The John Of Gaunt Stakes (John O’Gaunt), also known until recently as the Timeform Jury Stakes is a Group Three flat race run at Haydock Park over seven furlongs.
The race was sponsored by the Timeform organisation from 2009 to 2016, but a brand new sponsor came along in 2017 and the race has reverted back to its original name.
The name of the race refers to the very first Duke Of Lancaster (14th century) who presided over the land that Haydock Park is now built on.
This Saturday’s renewal sees twelve runners go to post. They are a mixed bunch of seasoned campaigners and unexposed four-year-olds.
Many of the leading contenders have already shown form good enough to land a race of this nature but a special performance may be needed to capture the first prize of £36,000.
John Of Gaunt Stakes: Race Statistics
Age – 8 of the last 10 winners were aged 4-5.
Price – 3 of the last 10 winners were favourites/joint favourites, 8/10 winners were in the top 3 in the horse racing betting.
Rating – 10/10 winners had a rating of 109 or higher.
Group Wins – 3/10 winners had at least 1 win in a group 1-3 race.
Stall Number – 10/10 have been drawn in stalls 1-3.
Here is our runner-by-runner guide ahead of Saturday’s race.
Snazzy Jazzy (Clive Cox)
A Group 3 winner when last seen out at Maisons-Laffitte in the Prix de Seine-et-Oise. Impressive winner of the Ayr Silver Cup last season in soft ground which he relishes. He should get his ground once again on Saturday.
Breton Rock (David Simcock)
Breton Rock came from nowhere to land a 50/1 knockout blow in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood back in 2017, but has failed to trouble the judge since.
All 10 of his career wins have come with some juice in the going description so do not dismiss him lightly.
Burnt Sugar (Roger Fell)
Took the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket last season, which he followed up with victory in the International Stakes.
Finished well beaten in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp at the end of last season and came sixth behind Safe Voyage first time up this time at Haydock. Needs to improve.
Keyser Soze (Richard Spencer)
Rebel Racing’s Keyser Soze enjoyed a wonderful all-weather campaign culminating in fifth place in the championship finale. Whether the five-year-old is as effective back on the turf remains to be seen.
Larchmont Lad (Joseph Tuite)
The Tuite-trained five-year-old finished stone last to Safe Voyage on his seasonal return at Haydock in the Listed Spring Trophy Stakes.
However, Larchmont Lad ran his rivals into the ground last season to take Group Two honours in the Friarstown Stud Minstrel Stakes when trained by David O’Meara and did win on soft going when he was trained by Richard Hannon.
Mankib (William Haggas)
Shaped well on his first run for seven months behind Safe Voyage at Haydock and could quite easily bridge that gap on Saturday.
The five-year-old was unable to concede 3lbs to John Quinn’s runner but off level weights he has every chance if reversing the placings.
Mitchum Swagger (Ralph Beckett)
Often runs well at Haydock (Took a one-mile handicap here and was beaten just under a length in this very race in 2017).
Generally enjoys a strongly-run race on this type going so is not without a chance but he is somewhat of a frustrating horse to follow. He has won at Listed level before so is certainly no back number.
Safe Voyage (John Quinn)
The six-year-old could now be described as a Haydock specialist, with three of his last four wins coming over this C&D, notably last time in a hotly contested Listed event.
Safe Voyage is yet to encounter heavy going but there is every reason to believe that he will be at home on it. Another big run looks on the cards.
Sir Dancealot (David Elsworth)
The five-year-old was a horse constantly on the go last season, winning the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the Hungerford at Newbury and the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.
He put in an encouraging reappearance in the Lockinge at Newbury last time and it easy to understand why he going to be a popular pick in the pari-mutuel betting on Saturday afternoon.
Suedois (David O’Meara)
The globetrotting eight-year-old returns to Merseyside on the back of a fourth placing to Safe Voyage a month ago.
The horse has run in esteemed company over the past few seasons but one career win in the UK is somewhat off-putting. However, he did land the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in 2017.
Tip Two Win (Roger Fell)
Last year’s 2000 Guineas runner-up returns to action after picking up a slight injury out in Doha last December.
The four-year-old has some useful form, however the predicted going might see him skipping this race altogether.
Shepherd Market (Clive Cox)
Winner of the Listed Prix Coronation at Saint-Cloud last September, the filly will be experiencing a whole new ball game here.
Her two runs this season have been uninspiring but she does have form on soft ground so should not be ruled out entirely.
John Of Gaunt Stakes: Conclusion
I’m not normally one to bet by numbers, but the fact that all of the last ten winners have come from stalls 1-3 leads me to want to place three wagers on those three horses.
Safe Voyage (3) is the obvious form choice, but the prices for Burnt Sugar (1) and Shepherd Market (2) are highly tempting and they are my latest horse racing tips.
888sport suggests: Safe Voyage (7/2), Burnt Sugar (25/1) and Shepherd Market (25/1).