Safe Voyage heads the 16 entries for this Saturday’s Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes, the feature on the final day of Haydock Park’s three-day meeting.
John Quinn’s eight-year-old took the Group Three extended seven-furlong contest the last time it was run in 2019.
Safe Voyage has been running at a higher level with some success since that win on Merseyside two years ago.
He landed the Group Two Sky bet City of York Stakes on the Knavesmire and also the Group Two Clipper Logistics Stakes at Leopardstown last summer.
Safe Voyage has also been placed at Group One level, but he could only finish last of 11 behind Palace Pier in the mile Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on his seasonal return earlier this month.
He may drop down in trip and grade this weekend at Haydock, a course where he has won four times and been second once in his five trips to Merseyside.
Trainer Quinn could bid for a second successive Saturday Haydock feature win after Liberty Beach’s victory in the Group Two Temple Stakes over the weekend.
Safe Voyage is the 5-1 joint favourite with William Hill alongside William Haggas’ With Thanks, who won two of his four starts last season and could make his seasonal reappearance on Saturday.
Another eight-year-old course and distance winner, Oh This Is Us, is also entered. Richard Hannon’s veteran may also drop back down to seven furlongs having won a Listed race over a mile at Ascot last month and finished fourth on his most recent start at Windsor.
Oh This Is Us is a 14-1 chance with William Hill.
Other leading entries for the John Of Gaunt are the Richard Fahey-trained Toro Strike, who won a conditions event under Warrington jockey Paul Hanagan at Thirsk last month, beating Hannon’s Motakayyel – who could also line-up at Haydock on Saturday.
Toro Strike is 6-1 with William Hill and Motakayyel is 7-1.
The Clive Cox-trained River Nymph – who is a 13-2 chance – won the competitive Victoria Cup at Ascot and could move out of handicap company in the John Of Gaunt.
Andrew Balding’s Bounce The Blues, the Kieran Shoemark-trained Royal Commando and Glorious Journey from the Charlie Appleby stable who won this race with D’bai in 2018 are others who could line-up at Haydock.
The other Group Three contest on Saturday’s seven-race card at Haydock, the Betway Pinnacle Stakes, has attracted eight entries at the five-day declaration stage headed by Hannon’s Albaflora and the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Alphanista.
Both are owned by Miss Kirsten Rausing and both won on their most recent start.
Albaflora landed a 1m4f Listed contest at Ascot earlier this month, while Alphanista scored in a similar event at Goodwood at the end of April.
Alphanista is the 11-10 favourite with William Hill with Albaflora a 5-4 chance..
Roger Varian’s Cabaletta – who was third in the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York – is next best in the market at 4-1.
Quinn’s impressive Chester winner El Astronaute heads 18 entries for the Listed Betway Achilles Stakes and is currently the 9-2 favourite.
Haydock host three days of action this week from Thursday to Saturday.
Thursday’s seven-race card starts at 2.25pm with gates open at 1.15pm. Friday’s is an evening meeting with the first race of seven off at 5.35pm and gates open at 4.35pm. Saturday’s first race is off at 1.15pm with gates open at 11.15am.
The Merseyside course will again welcome limited racegoers on all three days and tickets are available from £17.50 on Thursday and Friday and from £20 for this Saturday’s Betway John Of Gaunts Stakes day.
If you want to book tickets and for more information go to the racecourse’s website at: https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/haydock/events-tickets/