• Home
  • Horse Racing
  • Haydock Best Bets: Inisherin And Purosangue In Bid To Challenge Vandeek Domination

Haydock best bets: Inisherin and Purosangue in bid to challenge Vandeek domination

Along with the Temple Stakes that precedes it, the Sandy Lane Stakes offers the biggest prize on Saturday’s high-quality card at Haydock, where seven capable candidates will be lining up to claim it.

14:25 Haydock:  Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Sandy Lane Stakes  (6 furlongs)

The field originally featured eight scheduled starters, but the soft ground has prematurely put paid to the hopes of Pandora’s Gift, who would have been our under-the-radar pick to spring a surprise here.

Her absence has had little effect on a betting market dominated by Vandeek, who is expected to land the odds if able to pick up where he left off in a 2023 campaign that saw the Crisford-trained colt go unbeaten in four outings. 

The favourite was as at ease in the soft conditions of his first two victories as on the good-to-firm ground at Newmarket when landing the Middle Park Stakes on his last appearance in September.

Should he struggle to rekindle that form immediately after an eight-month break, then the race-fitness of Inisherin could well provide a threat from two stalls inside the favourite.

Kevin Ryan’s colt confirmed the form shown in his solitary 2023 outing (second of 17 at Newmarket in September) by opening his account on his all-weather season debut at Newcastle in March.

That run paved the way for a creditable sixth of 11 in the 2000 Guineas three weeks ago, when his bid faded in the closing stages, suggesting that this shorter trip might be more suitable at this level.

Suggested bet: Inisherin in the 14:25 at Haydock


The withdrawal of Pandora’s Gift has the additional knock-on effect of reducing the available each-way places, but should either of the two principals falter, then there won’t be a shortage of capable outsiders poised to pounce.

Deep in the betting lurks the largely untapped potential of Airman, who has only been aired twice by Richard Fahey, but delivered both times, firstly in a maiden stakes at Beverley last July, and secondly just three weeks ago when he emerged from a nine-month absence to land a Hamilton novice.

That recent success saw Airman defy top weight in carrying 11 pounds more than the short-priced runner-up, and although this is a step up in class over an extra furlong, Oisin Orr could bring him into the mix as something of an unknown quantity.

Our final each-way nod, however, goes in the direction of Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy, who team up with Purosangue, who has made the frame in all but one of his seven career outings, winning two of them.

Each-way punt: Purosangue each-way in the 14:25 at Haydock

His best form came towards the end of a 2023 summer that saw him finish a close-up second in three consecutive outings, before finally getting his nose in front on his final juvenile appearance to land the Rockingham Stakes ahead of the reopposing Esquire, who also carries each-way hopes here.

Following a six-month winter break, Purosangue warmed up for this with an encouraging three-year-old debut 24 days ago, when he was a game third of 10 in the Commonwealth Cup Trial over this distance at Ascot, with the promise of more progress to come.



READ MORE: Saturday ITV racing tips: Best bets for Haydock, Goodwood, York and the Curragh on May 25

More Articles