LEONCAVALLO (5.30) must have an outstanding chance in the 1m 6f handicap at Haydock if the forecast thunderstorms ease the ground.
The David Pipe-trained gelding was just denied by Nuits St George at Sandown on his last run on the Flat and arrives here on the back of a cosy success over fences at Stratford (good). Leoncavallo has never been risked on firm, so a weather-watch is advised, but he was good enough to finish fifth to Verdana Blue in the 2019 Scottish Champion Hurdle when trained by Dr Richard Newland.
Roger Fell’s gelding Grandee was caught a bit out of his ground when the pace quickened in a tactical five-runner handicap at Ripon last month. He could never lay a glove on Kensington Art but snatched second place close home. He should get a solid end-to-end gallop to attack in this big field and he must go well if heavy rain misses the track.
Sexy Beast is a course and distance winner on quick ground, so he probably wouldn't want too much of the wet stuff. Stall 15 is a negative but he is closely matched with Leoncavallo on a form line through Nuits St Georges.
At Wolverhampton, BOOGIE TIME (2.10) made a highly satisfactory debut when third to Tinochio and Burning Cash at Hamilton, with the runner-up sauntering home by seven lengths next time at Chepstow. Blue Hero also shaped well for Michael Bell when third to Hot Scoop at Windsor and has the services of Ryan Moore.
There is some welcome action at Perth where PETRASTAR (4.30) is a strong selection. He made no mistake here three weeks ago when accounting for fancied Archi’s Affaire and should take the step up to 2m 4f in his stride. He was a stout stayer on the Flat for Clive Cox.