Haydock top racing tip: Montassib ready to excel on preferred ground

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Spycatcher was the early market leader, closely followed by Boardman, who won this race last year off a mark of 90 when the ground was good to firm. But one who could have the beating of both of them is William Haggas' five-year-old Montassib, who can be forgiven his seasonal debut run in the Lincoln because the heavy ground at Doncaster would have been totally unsuitable. Back on good ground again today, Montassib is likely to prove a completely different proposition and he is already well-proven on this track, having ended last season with a very good second of 12 in the Class 2 Old Boston Handicap over the longer one-mile trip. Montassib would have finished even closer to the three-year-old winner, Wanees, but for having to be switched to get a clear run with a furlong to go.

Very significantly, two places behind Montassib in fourth place was today's big rival, Boardman, who is three pounds better off with Montassib but who would have finished more than three quarters of a length behind the Haggas runner had the latter enjoyed a clear run.

Suggested bet: Montassib to win the 15:45 at Haydock

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Campaigned over a mile towards the end of last season, Montassib's best run over this shorter trip came in last season's Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, in which he finished a never-nearer fifth of 29. He doesn't need the ground as fast as that but he proved that he is a very classy operator over a galloping seven furlongs on decent ground. Off a mark that is only a pound higher than he had at Royal Ascot last year, he has to be a big player despite a wide draw and the faster they go, the better his chance will be.

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