Even though protective covers have been laid out all over the track since last Saturday, the ground at Haydock tomorrow will still be really testing.
Don’t for one minute that when the officials remove all the sheets, they are going to reveal a decent surface.
The ground was already bottomless when they laid out the covers, so it was a little bit like putting up an umbrella having already spent a couple of hours standing out in the rain. In fact, there is more chance of the meeting being abandoned than there is of getting good racing ground.
Anyway, finding the winner of tomorrow’s feature Sprint Cup is made slightly easier by the fact that six furlongs on heavy ground won’t suit the majority. The one horse who genuinely looks to have everything in his favour is the Richard Fahey trained UTMOST RESPECT. The more rain the better for this mudlark who scooted home on the bridal in last year’s Ayr Silver Cup on similarly bad ground. He’s bolted up in a decent Group 3 in the mud already this term and certainly wasn’t disgraced behind Marchand D’Or in France last time.
There has been pot loads of money all week for the French filly African Rose and at 10/1, she’d have been interesting. However, she’s under half those odds now and as we’ve missed the wedding, let’s not go to the funeral! One that does appeal at a much bigger price each-way is Luca Cumani’s BALTHAZAAR’S GIFT. I love backing sprinters in form and this soft ground performer, who was third in this contest last year, looks sure to be involved again at 16/1.
Quick word of warning for all spread betters looking to buy winning distances at Haydock tomorrow with Sporting Index. Yes, the ground is hideous and the runners are likely to get strung out like the washing. However, 92 horses have stood their ground at the 48 hour declaration stage for a seven race card and if the jockeys are sensible, that market may in fact be a sell rather than a buy.
For those of you who cannot wait until 3.10pm tomorrow, I’ve had a very good word for the Brian Meehan trained CROWDED HOUSE in the 6.50pm at Kempton tonight. You’ll see a completely different colt tonight and at a decent price, he’s got a cracking each-way chance.
DUKE OF MARMALADE takes on New Approach again tomorrow in the Irish Champion Stakes and the money this week has been for the Derby Winner. New Approach was well and truly beaten at Newmarket two weeks ago and I’d be amazed if he was able to reverse the form.