Friday looks to be a rainy one, and Rizzel has picked three horses who should handle the conditions.
The ground at Haydock will be extremely testing, like it always is, they either get the most rain in the country, or have the worst drainage of any track on this side of the Irish sea, as it is soft 90% of the time. With that being said, you'll need horses who are comfortable on soft ground, and in a race where a lot of them have question marks hanging over their heads, ARCTIC EMPEROR could be a good play.
This lightly raced 3yo, trained by Archie Watson, ran a nice race on debut at York, on soft ground. On that day, he finished 5th, 3 lengths behind Orgetorix. That form alone, means Arctic Emperor holds Deputy based on collateral form. The form of his three races have worked out okay, producing a few recent winners, and arguably he does have the strongest form in the field.
Hoodwinker will attract support due to connections, and he's recently won, but I wouldn't be impressed by his recent win. He had to work hard to win a maiden, when he was 1/3F, beating a 68 rated horse by 0.5 lengths. The only reason I can see why people would want to back him is that he handles soft ground, but I wouldn't touch him at the current odds of 2/1.
DOWNSMAN looks to be an obvious contender in the final race at Haydock. He massively outran his odds last time out, finishing a head second at odds of 150/1. The form of that race is still up for debate as it's still recent and none of them have raced yet, but the front two pulled 9 lengths clear, which suggests that they were both well handicapped.
He is meant to go up 5lbs as of next Monday, but today he races off the same mark he did last time, which means he has a huge chance.
The drop back in trip to 10f, from 12f shouldn't be an issue, especially on soft ground where the extra stamina will definitely be an advantage on the energy sapping ground. This is Epsom based trainer, Jim Boyle's first runner at the Merseyside track.
Advised: Each Way
The rain is also expected to come down in strong fashion at Catterick, which will also make it very testing, so once again you should be looking for the mud lovers on this racecard. BOLLIN NEIL caught my eye in the penultimate race.
He ran well last time out at this track, finishing behind the recently tipped up Let Me Be, who was on a roll before I put the curse on him. That was a bounce back to form, but it wasn't a surprise as he seems to run extremely well at Catterick, especially on soft ground.
Last year he won over C&D on soft ground, under the steering of today's jockey Ella McCain, and she won easily that day. That was off a mark of 52, which is 4lbs lower than today, but that doesn't bother me. She is clearly in good form, loves the mud, loves the track and gets in this race off a nice low weight which is always handy when the ground is soft (8st 2lb, with jockey's claim taken into consideration).
Advised: Each Way
12:00 Yarmouth - Race: 1
12:15 Cartmel - Race: 1
12:30 Yarmouth - Race: 2