Lancashire Oaks preview: Enbihaar the answer to Haydock feature

Published on: July 4, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
2019 Lancashire Oaks preview features two John Gosden trained horses at Haydock

In-form trainer John Gosden has a terrific record in the Lancashire Oaks, so Enbihaar has outstanding claims of further enhancing it with victory in the Group 2 feature contest run over 1m 4f at Haydock on Saturday (14:40).

The Newmarket handler has won the race a joint-record seven times courtesy of Squeak (1997), Place Rouge (2003), Playful Act (2005), Gertrude Bell (2011), Great Heavens (2012), Pomology (2014) and The Black Princess (2017).

In Enbihaar, who is 11/4 with BetVictor, he has a lightly-raced and progressive four-year-old filly that is two from five starts.

In the last of those successes on seasonal reappearance at Goodwood, the Hamdan Al Maktoum owned daughter of Redoute’s Choice landed a Listed contest over this trip in good style when beating Klassique by 1 3/4 lengths.

After taking up the running after a furlong, Enbihaar dictated at a steady pace under jockey Dane O’Neill and gradually wound up the tempo three from home to lengthen clear.

She then stayed on strongly inside the final furlong to win unchallenged and was value for much more than the winning margin.

It was a most taking display. Enbihaar has nothing to fear from the re-opposing runner-up who she meets on the same terms.

She has since run very well when second in a Group 3 over 1m 6f at York, where she looked all over the winner in the hands of Adam Kirby until getting chinned close home and beaten just half-a-length by Dramatic Queen.

Enbihaar arguably got outstayed, so – now dropped back to her ideal trip and reunited with O’Neil – is taken to turn the tables on the winner. Back her to come out on top in this trappy six-runner affair.

Highgarden a strong second string

Gosden also saddles Highgarden, a filly who improved throughout last season and has some solid form in the book.

This daughter of Nathaniel ran well when fourth in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York. After then finding the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot too hot, she posted a cracking effort when a 1 3/4 lengths runner-up to Worth Waiting in a Listed contest at Newmarket.

The winner is a smart sort who finished fourth in a Group 1 in France before landing the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes back at headquarters, so that gives the form a strong look.

Highgarden rounded off her campaign with a career best effort when staying on strongly from off the pace and getting up close home just touching Mrs Sippy off by a head in a Group 3 at Newmarket.

That success suggested there were more races to be won with her as a four-year-old. Highgarden comes into the race on the back of a solid length third to Bayshore Freeway under top weight in a handicap at Chelmsford over 1m 6f.

She looked ring rusty, so is sure to come on a bundle for that spin. The drop back to 1m 4f is also in her favour and connections now fit Highgarden with cheekpieces for the first time.

If the new headgear has the desired effect, then Highgarden looks capable of a bold showing and odds of 6/1 with Paddy Power underestimate her chances.

Klassique the pick of Haggas duo

Since chasing home Enbihaar on seasonal reappearance, the aforementioned Klassique, was an impressive winner of a Group 3 over the Lancashire Oaks course and distance.

That Pinnacle Stakes victory saw the William Haggas trained four-year-old forge clear on heavy ground and beat odds-on favourite True Self by three lengths.

It was a career-best performance from Klassique, who has now won four of her eights starts and also made the frame on three other occasions.

The beautifully bred daughter of Galileo is clearly going the right way, while the return to a sounder surface holds no fears as she won her maiden on good-to-firm ground at Windsor.

An official rating of 107 is also the highest in the six-runner line-up. That gives Klassique 2lb and upwards in hand on her rivals.

It makes her a formidable opponent for Enbihaar at the venue which clearly pays to her strengths, so odds of 7/2 with Betfair look more than fair.

Haggas also saddles Dramatic Queen, who is 11/4 with William Hill to confirm the form of her recent victory over Enbihaar.

However, she needed all of the 1m 6f trip to come out on top that day. Dropping back two furlongs could therefore not be ideal – despite that she has winning form over this distance.

So, at the odds on offer, Klassique looks the pick of Haggas’ duo in a fascinating Lancashire Oaks renewal.

Don’t underestimate Nyaleti in Lancashire Oaks

Middleham handler Mark Johnston has started July with a bang – something he often does. His sole representative is Nyaleti who is a tempting 10/1 with Paddy Power.

This four-year-old filly scored twice last season landing a Listed affair at Goodwood, before following-up in good style in the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas when drawing readily clear to beat Malakeh by 4 1/4 lengths.

Nyaleti was then far from disgraced when fourth to Alpha Centauri in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, or when beaten just 1 1/4 lengths into fifth behind Beat The Bank in the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

The daughter of Arch completed her campaign with a fine neck second to God Given in a Group 1 in Italy.

There was lots to like about her seasonal reappearance at Newmarket when a length runner-up of five to Worth Waiting in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes.

Nyaleti also ran very well when seventh of 17 to Move Swiftly in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

She then backed that up with a solid half-a-length second to the highly-regarded Sun Maiden in a Newcastle Group 3 eight days ago.

Based on those efforts she is no forlorn hope, especially as her rating is just 2lb lower than Klassique and the same as Enbihaar. Hence we had to include Nayaleti as a potential punt in our Lancashire Oaks preview.