NORTH Yorkshire trainers David Barron and Kevin Ryan, based on either side of Thirsk, are set to meet head-on at Haydock this afternoon as the pair go in search of Group 2 glory with horses both representing owners, Qatar Racing.
Barron saddles Pearl Secret in the Betfred Temple Stakes, while Ryan saddles Hot Streak, who will be crossing swords for the second time this season.
In Newmarket's Palace House Stakes at the Guineas meeting three weeks ago, Hot Streak finished third to Sole Power with Pearl Secret just over two lengths behind him in eighth place.
The positions this time, however, on easier ground, could be reversed.
Pearl Secret, who was dropped out last of all in the Palace House, was left with an awful lot to do in the last quarter-mile and was unable to get in a blow at the leaders.
Graham Gibbons now takes over from Jamie Spencer and is unlikely to set his mount such a mountainous task.
Up-and-coming apprentice Oisin Murphy has come in for the ride Hot Streak.
It's hardly a two-horse race, and Newmarket one-two Sole Power and Kingsgate Native are also in the line-up, but Pearl Secret gets my nap vote to fulfil his enormous potential. Hot Streak remains a potent danger.
Barron can also make his mark in the opening Betfred Edward Wallis Stakes with Estreaming, who is fancied to appreciate the step up to two miles as he seeks go gain his second win from three outings this season.
The £70,000 Betfred Silver Bowl Stakes, Hors de Combat may prove the answer in the hands of Freddie Tylicki.
James Fanshawe's smart three-year-old won readily at Newmarket earlier this month and is open to plenty more improvement. He faces tough opposition, however, with Musselburgh winner Bilimbi and Richard Fahey's recent York runner-up Shot In The Sun among the dangers.
Last Saturday's Thirsk winner Barkston Ash (2.05) may be able to follow up for Eric Alston and Jason Hart in sprint handicap, while the Listed fillies' stakes could well see Artistic Jewel (3.10) taking the honours for the second successive year.
Bizarrely, today's programme of events sees a clash between Beverley and Catterick and it's the North Yorkshire card that we are concentrating on.
Khelman should go well in the £10,000 Follow Scoop6 At totepoollive.com Handicap.
A winner over six furlong at Hamilton last time, he will be more at home over this extra furlong and is well drawn in stall two.
George Chaloner, seen to good effect on him in Scotland, again takes the mount.
The £20,000 toteScoop6 Handicap, the richest race on the card, Laffan can go well for Tim Easterby.
The habitual front-runner finished a respectable fourth at Chester on his comeback outing a couple of weeks ago. He should be all the better for that race and has his weight reduced by 7lb, courtesy of apprentice Rachel Richardson taking over in the saddle.
Mick Eaterby can also figure on the scoresheet with Banovallum in the Collect totepool Winnings At Betfred Shops Handicap.
The four-year-old came good after being well supported at Beverley last time.
He can oblige again over this extra furlong with 7lb claimer Danielle Mooney taking the mount.
Megan Carberry is another apprentice with winning claims, on Ever Fortune (2.15), on whom she won last month for her boss Brian Ellison at Pontefract.
Recent course winner Miss Macnamara (4.00) and the promising Naivasha (4.35) are two others to note.
1.35 Estreaming, 2.05 Barkston Ash, 2.40 Pearl Secret (NAP), 3.10 Artistic Jewel, 3.45 Hors de Combat, 4.20 Wrangler, 4.55 Takreym.
2.15 Ever Fortune, 2.50 Laffan, 3.25 Khelman, 4.00 Miss Macnamara, 4.35 Naivash, 5.10 Banovallum, 5.45 Penny Pursuit.
Today’s other meetings: Goodwood, Beverley and Ffos Las.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Fontwell, Kelso and Uttoxeter.