm Gwennie May Star


5.25pm Jacquelina
6pm Violet Love
6.30pm Rosy Affair
7pm Eagle Day
7.30pm Diamondsinthesand
8pm Letter Of The Law
8.30pm Duchess
9pm Marmalade Lady


5.45pm Beggarman
6.15pm Grey Charger
6.45pm Charlie’s Choice
7.15pm Labalaba
7.45pm Ureshii
8.15pm Spanish Mane
8.45pm Monks Mead

SUNDAY’S NAP: Hedonista (Goodwood 4.30pm)