Group Three John of Gaunt Stakes Guide 2021

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Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
1(2)
Jason Hart

Safe Voyage

J:
 
Jason Hart
T:
 
John Quinn
Age: 8
Weight: 9-5
OR: 116
Days: 14

Safe Voyage is hoping to land back to back renewals of the John of Gaunt Stakes for the first time since Sir Michael Stoute’s Main Aim in 2009-2010 and he heads the market for trainer John Quinn.

The 8-year-old gelding is a consistent sort and failed to finish outside the front 4 in the 10 races that followed his 2019 success in the race, including listed and two Group 2 wins during that period (7f-8f).

The son of Fast Company will be sure to appreciate the testing conditions on offer, boasting rich form ranging over good-heavy.

A line can be drawn through his final run last season after a failed attempt Stateside in the Breeders Cup Mile (8f, G1) by which the firm ground appeared too quick, resulting in a last placed finish.

He will also need to bounce back from his reappearance run at Newbury in the Lockinge Stakes (8f, G1) by which he finished last of 11, however he should strip fitter from that run and will appreciate the drop in grade to a Group 3 and the drop back to the 7f distance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/08/21YOR7Gd9-65
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-38
10/07/21CHS7GS9-51
29/05/21HAY7GS9-58
15/05/21NBY8GS9-00
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
8(4)
Tom Marquand

With Thanks

J:
 
Tom Marquand
T:
 
William Haggas
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 110
Days: 209

Trainer William Haggas has won this race just once previous in 2004 and is represented in the market by sole entrant, With Thanks.

The 4-year-old filly looks a classy type with a big future in the sport, boasting 3 wins and 2 runner up finishes in her opening 5 runs.

The daughter of Camacho, on her most recent run, was a dominant 5 length winner when landing the Athasi Fillies and Mares Stakes (7f, G3) upon heavy conditions, and will be sure to appreciate the testing ground on offer once more.

She has since been off the track since November and will have race fitness to prove here on her return, however there’s a strong possibility that she will have progressed during the winter in her transition from a 3yo to a 4yo and is sure to be competitive here.

Big chance with Tom Marquand booked on board.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/10/21ASC7Sft9-01
17/09/21NBY7GS8-115
04/07/21CFD7St9-07
29/05/21HAY7GS9-07
01/11/20NAA7Hy9-21
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
7(5)
Paul Hanagan

Toro Strike

J:
 
Paul Hanagan
T:
 
Richard Fahey
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 110
Days: 42

Richard Fahey is yet to land the John of Gaunt stakes, however is looking to land his first through his representative in the race, Toro Strike.

Fahey’s 4year-old colt is still relatively lightly raced, proving his natural speed over 6f as a 2yo before subsequently running respectable races in class 2 and 3 handicap events as a 3yo when upped to 7-8f.

The son of Toronado went very close in the Supreme Stakes (7f, G3) to finish a neck second at Goodwood last summer, however recently returned with an eye-catching win at Thirsk last time out beating classy Ascot winner, Motakhayyel, albeit in a class 3 conditions stakes.

That win signified that a good bit of improvement had taken place during his winter layoff and Toro Strike is likely to have grown into his frame as a 4 year old.

His best form has come under faster conditions however and he is one who would appreciate less cut in the ground come the race’s start time.

Definitely one to consider if taking another step forward and dealing with the ground.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-36
29/05/21HAY7GS9-06
17/04/21THI7GF9-21
04/10/20LON7Hy9-08
30/08/20GOO7GS8-122
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
3(6)
William Buick

Glorious Journey

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
Charlie Appleby
Age: 6
Weight: 9-0
OR: 111
Days: 98

Charlie Appleby has his yard in excellent form of late and will be hoping to repeat his 2018 John of Gaunt Stakes win with representative, Glorious Journey.

The Dubawi gelding has previous Group winning form in the Hungerford Stakes (7f, G2) as a 4 year old before subsequently landing a Group 2 in Meydan (7f) as a 5 year old.

Now a 6 year-old, Glorious Journey has most recently ran a couple respectable races at the start of 2021 in the UAE, placing in a Group 2 in the former of those runs.

Appleby’s runner is fairly versatile ground wise with winning form over soft-good ground so won’t mind the conditions on offer in the race.

He returns from a 98 day layoff, equipped with William Buick on board, however may just need the run on his first start back on British soil.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/08/21YOR7Gd9-63
10/07/21NMK6GF9-60
26/06/21NMK7GF9-51
29/05/21HAY7GS9-03
20/02/21JAN7GF9-04
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
6(3)
Adam Kirby

River Nymph

J:
 
Adam Kirby
T:
 
Clive Cox
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 105
Days: 21

The Clive Cox team are another yard chasing their first John of Gaunt Stakes win and bring with them interesting contender, River Nymph.

The 4 year-old colt can be considered somewhat of a 7f specialist having won 3 of his 4 races at the distance including an ultra impressive win last time out at Ascot in the Victoria Cup, a 27 runner class 2 handicap in soft conditions.

The John of Gaunt Stakes does represent a hike in class for the runner by which he’ll need to prove himself in Group company, however if improving and taking another step forward, with conditions to suit, may be in with an each-way shout.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/09/21NBY7GS9-24
29/05/21HAY7GS9-04
08/05/21ASC7Sft9-01
27/03/21DON8Gd9-60
17/10/20ASC8Sft9-10
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
5(8)
Shane Foley

Njord

J:
 
Shane Foley
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
Age: 5
Weight: 9-0
OR: 108
Days: 13

Jessica Harrington trained Njord makes the trip over the Irish Sea to be competitive here after a win on his last and only visit to British soil in the class 2 Balmoral Handicap at Ascot (8f) in October.

The son of Roderic O’Connor has since returned to action after his winter layoff with a 9th placed finish on his re-appearance when stretched up at the 10f trip before subsequently improving to finish 3rd last time out in a listed race at Naas (7f).


The 5 year-old gelding is entitled to take another step forward on the back of that run and will appreciate any cut in the ground with his best form coming over soft underfoot conditions.

Despite this, his better running has come over 8f of late and although he’s gone close on occasion, he has his natural pace to prove against some of these back down at 7f.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/10/21ASC8GS9-46
03/10/21LON7Hy9-20
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-104
14/08/21NBY7Gd9-63
27/07/21GAL8.5Sft10-08
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
4(7)
Frankie Dettori

Kinross

J:
 
Frankie Dettori
T:
 
Ralph Beckett
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 106
Days: 107

Ralph Beckett is in good form currently with a steady flow of winners coming through his yard of late and he brings with him Kinross, to try his hand at a first John of Gaunt success.

Kinross was responsible for a listed success in November on the all-weather, being his best win to date when beating a short priced favourite at Kempton.

The son of Kingman was subsequently sent to the UAE, by which he recorded 6th placed finishes in a duo of Group 2 events out in the Middle East at the start of the year and has since been off the track for 107 days.

The 4-year-old has since been gelded during his layoff and is entitled to of made plenty of improvements during the break.

Kinross should deal with the soft underfoot conditions on offer and is one not to be discounted here if showing those signs of progression, especially with Frankie Dettori notably booked on board.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/10/21LON7Hy9-24
08/08/21DEA6.5Sft9-45
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-31
29/05/21HAY7GS9-01
11/02/21MEY9Gd9-06
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
2(1)
Oisin Murphy

Brad The Brief

J:
 
Oisin Murphy
T:
 
Tom Dascombe
Age: 4
Weight: 9-3
OR: 107
Days: 42

Brad The Brief for trainer Tom Dascombe holds an attractive record of 6 wins from his opening 12 runs.


The 4 year-old gelding has proven his natural pace over sprint trips on numerous occasions with listed success at Newmarket (6f) last summer ahead of group 3 winner Summerghand on soft ground, before subsequently landing a Group 3 affair at Chantilly (6f) on his final run as a 3 year old under heavy conditions.


Failed trips away from British soil have followed however with the runner unable to deal with the fast conditions when finishing 9th in Riyadh (6f) , before finishing 10th of 11 on good ground on his first attempt at the 7f distance when over in Ireland (7f, G3).


Dascombe’s runner is entitled to come on from that run and improve for his return to British soil, however his poor run over 7f leaves question marks over his ability to run at the distance again today, despite the testing ground being more suitable.


British flat champion jockey, Oisin Murphy, has been booked on board.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/09/21AYR6Gd9-00
14/08/21RIP6Gd9-50
11/07/21DEA6VSft9-25
29/05/21HAY7GS9-35
17/04/21CUR7Gd10-00
Haydock - May 28 2021
Haydock 14:30
9(9)
P J McDonald

Queen Jo Jo

J:
 
P J McDonald
T:
 
Kevin Ryan
Age: 5
Weight: 8-11
OR: 104
Days: 17

Outsider of the field, Queen Jo Jo, represents trainer Kevin Ryan in the field, who is yet to land the John of Gaunt Stakes.


The 5 year old mare did well to win a big field Group 3 last summer in the Summer Fillies’ stakes (6f) on good ground and subsequently placed 3rd when stepped up to 7f in the City of York stakes (7f, G2).


The daughter of Gregorian was poor on her return however and will need to bounce back from an 11th placed finish last time out at York (6f, G2).

Her City of York Stakes 3rd placed finish was also a 4 length beating by none other than market leader, Safe Voyage, putting into perspective the amount she needs to find to get on terms with him this time around.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/05/21YOR6GS9-50
05/09/20HAY6Sft9-00
22/08/20YOR7GS9-33
19/07/20YOR6Gd9-41
28/06/20CUR6Y9-27

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