Believing blitzes Achilles Stakes field at Haydock to set up Royal Ascot bid | Racing News

Believing posted a commanding performance to win the Betfred Passionate About Sport Achilles Stakes at Haydock.

All eyes were on 5/4 favourite Live In The Dream, winner of the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes last season, but it was the George Boughey-trained 5/1 shot Believing who proved the class act on the day.

Settled in behind by Danny Tudhope as Live In The Dream blazed an early trail with Democracy Dilemma, Believing was travelling incredibly well with a couple of furlongs to run and shot to the front when asked.

Believing extended away to post a comfortable two-and-three-quarter-length victory over Commanche Falls in the five-furlong dash, with Korker keeping on for third place and Live In The Dream only fifth.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned winner was last seen when disappointing in Hong Kong and Boughey was delighted to see her back to her best on quicker ground.

“That was very impressive,” he said.

“I was really disappointed after Hong Kong when nothing really went right for her, but the key to her is good ground.

“There was a strong headwind today and the favourite was running into the teeth of it, but we weren’t sat that far behind.”

Believing is now a 12/1 chance from 33s with Coral for the five-furlong King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot, and 16/1 from 25/1 for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs.

The King Charles on day one is her primary target, but Boughey would not be opposed to shooting for both.

“She’ll definitely run in the five-furlong race,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if she also ran on the Saturday over six as well.

“She’s a very easy filly to train so if she’s OK after Tuesday’s race, she could then run on the Saturday.”

Tudhope was impressed with the winner, adding: “They went quite hard up front and there was a strong headwind, but I was able to get a nice bit of cover from the wind.

“She travelled super and she did it quite easy. She’s a good filly on her day.

“I won on her at Pontefract over six furlongs and she did it easily that day as well. She’s versatile, but she’s getting better and a lot quicker as well.

“There’s some lovely races for her to target and George is doing a great job with her.”

Live In The Dream weakened into fifth at the line and his owner Steve de’Lemos was struggling to figure out what he had just witnessed.

“I’m shocked and can’t believe he’s run that badly,” he said.

“Maybe it’s a bit of a City Of Troy moment in the Guineas. He was a short-priced favourite and he was stuffed.

“He’s been doing some great work at home and we feel he’s matured and is a better horse than last year. Everything was perfect.

“The only thing against us today was a 40mph headwind, but nobody really slipstreamed him. He did peck as he came out the stalls, so I don’t know if he’s hurt himself.

“There’s something not right, but Adam (West, trainer) will get to the bottom of it.”

Tiber Flow bounces right back from York spill

Tiber Flow put a nightmare York outing behind him to win the Betfred John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock.

William Haggas’ charge suffered a nasty experience on the Knavesmire last month, with the gelding and jockey Tom Marquand enduring a crashing spill after being hampered in the Duke of York Stakes.

Tiber Flow
Tiber Flow

That mishap clearly left no permanent marks though as he benefited from a fine Marquand ride in the Group Three affair on Merseyside.

Marquand opted to switch from a stands side position to challenge through horses, finding a perfectly-timed gap as front-runner Quinault started to falter and grab the initiative with the winning post in sight.

The 6-1 winner found plenty in the final half-furlong, coming home a length clear of Sirona with Pogo back in third.

Marquand said: “Obviously when we got him back home after York he looked fine but you just never know how a fall is going to have affected them.

“He’s a hardy little battler, everyone was happy with him, hence him being here today, but it was a bit of a fact-finding mission because as well as he looked at home you just don’t know.

“He hadn’t run over seven furlongs for a little while so I took him back from a horrible draw and in fact the race worked out beautifully. They went quick but coming up the middle made it easier for me rather than having to swing out wide.

“He seemed to really enjoy that and it’s fantastic to see him back to his best. To be fair, I just wondered if having being tried at a higher level he just found things a bit easier today, it was maybe that more than the trip – also going around a bend gave him something else to think about.

“He was strong through the line and seven furlongs is well within his stamina range.

“Before today the Chipchase at Newcastle was a possible option but whether that changes now he has seen seven out so well, I don’t know. Plans can change very fast.”

Assistant trainer Maureen Haggas added: “He’s a tough horse and as he gets older he’s probably getting a bit better.

“It didn’t look visually like he came around the bend very well, it nevertheless gave him something else to think about as he’s been doing most of his racing over six furlongs.

“There’s the Wokingham for him at Ascot but probably not, he’s won a good race today and I’m sure William and the owners will work it out.”

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