Past Winners » Profitable
If the ground comes up soft for the Temple Stakes at Haydock on Saturday, then Mecca’s Angel is the most likely winner by far.
However, the ground may not come up soft, and that presents us with a serious angle. The most accurate weather predictor that I have found predicts between 7.1mm and 9.3mm of rain between now and 1pm on Saturday. That is not a lot over the course of three days.
Also, most of that is forecast to come on Friday night into Saturday, which is the furthest-away period, which makes it the most difficult to predict. They are forecasting no more than 4mm between now and Friday morning.
With the ground currently good to firm at Haydock, there is a big chance that the ground will not be as soft as Mecca’s Angel needs it on Saturday. Michael Dods mare is a super mare when she can get her toe in a little, as she proved once again when we had her on side in the Nunthorpe Stakes last August, but she is not as effective on good or fast ground as she is on easy ground. She was beaten by Stepper Point at The Curragh last July when the ground was good, it wasn’t even fast. There is a chance that she will not even run on Saturday on good or fast ground.
I am backing Profitable. I think he is under-rated and over-priced at 8/1.
He was a 20/1 shot when he won the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket on his debut this season, but he was the winner on merit. Big-priced winners of big races are often under-rated on their next runs, and that appears to be the case here.
He did race in the stands-side group, in which two of the first three home raced, but he beat his rivals on the near side well, and there is no reason to believe that the near-side group was favoured. It probably just contained the better horses.
Waady finished third in the Palace House, three parts of a length behind Profitable. John Gosden’s horse did race very freely through the early stages of the race, but he is a keen-going sort, that is his racing style, and it appears that the market has over-reacted. Waady is a shorter price than Profitable for Saturday’s race, and that is compensating too much for the fact that he raced freely in my book.
Also, Profitable should improve for that run. He has a progressive profile anyway, he was a progressive sprinter last season as a three-year-old, and he put up the best performance of his life last time. That was his seasonal debut, he had never before won on his seasonal debut, but he had improved for each of his seasonal debuts to win on his second run of each season that he has raced. It is reasonable to expect that he will progress again for his seasonal debut this term.
He was beaten by Waady in the Scurry Stakes at Sandown last June, but Waady is brilliant at Sandown, he is four for four there. By contrast, the Gosden horse disappointed on his only run at Haydock – albeit over six furlongs and on easy ground – whereas Profitable has finished second on both occasions on which he has run there, both times in nurseries, beaten a neck on both occasions.
Profitable goes well on fast ground, but he proved at Newmarket last time that he could also operate on ground with a little bit of an ease in it. Good ground is very good for him, but ground on the easy side might be even better, given how well he sees out the minimum trip.
There are lots of players. Muthmir is a big player, but was well beaten in Dubai, he is not at his best on his seasonal debut, and he probably wants fast ground to be seen at his best. It may not be soft ground, but it may not be fast either, and he is short enough at only 11/2. Waady is obviously a player, but he may have been over-rated by the market and it looks like the returning Paul Hanagan is preferring Muthmir.
I do like Aeolus, but I am waiting for him to step back up to six furlongs ideally on easy ground. It might all happen a little quickly for him. Sir Maximilian looked very good at Chester, but he was well beaten in France on Monday, and he may not even run, while Kachy is interesting as a three-year-old, but I thought that he would be a bigger price than he is. I am happy that the ante post value lies with Profitable, who is a definite intended runner.
PROFITABLE WON (ADV 8/1, SP 8/1)