Alpha Delphini will make seasonal debut in Temple Stakes, says Bryan Smart

Mon 15 Apr 2019

Bryan Smart’s dramatic Nunthorpe winner Alpha Delphini will make his seasonal reappearance in next month’s Temple Stakes at Haydock.

The Hambleton handler feels his sprinter’s Group One penalty would have made life very difficult in the Palace House Stakes, in which he was a close third at last year’s Guineas meeting behind Mabs Cross, so is happy to wait for the Merseyside contest on May 25.

Alpha Delphini just denied Mabs Cross in a thrilling Nunthorpe last year

Last year’s Palace House was the first in a trilogy of great races between Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross, with Michael Dods’ mare benefiting from a below-par run from Smart’s gelding to win the Prix de l’Abbaye in France, having lost out by the narrowest of margins at York.

“We’ll wait for the Temple to start him off,” said Smart.

“I personally don’t think he handles Newmarket that well, and he’d have had a big penalty anyway, so you’ll see him in the Temple.

“The Temple leads nicely into Ascot and the King’s Stand, and then of course the main aim this season will be to try to win a second Nunthorpe – that’s what it’s all about.”

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