There is significant rain forecast to hit both Haydock and Ludlow on Wednesday and the ground is likely to be soft at both our turf tracks this afternoon.

Looking ahead to the weekend and the two I am sweet on in the Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree are Brandon Hill (14/1) and Forest Des Aigles (12/1) with the former likely to try and make all and the latter a confirmed hold-up performer.


Newtide (12.50) looked a stayer when finishing fourth on his hurdles/British debut at Chepstow for Kim Bailey over 2m 4f. Today’s additional distance should suit, and he was a never nearer second in his sole Irish point over three miles albeit on good ground.

Philip Hobbs saddles Halloween Harry who won a point over 2m 4f and makes his rules debut this afternoon. It will be interesting to see what the market says of his prospects.

Grade 2 Hurdles winner Mr Whipped (1.20) found the combination of 2m 4f and good ground an insufficient test of stamina on his chase debut but was beaten less than a length in a good contest. The step up to 3m will suit today and the hope is that he can cope with the stiff Haydock fences which came in for much criticism after their first meeting of the season.

The selection receives 5lbs from the Hobbs’ runner Springtown Lake who scored at Sandown on debut (2m 4f) giving every impression he would appreciate a return to a left-hand track.

The Big Bite (1.55) runs in the same colours as Brandon Hill and is taken to make it two from two over hurdles having created a favourable impression when scoring at Chepstow last month. French import Demopolis won a valuable 3-y-old hurdle at Auteuil on debut back in May 2017 and has his first start since in the JP McManus silks. The market should provide a good guide to his wellbeing and ability.



Mr Whipped 

The Big Bite 


There is a valuable 6f Handicap at Kempton this evening and Polybius (6.00) has won his last couple of starts over C&D for David Simcock and can race from a mark just 4lbs higher than when scoring here last month under Jamie Spencer. Fran Berry takes over in the saddle tonight and he should have the race run to suit with front-running Danzan drawn inside him in stall one.

The most fascinating runner on the card is Nicky Henderson’s hurdler Verdana Blue in the listed contest over 12f. The mare won her sole start on the level at Chelmsford back in September and has run very well over jumps in the meantime. She can’t cope with winter jumps ground, so Henderson has decided to give her a chance of some black type on the flat.

She looks sure to run well but preference is for Architecture and Time Shanakill (6.30) with marginal preference for the French raider who has improved by leaps and bounds this year and can give weight away all-round.



Time Shanakill 

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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