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MARSHAL DAN is nicely drawn in stall two and the last three winners of this race have come from low draws. He has won at the track and will handle conditions. The probable favourite Stone Soldier has risen up the weights and has an ordinary turf record, plus the stall 10 draw is also a negative.
The ground at Haydock is given as good to soft but I reckon it will dry out and you should back horses that want good ground. This track puts a premium on horses that travel well in their races and they are the ones I have tried to find.
Vision Du Puy is one of the front-runners and she was a winner at Stratford last time out. She will handle the track and the ground shouldn’t be a problem. The one that I nearly went for was Nordic Combined. He has been disappointing in his last couple of starts when fancied, but will handle conditions and could out-run his price.
I’ve gone for Kim Bailey’s charge SHANTOU EXPRESS. He was a little unlucky to bump into Pay The Piper at Wetherby last time and he is up 6lbs for that run. However, he will handle ground conditions and has lots in his favour.
I thought TORNADIC was unlucky to be beaten at Kempton in a Nursery Handicap and his mark of 90 gives him an opportunity to improve. I love these three-year-old handicaps because some of these were big and backward as two-year-olds and can develop into smart performers now and could have plenty of scope with their handicap marks.
Strike Red fits that profile too, as does Heights of Abraham.
Debece is having his second run for this team having previously been with Tim Vaughan. He ran a good race at Sandown on very soft ground, looks well handicapped and will be tough to beat under the title-chasing Harry Skelton.
Quite a few of the others in here like Crossley Tender have performed consistently all season, but they are paying the price for that with a rise in the handicap. Tea Time On Mars has been consistent this season, his handicap mark has not moved too much since his win at Bangor in November and he meets Crossley Tender on much better terms now.
However, DEFUTURE IS BRIGHT was given a great ride by Jack Tudor last time to win at Fakenham and if he handles this ground, will take some beating.
CASPIAN PRINCE won this a couple of years ago off a 6lbs higher rating. He has been performing really well in Dubai without winning and has to have a strong chance back in the UK off a very workable handicap mark.
Justanotherbottle with a run under his belt has to be feared.
Regarding Ruth won nicely at Newbury last time, she will like the conditions and an 8lb rise in the weights seems fair after a comfy success. She beat a few of these that day, but Outonpatrol could be interesting with a run under her belt.
I was taken with the performance of SMALL PRESENT at Doncaster and this son of Presenting will love the conditions. Neverbeen To Paris is on the shortlist too as an each-way bet.
Alright Sunshine has been hurdling and ran well at Kelso last month when finishing second. His record at the track is what draws you to him – he’s four from four at this venue.
Some of those races were ordinary contests, but he has still shown a liking for the track. The other one I fancy is Stargazer. He is better treated on turf than the all-weather, but has been running well and could run very well at a big price.
13:50 Musselburgh – Marshal Dan
14:05 Haydock – Shantou Express
14:25 Musselburgh – Tornadic
14:40 Haydock – Defuture Is Bright
15:00 Musselburgh – Caspian Prince
15:15 Haydock – Small Present
15:35 Musselburgh – Alright Sunshine
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