Trying to find the winner of Saturday's Old Newton Cup (2.50pm) at Haydock is a pretty unenviable task, particularly now the rain has arrived.
The Lancashire track was hit by 17mm on Wednesday and, with more forecast, the ground will ride soft.
Andrew Balding’s DURETTO, available at a best-priced 5/1, has proved himself over the trip and on the ground, so makes the most appeal.
He was well-fancied in a similar handicap on Derby day at Epsom, but didn’t show his true colours as he lost a shoe during the race and didn’t seem to handle the track.
I’m keen to take another chance on him back on a more conventional track especially with his stable in such good form.
His biggest danger looks to be David Simcock’s Desert Encounter who continues to progress having already notched up a hat-trick of wins this campaign.
The latest of those came at Windsor on soft ground and even though he is another 5lbs higher this time, he is likely to be bang there again.
Before that it’s the Group Two Lancashire Oaks (2.15pm) and again the Simcock team have a serious contender in the shape of CARNACHY at 7/1 with Betway.
His Breton Rock rewarded readers of this column by landing a muddy Criterion Stakes at Newmarket last weekend, making it an HQ double for Simcock after Bateel had earlier landed the Fred Archer.
Carnachy was beaten in a muddling race at Newbury last time, but I’d rather judge her on her two previous performances at Goodwood.
She looked really good when beating Bateel two starts back and has also proved herself with cut in the ground.
Endless Time is Betway’s clear 3/1 favourite and based on her four-and-a-half length victory at Naas last October, she looks the one to beat, but she may also just need the run.
If the ground does deteriorate dramatically, then have an each-way saver on German raider NIGHTFLOWER at around 8/1.
She was good enough to run in last year’s Japan Cup and has plenty of rock-solid form on very bad ground.
Carnachy ew, 2.15pm Haydock
Nightflower ew, 2.15pm Haydock
Duretto ew, 2.50pm Haydock