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    The Vandeek team expects a challenging test upon Haydock's return
The Vandeek team expects a challenging test upon Haydock's return
Vandeek. Source: sportinglife.com

The Vandeek team expects a challenging test upon Haydock's return

For Vandeek to keep his perfect record when he makes his much-anticipated comeback this weekend at Haydock, he will need to "pull his finger out."

He is one of 11 entries for Group Two and a two-time Group One winner for Simon and Ed Crisford. Betfred is in favour of the Jack Berry House Sandy Lane Stakes, even though there may be some astute competitors lurking around.

“He’s wintered well, he’s had a good preparation up to now, so we hope the rest of the week goes well. We’re very much looking forward to getting him back on the track,” said Chris Wall, racing manager to owners KHK Racing. “He’s done well physically over the winter, so we hope that brings about a bit of improvement as well. He’s in good heart so it’s all systems go. Last year he won Group Ones on heavy ground and fast ground, so it wouldn’t matter what it was but I think he’d prefer some nice ground. There is a bit of rain around later in the week but not heavy so it should just be nice for all. He’s making his seasonal debut and we could be taking on some very capable horses who have had a run, like Jasour and Inisherin, but he’s in good heart. I know Simon and Ed have left a bit to work on, but he’s plenty fit enough for his debut. He’ll have to pull his finger out here taking on Jasour and Inisherin, capable horses in their own right, with a 3lb penalty to carry as well. You want him to race to bring him forward but you don’t want him to have too hard a race that puts him back.”

Jasour, trained by Clive Cox and a Group Two winner the previous season, made a winning comeback at Ascot, while Kevin Ryan's Inisherin led the 2000 Guineas field for much of the race before finishing sixth.

In addition to Orne, savvy all-weather performer Pandora's Gift, David O'Meara's Greenham winner Esquire, and Richard Fahey's Airman, who has won both of his races thus far, are intriguing contenders.

Live In The Dream, last year's Nunthorpe victor, is one of 13 horses competing in the Betfred Temple Stakes. He hasn't been seen since finishing a respectable fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, and this year he wants to place two better.

Regional, the Sprint Cup champion, Rogue Lightning, and Beautiful Diamond are the other engaged parties.

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