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Haydock preview: Dark Avenue to dazzle for Knight on handicap debut

| 27.05.2016

David Metcalf | May 27, 2016

Dark Avenue can put Haydock rivals in the shade

Dark Avenue can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to open her account in the 1m 2f handicap on today’s card at Haydock (16:10).

The William Knight trained filly has only had three starts, and shaped really well on the second of those when seventh of 12 to So Mi Dar in a 1m maiden at Windsor.

Dark Avenue raced in mid-division until making good headway two from home to chase the leaders and weakening late on to be beaten six lengths.

The winner is a very useful sort who has gone on to score twice since, including when an impressive winner of the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York, and is now rated 112.

More to come now stepped up in trip

Golden Sunner, who finished second, has also gone on to taste success and the third home Moorside finished runner-up in the Cheshire Oaks when last seen in action to be rated 96.

That gives the form a strong look, and suggests an opening handicap mark of 68 for Dark Avenue could be very lenient.

The daughter of Champs Elysees should also appreciate the step up in trip, and hails from a yard in good form and has a decent record with unexposed three-year-old’s going down the handicap route.

Constantino weighted to collect

Horse Racing - William Hill Ayr Gold Cup - Day Two - Ayr Racecourse

Constantino caught the eye on seasonal reappearance and looks the answer to the 1m handicap (17:10).

The Richard Fahey trained colt shaped with bags of promise on racecourse debut when staying on to finish a never nearer four length ninth of 18 to Beautiful Morning at York in a race that has worked out really well.

Beautiful Morning went on to finish fifth to Minding in a Group 1 at Newmarket to be rated 102, the runner-up Very Talented has won since and is rated 98, and the third, fourth, fifth, and seventh have also gone on to score.

That gives the form a solid look and suggests Constantine, who went on to score in good style at Ayr on his other start as a juvenile, was potentially well-treated off an opening handicap mark of 80.

The son of Danehill Dancer confirmed that view when showing up well until weakening late on to finish ninth of 20 to Castle Harbour in a hot class 3 contest at York earlier in the month.

That run should have blown away the cobwebs and put Constantino spot on for this and, having been quickly eased 2lb to a rating of 78, a big run looks assured now that the three-year-old drops down into class 4 company.

Haydock selections

14.10: Tafaakhor
14.40: Mutineer
15.10: Giddy
15.40: Masterpaver
16.10: Dark Avenue (NAP)
16.40: Trainnah
17.10: Constantino
17.45: Darrell Rivers


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.